|A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NORTHWEST ELEKTRO-INDUSTRIAL COALITION
The Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition or NEC was formed in the early 1990s in Seattle, Washington when Chris Massey and Robert Riscassi of And Christ Wept contacted D.A. Sebasstian of Kill Switch...Klick and Andre Robinson of Noise Box about these bands performing together in the Seattle area. This was at the height of the Grunge Scene in the Northwest and not an easy time for electronic artists to get local shows. Sebasstian suggested a meeting and all three bands contacted other bands and a meeting was set at the Puss Puss Cafe in Capital Hill district of Seattle. Some thirty musicians attended the meeting including members of Kill Switch...Klick, Noise Box, And Christ Wept, SMP (Sounds OF Mass Production) , Noxious Emotion, Einar Ask & The Same, Terminal and Sex With Sarah.
Strength Through Musical Solidarity
The purpose of the NEC defined in this and subsequent monthly meetings was to help promote electronic and industrial music in the Northwest and internationally. The NEC set up shows and electronic music showcases including a unique series at The Weathered Wall Club in Seattle, where audience members could participate with the bands and D.J.s using drum sticks to beat on large metal sculptures set around on the dance floor. The bands and D.J.s associated with the NEC shared mailing lists and quickly built a core following for the new music. Besides featuring performances by the NEC bands, D.J.s from clubs like The Vogue, Weathered Wall and ColourBox would add NEC bands to their play lists. This D.J. / Band networking had never existed in Seattle before or since.
Contents Under Pressure
The NEC also released a monthly newsletter and cassette tapes of member bands music. The most popular recordings were Contents Under Pressure Volume One & Two. These two tapes led Cleopatra Records to release Elektro-Industrial Sounds Of The Northwest a compilation featuring various Northwest NEC bands. The NEC also garnered national attention for its networking abilities and promotions approach in articles in Keyboard Magazine, Axcess Magazine, IndustrialnatioN and Pandemonium Magazine. Several other Coalitions and Collectives sprang up in different regions of the U.S. and Europe using the NEC as their role model. Many of the original NEC bands were offered record contracts. But all was not well in the land of the latte.
Several years after it's formation and as a third generation of bands came into the rank and file of the NEC, many of the original bands lost interest. Their own musical careers were taking off and the doors of Seattle were now permanently opened to the new electronic music. Many of the newer bands expected that membership in the NEC would get them exposure and a record deal- without doing the leg work themselves. The NEC was never set up to be a promotions company or record label. This led to the eventual collapse and demise of the Northwest Elektro-Industrial Coalition. Many of the bands are still friends more than a decade later.