It’s just a happy coincidence that we happened to start I Die: You Die up in the midst of what would turn out to be festival season here in North America, but it’s meant that each time we’ve done one of these anniversary posts we’ve been high on the rush of getting to see bands and fans of dark electronic music of all stripes congregating in one place and generally spitting in the face of complaints about the death of industrial and whatnot. As this post goes up, we’ll have just gotten home from Terminus, are still sorting through records, photos, and memories of Aftermath, and are starting our plan of attack for Cold Waves III. So, you can take the general sabre-rattling tone of these retrospectives with a grain of salt if you want, but it’s hard to argue that there’s a deluge of activity occurring in Our Thing, to the point that even dedicated scribes like us are having a hard time keeping up. As it happens, that’s a topic we’d like to address…
We hear good and great music that originates from the industrial spectrum every week, more than we can actually keep up with actually. We dedicate an insane amount of our time to ferreting out and writing up new music for this website, and even with two sets of ears and two different palettes we aren’t able to listen to everything that interests us, let alone everything that falls into the categories of music we follow. It’s both frustrating and kind of exciting to know that: the thrill of discovery is a big reason we do this, and the moment you aren’t able to feel any kind of joy in new and interesting music you should hang up your hat, son. With that understanding we feel we need to make something abundantly clear: this music isn’t going anywhere.
Yes, clubs are closing, yes, CDs aren’t selling what they used to, and yes, the landscape isn’t what it was in the 80s or the 90s. Acknowledging those realities doesn’t mean that “industrial” or “the goth scene” is dying, because in spite of those hardships there’s still an astonishing amount of quality music being produced. The truth of the matter is that things are in a state of flux right now, and what’s dying are people’s notions of how people consume and relate to this music. Don’t fight that, it’s futile. Instead embrace the fact that that there’s any number of directions things could go in, and we’ve got a hell of a soundtrack to listen to while we watch it play out.
And as things shift around, there are plenty of new ventures to track: the aforementioned North American festivals, labels new and old taking chances on promising new acts (from our countrymen at Artoffact to our buddies over the pond at Juggernaut), and countless means of interacting with bands and buying music (our Bandcamp bills and the number of projects releasing vinyl are in danger of running us out of house and home). Sweden continues to crush the synthpop game and Portland’s taking a break from craft beer to take up podcasting. Los Angeles has the game on lock, and Ottawa keeps representing to the fullest every single day. There’s lots going on, no matter what the particulars of yr interests in industrial culture are, and very few excuses for staying on the sidelines.
On a personal level, ID:UD keeps giving back to us twice as much as we put into it. There ain’t nobody paying us to stay up until 3:00 am on worknights making sure we’re being fair in our assessments of albums or scouring the net for new singles or gems on obscure comps, but there’s a reason we’ve sunk our time and energy into this site, knocking out over 700 posts: we love this stuff. We love this music, and we love talking about it. It’s been there for us, and as long as we have headphones, a network connection, and a couple of beers in the fridge, we’ll be there for it. I Die: You Die Year Four starts now. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.