When we started I Die: You Die at the end of last June, we had no idea we’d still be plugging away at this business a year later. Well, actually, we were pretty sure we’d be able to stick with it for at least that long. What we didn’t anticipate was the wonderful response we’ve gotten from loads of people, or that we’d have the chance to make so many new friends, interview so many cool artists, and discover so much awesome new music which might’ve otherwise flown under our radars. It’s been a hell of a year, and we wanted to take some time on the eve of our first anniversary to cast a look backwards, reintroduce some pieces and the goals of the site to those who’ve started reading us recently, and offer some thanks to those who’ve helped turned our cantankerous ramblings into the modestly-sized scene-specific juggernaut it is today.
Our goal when we started I Die: You Die was to examine what we’ve taken to calling Our Thing. We’ve kept the definition of that fairly nebulous, if for no other reason than we’re fascinated by how fluid its borders are (that, and we dislike using the goth/industrial binary or referring to it as *bleagh* “the scene”). If you played yer Nana a record by Henric de la Cour, one by ESA, another by Inkubus Sukkubus and the latest from Aesthetic Perfection, she’d be hard-pressed to determine what they had in common. The short answer is that although sonically disparate, they all have an affinity for darker and more quixotic themes and sounds, and they’re all part of a shared history, an ongoing conversation, and a culture that extends beyond the club, the internet forums, and individual listeners’ headphones. In a lot of ways it’s about a collective tradition, whether any given artist or audience member is conversant in all of its facets.
That’s what we came here to write about, and the fact that there’s tons of folks who’ve been interested to read what we’ve had to say, contribute their own thoughts and perspectives and carry the conversation forward has been immensely heartening. Folks may complain about “the scene” (there’s that god damn bit of useless nomenclature again), but even that’s proof that people have some stake in whatever their perception of Our Thing happens to encompass.
We love Our Thing, we find it endlessly fascinating, and we’ll be happy to keep writing about it as long as there’s interesting music to be heard and mulled over. 2011 was a great year for records, and 2012 is shaping up to be just as good, but in different and intriguing ways. Manna keeps falling from heaven (or more accurately turning up on forums, in our inbox, and our mailboxes), and we’re happy to have an excuse to bloviate about it. Flippin’ birds and droppin’ 50 cent words, that’s the way of our walk.
A couple of recent articles (you know which ones) have brought us a bunch of new readers (hi!), so if you want to get a better, hands-on sense of the style and substance of what we do here, you could do worse than checking out some of these pieces from our first year in the game.
–A review of Skinny Puppy’s Handover
–An interview with Daniel B of Front 242/Nothing But Noise
–An especially wordy and hi-falutin’ review of Rome’s Die Aesthetik Der Herrschaftsfreiheit
–A reflection on the sound and significance of Pop Will Eat Itself’s back catalog on the occasion of its reissuing
–An album-by-album rundown of Gary Numan’s post-comeback work
–An interview with the always incisive and verbose Eric Gottesman, mainman of Everything Goes Cold and noted coldwave historian
–A mixtape of new bands working in the classic Skinny Puppy vein of electro-industrial
–An interview with Dave Gatto of BABYLAND fame about the arrival of his new project, Continues
–An interview with Metropolis Records head honcho Dave Heckman on the history and future of his label
–A list of movies industrial bands really need to stop sampling
Lastly, we wanted to take a few minutes away from looking up mid-90s wrestling promos on Youtube and scouring the web for signs of whatever happened to Genital A-Tech to say a few thank yous to all the folks who’ve given us a hand over the last 365. Firstly, the two guys who have done an insane amount to help us out with their advice, connections, and general supportiveness: Isaac Terpstra aka DJ Pandemonium, and Rev. John of Das Bunker. Those guys have been down for us since day one (and in Isaac’s case for many years before that) and having them in our corner is humbling.
Equal hosannas are due to our new contributors Matt Pathogen and Kathleen Chausse for their hard work and deep scene knowledge: we’re stoked to count you amongst our number. We also want to shout out our comrades J and Christina and the staff at Coma, Nick and company at Brutal Resonance, Ilker at Regen, and Iggy, Juliet, and Matt at NYC After Dusk. Y’all are our people, and it’s great to be part of a community of web-based resources for this music with you. Props to our amazing web guy Ian, Rheanna Fancypants for her design work, Jacek & Jeremy at Storming the Base for running the best record distro on the continent, and Jean-Francois for giving us a chance to spin, interview people at, and generally party like it was the endtimes at Kinetik. Enormous gratitude to all the artists and others that have taken the time to answer our interview questions so thoughtfully (it’d take a while to name ’em all, but you can peruse the list here), and sharing it with their audience. And of course, who could forget Intern Tobey, whose ceaseless mewling and supernaturally poor taste in rap music has made him the lovable posterboy for ID:UD that he is today.
And lastly, our heartful thanks to our readers. There’s no shortage of stuff to occupy you on the internet, and it means a lot that folks take a few minutes out of their week to read what a couple of Vancouver-based yahoos have to say about some records. One love, fam.
We’re taking Monday off (it’s the day we celebrate the sovereignty of our nation by going to an El-P concert apparently), but we’ll be back on the 2nd to kick off Year Two of I Die: You Die. We can’t stop. We won’t stop. We’re not sure we even know how to stop. See you then!
I Die: You Die is a website based in Vancouver offering written coverage of of industrial, EBM, goth, dark electro, and related genres. Updates Monday through Friday.