Through an independent record store and label, Wax Trax!, two men take a tribe of outsiders and misfits on a ride through the 1980s underground. Despite internal chaos, Wax Trax! Records creates a new music genre that gains global recognition. As the label grows in reputation, a series of unfortunate events almost cause its influential history to be lost forever. A Coda Cornerstone Collection.
When is a record store not just a record store? For Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, Wax Trax! was always about something more. First in Denver (1974) and then Chicago (1978), the Wax Trax! store was more like a neon-lit musical club house for a hidden community.
When Throbbing Gristle started a British independent label in 1976 called Industrial Music as a way to distribute its recordings and that of a few like-minded peers, it put its thumbprint on an unclassifiable genre that would conflate electronic music, rock and the avant-garde.
Beer bottles thrown from close range splash off a 10-foot-high chain-link fence that cages off what looks like an agitated militia squad. A sea of seething, swirling bodies spits out shadowy figures that desperately try to crawl up and over the fence, only to tumble back into the carnage. Strobes and lasers cut through air thick with smoke, vaporizing sweat and billowing fog. Images of violent death dance on a screen to a soundtrack that suggests an artillery barrage.