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Monte Cazazza

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Monte Cazazza is an American artist and composer best known for his seminal role in helping shape the early landscape of industrial music through recordings with the London-based Industrial Records in the mid-1970s.

Cazazza, based primarily in San Francisco during his early career, is credited with coining the phrase “Industrial Music for Industrial People”. This was later used to encapsulate the record label and the artists representing it. Later, the noise collages and experimental sound manipulation coming out of Industrial records came to be known as Industrial music. Cazazza had built up an underground reputation as a particularly volatile performer with a potentially dangerous and antisocial aesthetic. Re/Search Magazine’s Industrial Culture Handbook described his work as “insanity-outbreaks thinly disguised as art events”. The Futurist Sintesi show near the end of 1975 was heralded on a promo flier as “Sex - religious show; giant statue of Jesus got chainsawed and gang raped into oblivion”.

Cazazza did not limit his “performances” to the familiar dynamic of stage, audience and audience reaction. Much of his work involved acts designed for maximum shock value. In a well known incident, while a student at the Oakland College of Arts and Crafts, Cazazza created a cement waterfall that permanently disabled the main stairway of the building. He once created a 15’x15’ screw-together metal swastika and was known to visit his friends with a dead cat and formaldehyde that he would use to set the cat alight.

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