Industrial electro is such a niche genre of music that it doesn’t even make it into the top 15 genres in the USA by album sales. Electronic dance music is up there, though, with a 3.9 percent share of the total music album consumption in 2018. Some fans of industrial electro may not be too bothered about it entering the mainstream, but others may feel like it’s a shame that not enough people know about this exciting form of music. However, one way that the genre could break into the mainstream would be for it to have a greater role in the entertainment industry.
Why Should Industrial Electro go Mainstream?
Being part of a group of people interested in an extremely niche brand of music can feel like a privilege. It can also feel like a genre has lost a part of its soul when it goes mainstream, which is why a lot of people would prefer industrial electro to stay in the shadows. On the other side of the argument, however, there is a risk that the style of music could end up dying out if it doesn’t reach larger audiences.
Industrial electro has a fairly large following now and enough original artists are continuing to produce strong work. For example, Reichsfeind is coming out with accomplished work and Pas Musique & Rapoon is creating regular content , to name just a couple. This can’t last forever, however, and when these acts move on, they need others to replace them. There is a scarily long list of musical genres that have become obsolete, including Nu-Metal and UK-Garage, and so Industrial electro could easily be added to those former giants if it doesn’t crack the mainstream.
Getting into Gaming and Entertainment is Common Nowadays
A lot of music acts use gaming and entertainment as a way to break out and get recognized. For example, the FIFA series from EA has a longstanding reputation for giving up-and-coming acts a chance to get their music out to the masses. Indeed, electro music has featured on the football game frequently over the years. Avicii’s The Nights was one of the top tracks on FIFA 15, while Bomba Estereo’s Soy Yo was a memorable addition to FIFA 16.
Older acts who are trying to get back in the public eye have also gone down the entertainment route. For example, when Guns N’ Roses got back together in 2015, online slot game developer NetEnt made an iGaming offering based on the band. This helped them reach a wider fan base when promoting their hugely successful Not In This Lifetime… tour.
With NetEnt being a Swedish developer and so many EBM acts hailing from Scandinavia , the company might be interested in creating an iGaming title with an act from the genre. This kind of promotion can work wonders, and has been seen in other sectors of the entertainment industry as well. For instance, TV series like Narcos and Game of Thrones have been made into slots , and this has helped widen their consumer base.
Where Would Electro be Most Appropriate?
A lot of industrial electro has an almost futuristic sound to it, and it is often used in entertainment which is set years ahead. For example, the 2017 release, Blade Runner 2049, featured an electro-heavy soundtrack from Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch. This style seemed to fit the dystopian setting perfectly.
Polish developer CD Projekt Red may have been inspired by Denis Villeneuve’s offering when it was thinking about the soundtrack for the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. There are many well-known electronic artists included in the game, such as Gazelle Twin and Grimes. This title from the developer of The Witcher series is expected to be extremely popular, and could influence other game designers to include more electro in their titles.
Industrial electro music could be the perfect partner to games and other forms of entertainment, and the release of Cyberpunk 2077 might help more people realize that. Undoubtedly, it is important for the genre to go mainstream, as it runs the risk of fading away and being forgotten about if it doesn’t.