The first time I heard KMFDM, as an unsuspecting kid still finding his musical identity, I was dumbstruck. I’d never heard anything like it. It was electronic, weirdly danceable, but also really fucking evil sounding.
I soon learned this was industrial music, and I adored it. I sought out and enjoyed other industrial bands, but KMFDM always held a special place for me. And really, when it came to big beats, staccato vocals, and mechanical riffs, nobody held a candle to them.
They’ve been through multiple lineup chances in their close-to-forty-year career, but the permanent central figure of Sascha Konietzko has ensured a sonic consistency. Put bluntly – when you hear KMFDM, you know it’s KMFDM. It’s an iconic sound that has continued through four decades now, and continues to influence the genre.
With their frequent use of heavy guitars in their music, KMFDM also helped foster the birth of industrial metal, a subgenre that has seen much growth since the 80s. Being the proto industrial metal band I think is why I connected so much with KMFDM as I crafted my nascent musical taste. It hit a lot of the same things that I loved in other genres, but I just didn’t understand it completely yet.
When I discovered them, KMFDM were already deep into their existence, and being as prolific as they are, they’ve probably released around a dozen new albums since. And every time a new KMFDM album drops I am all over it. And every time, I remember exactly how this music made that kid feel – excited, energised, blown away.
They still make me feel like that.