But it was the release of I'm Falling / Cold Life by Ministry — along with the licensing of Front 242's Endless Riddance EP — that set the stage for Wax Trax! to become America's preeminent industrial label of the 1980s and 1990s. Among the most noteworthy artists released by Wax Trax! were My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Front 242, Coil, Chris & Cosey, Laibach, KMFDM, PIG, Chris Connelly, Underworld, Meat Beat Manifesto, Front Line Assembly, Cyberaktif (cEvin Key and Dwayne Goettel of Skinny Puppy with Bill Leeb of Front Line Assembly), The Young Gods, The KLF, Greater Than One, Clock DVA, Suicide, Psychic TV (Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle), Sister Machine Gun, In the Nursery, Foetus, TGT, and Controlled Bleeding. The label also released a bevy of side projects by Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker of Ministry, including Revolting Cocks, Acid Horse (a collaboration with Cabaret Voltaire), Pailhead (a collaboration with Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat and Eric Spicer of Naked Raygun), PTP (short for “Programming the Psychodrill”), Lead Into Gold (a solo vehicle for Barker), and 1000 Homo DJs (with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails). Nash and Flesher licensed a number of recordings from Play It Again Sam of Belgium, and eventually opened a North American office for the label (dubbed Play It Again Sam Records U.S.A.) as a division of Wax Trax!. Play It Again Sam, in turn, oversaw the operation of Wax Trax! Europe, although it closed abruptly when the relationship between the labels ended acrimoniously in late 1990. Play It Again Sam U.S.A. was subsequently absorbed by Caroline Records. Following a bankruptcy filing, Wax Trax! was bought by New York-based TVT Records in 1992, with Nash and Flesher retaining creative control of the label.
TVT was the former label of Nine Inch Nails for the releases of Pretty Hate Machine (1989), Broken (1992), and Fixed (1992). Trent Reznor started his own label called Nothing, specializing in industrial rock and electronic music inspired by Wax Trax! Records. He signed acts like Marilyn Manson in 1993, who was very inspired by Wax Trax! artist My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten. He also signed other Wax Trax! affiliated artists like PIG and Meat Beat Manifesto after releasing The Downward Spiral (1994).
Nothing also distributed music from Warp, Sheffield, England's illustrious electronic music label (that signed inventive and influential acts like Aphex Twin), under an exclusive license in the U.S., with albums by Autechre, Plaid, and Squarepusher. TVT would later sign some of these artists under the Wax Trax! label. In 1994, TVT released Black Box - Wax Trax! Records: The First 13 Years under the Wax Trax! label. It was a 3-CD box set compilation of the label's biggest hits. However, due to licensing issues stemming from the label's bankruptcy, the set did not contain any material by Front 242, even though the band's single Headhunter had been the label's best-selling record to date.
A video compilation of the same name was also released, containing music videos by label artists (and likewise omitting Front 242's Headhunter video.) TVT continued to use the Wax Trax! imprint for years, even after Nash's death from AIDS-related complications on October 10, 1995. When TVT closed the label's doors in 2001 with the final Wax Trax! imprint appearing on KMFDM's Beat By Beat By Beat DVD, the general manager of the Wax Trax! Records Chicago office Bart Pfanenstiel founded WTII Records (Wax Trax! II) in an effort to rekindle the spirit of Wax Trax!'s early music. Dannie Flesher retired from the music business and subsequently died of pneumonia on Sunday, January 10, 2010, in Hope, Arkansas. He was 58. Mr. Nash is survived by his two children, Julia and Aaron Nash.
Julia Nash owns and maintains the website titled WaxTraxChicago.com: The Official Family Site dedicated to the memory of Jim Nash / Dannie Flesher and the History of & Wax Trax! Records." On January 10, 2011 WaxTraxChicago.com announced “Wax Trax! Records Retrospectacle Comes to Metro.” The Retrospectacle was the 33 & 1/3 year Wax Trax! Records Anniversary commemorative concert with proceeds that benefited the non-profit “Center on Halsted;” hosted by The Nash Group 2449 (The Nash family and friends including Metro Chicago’s owner Joe Shanahan) on April 15, 16 and 17th, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois; with performances by former Wax Trax! artists: Front 242, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Luc Van Acker, Paul Barker, and Chris Connelly formerly of Revolting Cocks with special guest Jamie Duffy; and En Esch, Günter Schulz, Raymond Watts (PIG) formerly of KMFDM; additional artists included Rights of the Accused, as well as Chicago DJ’s and VJ’s. Notably not included in the event were Ministry and KMFDM. Ministry's Al Jourgensen and KMFDM's Sascha Konietzko issued a joint statement stating: "Jourgensen was never asked to participate, and Konietzko's (and KMFDM's) desire to participate and perform was declined by the event organizers. However, while we are both in no way associated with this event, we want to make it clear that we do support the good works of the charity involved and honor the memory of Wax Trax! founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher." Jim Nash's daughter Julia Nash reopened Wax Trax! Records with the release of a 12-inch single from Chris Connelly and Jason Novak's new project Cocksure entitled TKO Mindfuck on June 14, 2014. There is also a Wax Trax! Records documentary coming out sometime in 2014-2015.
_____________________________________________________________ Wax Trax! Artists (1978-1992): Acid Horse Ajax A Popular History of Signs The Blackouts Boxset Braindead Sound Machine Chris and Cosey Clock DVA Coil Chris Connelly Controlled Bleeding Cyberaktif Dehaltneisen De Parge Targe Divine Doubting Thomas Excessive Force Finitribe Foetus Fred Front Line Assembly Front 242 God’s Acre Greater Than One Peter Hope and Richard H. Kirk Hula In the Nursery Jass Joined At the Head The KLF KMFDM Laibach Lead into Gold Meat Beat Manifesto Minimal Compact Ministry Mussolini Headkick My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult Noise Unit 1000 Homo DJs Pailhead Pankow Perennial Divide Pig Psychic TV PTP Revolting Cocks Sister Machine Gun Skatenigs A Split Second Strange Circuits Strike Under Suicide T.A.G.C. (The Anti-Group Conspiracy) TGT (The Genetic Terrorists) Three Angry Poles Cosey Fanni Tutti Luc Van Acker Wiseblood Wreck The Young Gods _____________________________________________________________ Wax Trax! / TVT Artists (1993-2001): Autechre B-12 Black Dog Productions Chris Connelly & William Tucker Excessive Force F.U.S.E. KMFDM Polygon Window Psykosonik PTP Sister Machine Gun Various Artists (Wax Trax! compilations) _____________________________________________________________ Wax Trax! Artists (2014-present): Cocksure Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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