Today's artists is the musical brainchild of English folk musician Douglas Pearce, better known as Douglas P. Death In June was originally formed in Britain in 1981 as a trio, but after the other members left in 1985 to work on other projects, the group became the work of Douglas Pearce and various collaborators. Pearce now lives in Australia. Over Death In June's two decades of existence, numerous shifts in style and presentation have occurred, resulting in an overall shift from initial post-punk and Industrial Records influence to an overall more acoustic and folk music-oriented approach. Pearce has cited Friedrich Nietzsche, the Norse Eddas, Yukio Mishima, Saxon poetry, and Jean Genet as strong influences upon his work. Although sometimes considered controversial, Death In June has become very influential in certain post-industrial musical circles. ..N'Joy
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Pearce formed Death in June in 1981 in England, along with Patrick Leagas and Tony Wakeford. Pearce and Wakeford had been members of the political punk band Crisis, which formed in 1977. Crisis had gained a substantial following in the UK punk subculture. Crisis performed at rallies for The Right to Work, Rock Against Racism, and the Anti-Nazi League.
Death in June soon left the reticent punk scene behind and began to infuse their sound with electronics and martial style drumming, combined with a Joy Division-influenced post-punk sound. Their lyrics maintained much of the poetry and political urgency of the early Crisis recordings. Tracks such as the early single sides "Holy Water" and "State Laughter" demonstrated an ongoing fascination with political systems. Further on, Douglas P. would abandon any overt interest in politics in favor of a more esoteric approach to his work.
The Nada! (1985) LP introduced a temporary dance sound to Death in June accompanied by other tracks with the previously introduced folk elements. Douglas P. would later state this period was brought about by Patrick Leagas, which is further justified by Leagas' other work as Sixth Comm and later by his joining Mother Destruction, where he would further explore themes of Germanic paganism and historically-inspired music.
Patrick Leagas abruptly left the group in April 1985 after a tour of Italy, resulting in many cancelled shows in the UK and Europe due to follow that tour. Leagas, who began calling himself Patrick O-Kill, later formed Sixth Comm. From that point until the present, Death in June has consisted solely of the work of Douglas P. and various collaborators.
In 1991, Douglas P. named and helped form World Serpent Distribution; a British distribution company that specialized in esoteric, experimental and post-industrial music, which would distribute his NER releases until the late 1990s. During this period, Pearce collaborated with many artists who also had material distributed through the company in various ways.
David Tibet formed Current 93 in 1982. After being introduced to Douglas P. by Alan McGee of Creation Records at the Living Room Club, London in 1983, Tibet eventually began working with Death in June. Upon meeting Tibet, Douglas P. began to devote more of his time to a new circle of collaborators, who introduced him to various Thelemic, Satanic and Hermetic disciplines that markedly affected his approach to composing music. Familiar with the Runic alphabet, Douglas P. introduced them to Tibet. Tibet similarly had been long interested in magic and religion and implemented these concepts in his early recordings with Current 93.
Experimental musician Boyd Rice was a friend of the group and had documented one of their earliest performances back in 1982. He was later invited to contribute a spoken word piece to The Wall of Sacrifice LP. From then on, a long series of recording collaborations continued between Boyd Rice and Douglas P. which included the albums Music, Martinis and Misanthropy, In the Shadow of the Sword, Heaven Sent, God & Beast, Wolf Pact, and finally Alarm Agents. Douglas P. also made a small appearance acting alongside Boyd Rice in the film Pearls Before Swine directed by Richard Wolstencroft.
Les Joyaux De La Princesse collaborated with Douglas P. on the Östenbräun double cassette release. Douglas P. sent LJDLP source material, which LJDLP would remix and send back after making any musical or aesthetic changes Douglas P. would later appear live with Les Joyaux De La Princesse for a joint show in 2001.
Douglas P. having recently moved to Australia, came back into contact with John Murphy of Knifeladder and previously of SPK. Murphy began playing live percussion with Death in June during tours from 1996 onwards. From 2000 a period of very stripped down, largely acoustic live performances for Death in June began up until Douglas P. announced no further live shows in 2005. In September 2011 a European tour was announced commemorating the 30th anniversary of the group's foundation in 1981. However the tour started off in Sydney, Australia without the actual inclusion of John Murphy.
After queuing to meet his idol Douglas P. backstage at a performance in Munich in December 1996, Albin Julius Martinek of Der Blutharsch later collaborated and toured throughout Europe between 1998-2000 with Death in June. Together, they produced the albums Take Care & Control and Operation Hummingbird, as well as the live album Heilige!. In comparison to previous Death In June works these were remarkably extroverted yet plagiaristic, courtesy of Martinek's contributions, sampling musical motifs from the likes of Richard Wagner, Franz Schubert, French 1960s pop icon Serge Gainsbourg amongst others. This resulted in a bombastic, neoclassical, post-industrial and extremely martial sound with few traces of the previous folk elements. The music created during this period could be classified as a part of the martial music genre which Pearce had initiated in 1986 on "The World That Summer" album with tracks like 'Death Of A Man' and again in 1989 on "The Wall Of Sacrifice" album with the title track and 'Death Is A Drummer'. Pearce wrote a song loosely inspired by an untitled Der Blutharsch song for the Fire Danger Season Der Blutharsch tribute compilation. The track title was later created/revealed as "Many Enemies Bring Much Honour", which also appears on the rework and rarities album entitled 'Abandon Tracks!'
The late 1990s marked the beginning of a court case between Death in June and World Serpent Distribution regarding payment and distribution issues with several other artists that were then on the label. This led to many artists that had sided with or had a similar experience to Pearce's leaving the distribution company and largely moving to Tesco Distribution Germany, as well as other then well established labels such as Eis & Licht.Eventually, Pearce was issued an out of court settlement for the case, which, according to him, led to the demise of World Serpent Distribution This led to reissues of most of the major albums in the Death in June discography being made freely available, with overhauled, deluxe packaging and a considerably cheaper price.
