Watch Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records
- 1 hr 35 min
Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records is a documentary film that chronicles the rise and fall of one of the most influential independent record labels in the history of alternative music. The film was released in 2018 and features interviews with many of the key players at Wax Trax!, including label founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, as well as a host of musicians who made their names on the label's roster.
The film begins in Chicago in the late 1970s, when Nash and Flesher first opened their record store in the city's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The shop quickly became a hub for the city's burgeoning punk and new wave scenes, and soon the pair began releasing their own records under the Wax Trax! imprint. Before long, the label had become a serious force in the underground music world, with bands such as Ministry, Front 242, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and KMFDM all calling Wax Trax! home.
The documentary offers an in-depth look at the label's heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s, with interviews with the musicians and producers who helped shape the Wax Trax! sound. We learn about the studio space that the label used, located above the record store, and its legendary console, which was salvaged from the old Chess Records building. We also see footage of some of the label's wild and raucous parties, which brought together a who's who of the alternative music world at the time.
But the film does not shy away from the difficulties that Wax Trax! faced, both creatively and financially. We see how the label struggled to compete with the major labels, which were beginning to take notice of the underground scene and poach some of its top acts. We also see how Nash and Flesher's personal relationship deteriorated, leading to Flesher's departure from the label in the late 1980s.
The film also delves into the AIDS crisis, which had a profound impact on the Wax Trax! community. Many of the label's artists and staff members, including Flesher himself, were diagnosed with the disease, and the film is a powerful reminder of the toll that the epidemic took on the music world.
Throughout the film, we hear from a wide range of musicians and producers who worked with Wax Trax! over the years. These include Matt Adell, who later went on to become CEO of Beatport; Paul Barker, who was a member of Ministry and Revolting Cocks; and Steve Albini, who produced a number of albums for the label. Their insights, along with those of Nash and Flesher themselves (Nash passed away shortly after filming was completed), offer a comprehensive and nuanced perspective on the Wax Trax! story.
Overall, Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records is an engaging and informative documentary that sheds light on one of the most important and influential music labels of the last forty years. It is a must-see for any fan of alternative music, and a poignant tribute to the people who made it all happen.
Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5.