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Thursday, December 5

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News Thu Jan 14 2010

RIP Wax Trax Records Co-Founder Dannie Flesher

flesher.jpgOur fair city is many things to many people, and its music is no different. In electronic music, we're most renowned for being the home of house music. But Chicago has a legacy in an entirely different culture, and is known in more than a few circles worldwide as the home of legendary record label Wax Trax. Wax Trax released some of the most forward-thinking, genre-pushing industrial, industrial dance, EBM, noise, and new wave in the 80s and 90s, and its roster included seminal acts such as Ministry, KMFDM, Front 242, Underworld, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, Throbbing Gristle, and The KLF.

Dannie Flesher, co-founder of Wax Trax, died of pneumonia this past Sunday in his family's home in Arkansas at the age of 58. Flesher and his partner in business and life, Jim Nash (who passed away in 1995), are largely credited with introducing our side of the pond to industrial, a new sound at the time in Europe combining the technology of electronic music with the aesthetics of the recent punk movement. They opened the Wax Trax record store and affiliated label in Chicago in 1978 and with it gave a home to imports, expatriates, outcasts and a bevy of musicians who've influenced rock and electronic music all the way to the mainstream.

Of course, Flesher and Nash didn't know how far their impact would reach at the time. In its heyday, Wax Trax had more in common with a family than a record label, both in relationships and in sense. Known for backing artists no one else would, and putting out releases without much regard for cost or business practices, the company went bankrupt in 1992 and was bought by TVT Records. But in that time Flesher and Nash's good ears for talent and unyielding support for their artists helped Wax Trax leave a lasting impression not just on Chicago, but the American music scene at large.

 
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Jim / January 14, 2010 7:18 PM

While I do like the music, it is the store on Lincoln I miss the most... down the street from the AA Meat Market and filled to the gills with Manic Panic hair dye... if only I had enough hair to dye. Rest in Peace and thanks for the legacy!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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