By Colin Gallant
CALGARY – Dickens’ Terminus Festival returns in 2017 for round six—Impact edition. Terminus is one of very few festivals of its kind in the world, especially a rare commodity here in North America. BeatRoute staff attended last year’s festival and met industrial/goth/coldwave/dark electronic fans from locals like Texas and Montreal, the latter of which has seen similarly curated events shutter their doors in the last few years. In this festival round-up piece, we’ll go over some of the highlights to be found at the festival and offer our own take on what makes this year’s theme of “Impact” is all about.
Let’s start with PIG (sometimes styled as <PIG>), a perfect example of both the glorious horror b-movie aesthetic so common in dark electronic acts as well as the Impact theme. PIG is solely made up of Raymond Watts (aka Nainz, aka Nainz Watts, aka Ray Scaballero) from KM-motherfucking-DM. You know, one of the most influential industrial acts of all time? Watts has toured with Nine Inch Nails and Einstürzende Neubauten, and composed runway music for fashion designer Alexander McQueen, among other notable works. Talk about having an impact.
A little more in the rock vein, The Birthday Massacre are another influential industrial act on the lineup. With seven studio albums from 2002 to 2011 (though they made music as Imagica starting in 1999, TBM have a robust oeuvre of heavy hits their fans can look forward. One interesting tidbit about TBM is that they’ve been long-time manipulators of web platforms to express themselves beyond music; they were making “viral” flash sites and releasing music on niche music forums in order to offer their far flung fans another layer of experience.
The headliner with the youngest career of the bunch is 3TƎETH (pronounced “three teeth”). That’s not to say they have made a splash of their own—the industrial quartet apparently got Memelord James Keenan’s attention, having been asked to open Tool’s 2016 North American tour recently. Also of note, 3TƎETH is signed to Artoffact Records, a Torontonian tastemaking label for dark-tinged bands of all kids for the last two decades. While their name may not precede them, they are certainly impressing the right people.
Part of having an impact means offering the same platforms to established acts as you do to developing ones. Terminus’ organizers know this, and will be showcasing promising young acts from the Western Canada region. Kevin Stebner (Cold Water, Heavy Mountain) will be representing Calgary with 8-bit intensive Greyscreen project, while Edmonton is on display with several Champion City champions on the bill. STRVNGERS, who have a lone track on their Bandcamp page—a spine-tingling version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”—are joining long-running Edmonton/Vancouver act Comaduster. That band will appear as a new three-piece incarnation, with commander-in-chief Réal Cardinal (who has scored massive games like Gears of War and Mass Effect) joined by fellow BioWare sound designers David Murphy and Arron Connelly.
In addition to three nights of goth, industrial and dark electronic tuneage at Dickens, Terminus is also offering out-of-towners (or inclined locals) a special day trip out to Banff (additional charges apply). Just picture it: goths from around the world, enjoying the sunshine of the Rockies. If we had just one thing to say about this festival, it’s that there’s truly nothing like it.
Terminus: Impact takes place at Dickens Pub (Calgary) this July 28-30.Dickens Pub, Impact, Terminus, Terminus: Impact