After Matt Muente moved from Saukville to Milwaukee four years ago, he started going to rave parties and underground clubs every weekend. Inspired by a Chicago club inside a warehouse near O'Hare Airport, he used the same name for his record shop.
Industry Records, 906 E. Center St., is a small but well-stocked shop in the heart of Riverwest. It opened quietly two years ago after Muente dropped out of school and bought a few thousand records from a Colorado record store that was going out of business.
"I needed time to figure out what I wanted to do," says Muente.
Earlier this year, he returned to school to study architecture, and closed the shop for two months to get a handle on being a student again. Recently, he and an employee reopened Industry and the two keep it going six days a week.
Muente plans to expand the business in the near future and offer more turntables, mixers, needles and headphones. He currently has a small selection of equipment.
Industry's main focus is on vinyl. The shop houses roughly 5,500 records, new and used, and specializes in electronic music -- club, trance, house, techno, etc. Last year, Muente bought out Revolutions, an independent East Side record shop that was one of the primary sources for rare, electronic music.
These days, Industry has little competition, other than Niche -- a clothing and music store on Park Place -- and Trounce Records, 422 N. 15th St., in the Menomonee Valley.
Lotus Land records opened six years ago across the street from Industry, but concentrates primarily on old school hip-hop and funk. Muente says there is plenty of room on Center Street for both record shops.
"Riverwest is the perfect neighborhood for a music business," he says. "The rent is cheap."
Industry also sells tickets to raves and "outdoor parties." Muente, who used to DJ at parties and plans to get into it again soon, says the rave scene is thriving in Milwaukee.
"It's getting better. I'd still like to see it get a lot bigger, but it's improved a lot over the years (because of) the influence coming from Chicago," he says.
Most of the advertising for rave parties is still done over the Internet -- through MySpace and message boards on sites like midwestravers.com, illuminatusproductions.com and outlawproductions.com.
Muente says anywhere from 500 to 1,500 people show up for rave parties, held in Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Racine and private farms in northern counties.
"We try to maintain the best possible relationship with local police. We sometimes have misunderstandings, but we almost never get shut down," he says. "We don't want to overrun small towns with too many kids."
Muente says he and the other promoters encourage carpooling and sometimes rent busses to cut back on traffic and drunk driving.
Until the outdoor party season rolls around, Muente is working on a new Web site and Industry's expansion project. "I'll be getting my new shipment in for spring any day now, so stop by," he says.
Industry Records is open from Monday to Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m. For more information, call (414) 264-6666.
Industry Records' Web site is myspace.com/industryrecords.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.