Front 242 (1981-present): a Industrial Metal band from Aarschot, Belgium, Belgium.
ront 242 became one of the premier acts on the European "new beat" scene and a forerunner in the whole industrial metal movement that would move into town by the 1990s. It all started in 1981 with Daniel B. Prothese (keyboards) who in turn recruited Jean-Luc De Meyer (vocals/drum machines) and Patrick Codenys (keyboards) who developed a sound influenced by their design school background, a sort of collage of sound that incorporated a mix of dance beats highlighted by loops, samples and minimalist repetitive beats. Through their early single recordings they gained a cult following but after 1984 whenDanielB. departed, their debut album Geography (1981-83) emerged in 1986. It was followed by No Comment (1984-85) (1986) and the "best of..." compilation Back Catalogue (1987).
By the time Official Version came about in 1987 the band were well on their way to notoriety and critical acclaim. Front By Front (1988) came and went but it was Tyranny For You (1991) and it's follow-up single Tragedy For You that saw them chart for the first time at 95 US/49 UK while their cult fandom swallowed up the previous single effort Headhunter (v1.0) It was here that Front 242 became a massive influence for the like of Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and the Prodigy (who collaborated with them on their Religion single in 1993).
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Now getting some deserved notice it was no surprise when 06:21:03:11 Up Evil (1993) made 44 in the UK while the follow-up 05:22:09:12 Off (1993) made 46 on the same chart. A further boost came when they were invited to play the Lollapalooza tour. It was their last to chart for some time, however, as Mut@ge.Mix@age (1996), Headhunter (1998) and their live effort Re-Boot: Live 98 (1998) although competent were more remixes than anything new in an era where people wanted it all new.
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