Tag Archives: Rock in Opposition

“Rock in Opposition”: Ten Bands Giving Progressive Rock an Anarchic Edge

Zwoyld

Zwoyld

While even the most conventional rock prides itself on being in “opposition” to—well, you name it—Rock in Opposition (RIO) built its entire ethos around the idea of non-conformity. The genre began in 1978, when English avant-gardists Henry Cow organized a music festival dubbed “Rock in Opposition”: a movement of like-minded European bands and artists who were frustrated by the strictures of rock, and by the unwillingness of the music industry to nurture their radicalism (see Henry Cow’s cancelled deal with Virgin Records one year prior). Some of the earliest bands in this movement—Henry Cow, Etron Fou Leloublan, Stormy Six—could be loosely characterized as progressive rock with a more anarchic and confrontational edge, while others—Univers Zero, Aksak Maboul—were all but unclassifiable, mixing everything from chamber music to noise and electronics to create a new, brain-melting sound.

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