"Real cyberpunks listen to whatever the fuck they want!"
Cyberpunks have always been fighting what is cyberpunk music and what's not, and if there's special cyberpunk music at all.
alt.cyberpunk FAQ gives one authoritative answer when reminding that cyberpunk is not a(ny) fashion statement:
"There are a lot of posts to alt.cyberpunk asking what Cyberpunk's like do, wear etc. These posts are seen as inane due to the reason they are asked, ie, "Cyberpunk sounds cool, how can I become one". Cyberpunk is not a fashion statement, therefore little of this FAQ is taken up with such matters."
Therefore, cyberpunk music is as undefinable as cyberpunk itself. It must be kept in mind, that cyberpunk is not originally a music movement, although it can sound one. But in cyberpunk the suffix 'punk' does not mean music but the anarchistic part of the movement.
Nevertheless, some viewpoints about cyberpunk music styles can be mentioned. Most authorities on cyberpunk (the novelists) claim that as long as it's futuristic and modern, then it's OK. One very preferred and common idea about cyberpunk music is usually any techno/rave music, because it's produced via computers (look a description of the prefix 'cyber') and many styles are also very dark (harder styles like hardcore, gabber, etc...) Techno music even got born at the same time than cyberpunk scifi and subculture, and it also deals with the same concepts than cyberpunk: the relation between the human and the machine. But some cyberpunks also listen to heavy metal styles and gothic for the darkness, and some people think that industrial music is the cyberpunk music style.
"We had a long conversation about the subject on irc once, and one result I liked was, that cyberpunk music would be a mix between hardcore techno and heavy/black metal, with lyrics like punk music (but about future, technology and cyberculture). But I think there's not purely such kind of music yet(?) Hopefully in the not-so-distant dark future we get some ;-]
My personal favourite is Prodigy, it even fits somehow in the description above. But that's of course only my opinion. Some of my friends' opinions about good cyberpunky music are for example Nine Inch Nails and Chemical Brothers."
Billy Idol's Album and Cyberpunk?
alt.cyberpunk FAQ answers also this question:
"In late 1993 Billy Idol released an album called "Cyberpunk", which garnered some media attention; it seems to have been a commercial and critical flop. Billy made some token appearances on the net in alt.cyberpunk and on the WELL, but his public interest in the area seems to have waned. No matter how sincere his intentions might have been, scorn and charges of commercialization have been heaped upon him in this and other forums."
So, usual opinion is that Billy Idol's album is just commercialization and it has nothing to do with cyberpunk. It seems that Mr. Idol used the word just because "it sounded so cool". That way cyberpunk has been commercialized many times and has almost lost it's original meaning. More about this in "Mainstreaming Cyberpunk".
- Cyberpunk Music
- One opinion about cyberpunk music. Some music styles and bands listed.
- What Is Cyberpunk Music?
- Or more appropriately, What music is Cyberpunk? One man's opinion by Billy Biggs.
- Techno Music
- Closer look to techno music.
- Factories of Deliberate Decay
- An essay about industrial music by Gareth Branwyn. Expression through aggression. Experimental noise and post-verbalization. Apocalyptic bone dancing.
- Download MP3's
- Downloadable techno, heavy metal, industrial and electronica MP3's, besides many others.
- Cyberage Radio
- Free underground/industrial/etc. cyber-music net radio.