Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Compilation of the Week: This Is Electronic Body Music

If one could pick only three words to describe Front 242, "Electronic Body Music" would suffice. Although 242 is all that and more, they are the recognized "godfathers" of EBM. This collection is likely one, if not THE, definitive Electronic Body Music collection. If nothing else, it is a primer on old-school EBM circa 1988 and the best example of a single record to define EBM.

Released as a joint effort of sorts by PIAS, RRE, Antler, and Netwerk labels, it was available on CD and Vinyl formats. The CD has the catalogue number EBM 1-CD and the single 12" vinyl is simply listed as EBM 1. There is apparently also a vinyl version released on "Ediesta Records" which is a sub-label of RRE.

The artwork depicts the now iconic "police state" or "stormtrooper" image, which is often duplicated on other EBM artwork, and can be seen on the 242 Bootleg 7" vinyl "Television Programm 1st" in black & white form. This artwork is repeated on the CD and Vinyl release so I will only depict the actual vinyl picture sleeve to avoid redundancy.

The picture sleeve of the CD features the back catalogue of all the artists featured on the release.

Track Listing:
Side One:

  1. Front 242:  "Body To Body" (The 1988 Mix)
  2. The Neon Judgement:  "Chinese Black"
  3. Click Click:  "Sweet Stuff"
  4. a; Grumh... : "Ha People"
  5. Parade Ground:  "Strange World"
  6. The Cassandra Complex:  "One Millionth Happy Customer"
Side Two:
  1. A Split Second:  "On Command"
  2. Chris And Cosey:  "Exotika"
  3. Borghesia:  "No Hope, No Fear"
  4. The Weathermen:  "Poison"
  5. Skinny Puppy: "Assimilate"
I love this CD! This was my first introduction to many of the other great artists which the Chicago label Wax Trax! would eventually release state-side, as they had Front 242.
Although I would go on to particularly enjoy the likes of A Split Second, a: Grumh...: and Skinny Puppy, none could hold a candle to Front 242...

This CD and Vinyl are quite common today, although back in the day, it was a hard import to come by. Expect to pay $5-$10 at most.

This Is Electronic Body Music picture sleeve front. Note this is also the front of the 12" Vinyl

Picture sleeve reverse

Jewel Case Insert; Note this image is also the back of the 12" vinyl

Inside picture sleeve

This Is Electronic Body Music CD

Vinyl Side One

Vinyl Side Two


  1. Nice compilation ! A Split Second was one of my favourite too.

  2. It was released a year too early for 'Abortive Gasp', sadly. Dream on ... ;(