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Neofolk, also known as post-industrial or apocalyptic folk, is a form of experimental music blending elements of folk and industrial music, which emerged in punk rock circles in the 1980s. Neofolk may either be solely acoustic or combine acoustic folk instrumentation with various other sounds.
|Cultural origins||1980s, England|
|Derivative forms||Martial industrial|
The term "neofolk" originates from esoteric music circles who started using the term in the late 20th century to describe music influenced by musicians such as Douglas Pearce (Death In June), Tony Wakeford (Sol Invictus) and David Tibet (Current 93).
Anglo-American folk music with similar sounds and themes to neofolk existed as far back as the 1960s. Folk musicians such as Vulcan's Hammer, Changes, Leonard Cohen, and Comus could be considered harbingers of the sound that later influenced the neofolk artists. Also the later explorations of Velvet Underground's band members, specifically those of Lou Reed, have been called a major influence to what later became neofolk.
A majority of artists within the neofolk genre focus on archaic, cultural and literary references. Local traditions and indigenous beliefs tend to be portrayed heavily as well as esoteric and historical topics.
Various forms of neopaganism and occultism play a part in the themes touched upon by many modern and original neofolk artists. Runic alphabets, heathen European sites and other means of expressing an interest in the ancient and ancestral occur often in neofolk music. Aesthetically, references to this subject occur within band names, album artwork, clothing and various other means of artistic expression. This has led to some forefathers of the genre and current artists within the genre attributing it to being an aspect of a broader neopagan revival. Many such bands refer to this revival in metaphor, often borrowing terms such as Ernst Jünger's Waldgäng and using fascist symbolism and slogans, this has led to an association of the genre with the far-right, though this is contested by fans. As a result some bands have stated opposition to the perceived fascist apologia and themes in the genre and the related genre of martial industrial.
Related terms and stylesEdit
As a descriptor, apocalyptic folk predates neofolk and was used by David Tibet to describe the music of his band Current 93 during a period in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Initially, Tibet did not intend to imply connection with the folk music genre; rather, that Current 93 was made by "apocalyptic folk[s]": in other words, apocalyptic people. Tibet and Current 93 did dabble in covers of traditional English folk song and Tibet himself was a great advocate for reclusive English folk singer Shirley Collins.
Martial industrial or military pop is a genre that shares a lot in common with neofolk and developed very close to it.
- Andrea Haugen
- The Black Heart Rebellion
- Blood Axis
- By The Spirits
- Camerata Mediolanense
- Current 93
- Death in June
- Der Blutharsch
- Fire + Ice
- Harvest Rain
- Caswyn Moon
- Kentin Jivek
- King Dude
- Kirlian Camera
- The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath a Cloud
- Nature and Organisation
- Neun Welten
- Of the Wand & the Moon
- Ordo Equitum Solis
- Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio
- Romowe Rikoito
- Sol Invictus
- Sonne Hagal
- Spiritual Front
- Von Thronstahl
- Webb, Peter (2007). "Neo-Folk or Postindustrial Music". Exploring the Networked Worlds of Popular Music. Routledge. ISBN 9780415956581.
One milieu to develop out of Punk was the scene that later became known as either apocalyptic folk, postindustrial, or later neo-folk.
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- Peter Webb, Exploring the Networked Worlds of Popular Music: Milieu Cultures (New York: Routledge, 2007), ISBN 0-415-95658-7.
- Andreas Diesel und Dieter Gerten, Looking for Europe - Neofolk und Hintergründe (Zeltingen-Rachtig: Index-Verlag, 2005), ISBN 3-936878-02-1.