'If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.' Lampedusa
For me here in London there was no such end. The bands I loved in the early Eighties were growing in popularity and finding their own voice. 4AD and Factory, the labels best known for the brooding sounds of The Cocteau Twins and Joy Division were diversifying and embracing the dance and grunge music that was emerging from America and Europe. Simultaneously releasing breakthrough albums by The Pixies and Happy Mondays, along with those of established acts Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil.

Even Joy Division, surely the darkest and most melancholy band of the post punk era, metamorphasized into a dance band after Ian Curtis' suicide. And although I have no doubt that had he lived, Ian Curtis would have continued to write maudlin lyrics, musically Joy Division's sound was already evolving into that of New Order, as early as Transmission, continuing on that same trajectory until Ceremony right at the end.

Music is a living breathing entity and it cannot stand still or live in isolation, change is what feeds it, what keeps it fresh. Musicians will always be influenced by other artists and cultures and there will always be new ground breaking Innovations in technology which totally revolutionalise each generation of music makers. Building on the rich tapestry of our musical heritage so that different types of music can co exist and compliment each other.

Dark, melancholy music has always existed, from Bach's solo Cello pieces through Mahler, Billie Holiday and beyond, it is as necessary for the human spirit as oxygen is to the body, and will continue to console and inspire people irregardless of fashion until the end of time.
©Ari Neufeld