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Ad.ver.sary: Making a statement in the industrial music scene

May 22nd, 2012     by Julia Horel     Comments

PLEASE NOTE: The video discussed in this post contains racist and sexist language, as well as violent imagery. The video is not hosted on this page. A censored transcript is found here, with a link to the video.

The Kinetik festival (May 17-20 this year in Montreal) is an international festival of electro-industrial music. Toronto-based act Ad.ver.sary (Jairus Khan) was scheduled to play his set ahead of two bands he has openly criticized for using highly sexist and racist lyrics and imagery:

It was when I got booked to play Kinetik, and I found out that I was scheduled to open for Nachtmahr and Combichrist. Given how strongly I feel about the way they do what they do, I didn’t think I could just get up there and play and pretend as though I wasn’t going to be followed by these two acts that I’ve openly criticized. I actually considered just cancelling my performance, and being done with it. I don’t want to be associated with what they do, and I don’t want to be a support act for them, even in a festival setting … - interview at

During the last five minutes of his set, Jairus showed a multimedia presentation speaking out against the use of violence, sexism and racism by Nachtmahr and Combichrist, using direct examples from their work to make his point.

Mark Edwards (

Please be aware that some visual examples of violence, sexism and racism are used in the video. Because of the nature of some of the imagery used, the video will not be embedded here. You can find the video, a full interview with Jairus, a response from the other bands, and a spirited discussion in comments at

Transcript found below.

This is a public service announcement regarding the use of racist and sexist imagery by two of tonight’s performers: Nachtmahr & Combichrist

Warning: This is what Nachtmahr album covers actually look like Warning: This is what Combichrist & Nachtmahr music videos actually look like Warning: This is what Combichrist lyrics actually look like

all you feminist c____s you know that you want it give head if you got it

  • Combichrist, “Give Head If You Got It”

Feminism (noun \ x02C8fe-mx0259-x02CCni-zx0259m )

The radical notion that women are people.

We are not offended by this toxic language. We are contemptuous of it. Just as we would be if it had a different target:

all you feminist c____s you know that you want it all you lesbian c____s you know that you want it all you french c____s you know that you want it all you somali c____s you know that you want it all you queer c____s you know that you want it all you chinese c____s you know that you want it

If a man fights to be his whole self, to be creative, to express emotions men are not supposed to express, do jobs men are not supposed to do, take care of his own children - all of these things are part of the feminist movement. - Gloria Steinem

The confederate battle flag A history lesson

Three political groups have operated under the confederate war flag

1: The Confederate States of America

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the uperior race is his natural and normal condition.” - Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America (1861)

2: The Dixiecrats

“We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one’s associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one’s living in any lawful way.” - Dixiecrat Platform, 1948

Can you guess the third?

3: The Ku Klux Klan

“There is little hope for us until we become toughminded enough to break loose from the shackles of prejudice, half-truths, and downright ignorance.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

But isn’t industrial music supposed to be shocking?

Throbbing Gristle Peter Christopherson (a.k.a. ‘Sleazy’)

Co-founded Industrial Records Co-founded Throbbing Gristle Co-founded Psychic TV Co-founded Coil Directed The Broken Movie for NIN Directed ‘Just One Fix’ for Ministry

“Anyone who singles out a particular portion of any population for criticism just because they fit into a certain category, whether it be gay or black or Jewish or even female, to us was, and is, simply moronic.” “The original idea of Industrial Records was to reject what the growing industry was telling you at the time what music was supposed to be.” - Peter Christopherson

What is this a rejection of?

Reject Reject racism Reject sexism Reject what the industry is telling you Reject forumlaic bullshit Reject what you are being sold

We can do better We deserve better We demand better

Tags: anti-violence, arts, playlist, race and racism

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