On the All Pigs Must Die LP, Pearce was assisted by Andreas Ritter of the neofolk group Forseti who played accordion on a few tracks on the first half of the LP. This marked a return to the previous folk sound of Death in June. Death in June have also appeared live with Forseti and Pearce appeared on Forseti's Windzeit LP. After Andreas Ritter suffered a stroke and subsequent loss of memory and ability to play musical instruments, Pearce contributed acoustic versions of Death in June songs to a tribute album to Ritter entitled Forseti Lebt released in August 2006.
After completing the Alarm Agents LP, Pearce announced it would be his final collaboration with Rice, citing
In April 2009, users of the Death in June Yahoo Group pointed the YouTube videos from pianist Miro Snejdr doing covers of classic Death in June titles. Consequently, the piano-based album Peaceful Snow was released in November 2010, with rearrangements by Miro Snejdr of Douglas P.'s guitar-based demo recordings. Those original recordings were later released on the album The Snow Bunker Tapes in 2013. Since 2012, Miro Snejdr is also performing live with Death in June, either on piano or accordion.
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"The Guilty Have No Pride" stands as an astonishing listen to this day. It contains all the musical ingredients of the best British post-punk era records – thundering, almost tribal style drums; bass upfront in the mix; skeletal guitar relatively low in the mix; plenty of cold industrial sounding noises; and oozing with gloomy atmosphere. And yet all of the above is so hypercharged in this case that the result seems to stand on its own. This album sonically overpowers all its contemporaries. It's Joy Division made five times heavier.
The lyrical content could not get any darker. This group is obsessed with Nazi Germany, and every track offers a bleak and violent picture of the world, with little glimmer of hope. The most famous track "Heaven Street" for example is about a road in a concentration camp, specifically the last road you're scheduled to take. "This road leads to heaven...." "The Guilty Have No Pride" is also a unique record because you can see Death in June working as a "band" at this point, with Douglas Pearce, Tony Wakeford, and Patrick Leagas sharing center stage roughly equally, and all doing an equally fine job. The latter two would exit before long and Death in June would become more of a solo project led by Douglas P." -Tracks 08>10 are taken from the 12" Heaven Street, track 11 is taken from the 7" State Laughter/Holy Water.
Death In June - The Guilty Have No Pride (flac 270mb)
01 Till The Living Flesh Is Burned (4:21)
02 All Alone In Her Nirvana (2:59)
03 State Laughter (5:48)
04 Nothing Changes (2:57)
05 Nation (3:47)
06 Heaven Street Mk II (4:10)
07 The Guilty Have No Pride (2:31)
08 Heaven Street (5:39)
09 In The Night Time (3:32)
10 We Drive East (3:02)
11 Holy Water (3:59)
Death In June - The Guilty Have No Pride (ogg 103mb)
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"Burial" is a half studio, half live album originally released in 1984 on Leprosy Discs. It was the last recording to feature the original Death In June lineup, as Tony Wakeford departed the group shortly thereafter.
This is a re-release of an album that marks the very beginning of what would prove to be an enormous Death in June discography. _Burial_ is actually the second effort of the band, the last featuring Tony Wakeford before his initial departure. By 1984, angry punksters Crisis had miraculously transformed into Death in June -- gone were the leftist ideas and in came black uniforms adorned by the totenkopf. Still, the band didn't really sound like Nazi drummerboys at a Nurnberg rally. _Burial_ is a weird record that bears a notable punk feel, clearly signifying what the band members practiced some years before.
The actual studio tracks are but five, the rest of the album consisting of live recordings. Opener "Death of the West" still serves as one of the neofolk evergreens: a simple but emotional anti-capitalist anthem composed in classic Death in June fashion, concentrating on strumming acoustic guitar and vocals exclusively. "Fields", "Nirvana" and "Black Radio" all possess a definite '80s sound, meaning they're unmistakably post-punk and have strong new wave leanings. "Sons of Europe" delivers more pathos: martial drumming, trumpets blowing and atonal singing -- it is probably the strangest track of the album.
The live section, recordedlive at the Clarendon Hotel, London, October 6th, 1983, is predictably psychedelic and somewhat chaotic. Even more than the studio material, the live recordings deliver a mix of proto-industrial, psychedelic rock and punk-influenced wave sound that is impenetrably esoteric and avant-garde.
Death In June - Burial (flac 221mb)
01 Death Of The West 2:10
02 Fields 2:45
03 Nirvana 2:46
04 Sons Of Europe 2:48
05 Black Radio 6:55
06 Till The Living Flesh Is Burned 7:21
07 All Alone In Her Nirvana 3:51
08 Fields 3:33
09 We Drive East 3:40
10 Heaven Street 6:42
Death In June - Burial (ogg 84mb)
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Nada! was the breakthrough record where Death in June abandoned the mix of industrial noise, punk, and Joy Division-styled mayhem to embark on a new style of apocalyptical folk, and though Current 93, Death in June spin-off bands like Sixth Comm and Sol Invictus, and countless other groups on World Serpent followed that path, Death in June was one of the pioneers. Acoustic guitars feature heavily on "The Honour of Silence," the short "Leper Lord," "(Behind the Rose) Fields of Rape," and "She Said Destroy," most of them co-written with David Tibet of Current 93. In fact "Fields of Rape" has some of the same lyrics as the piece of the same name on Current 93's nightmarish Dogs Blood Rising, but instead of mixing nursery rhyme and distorted screams with industrial noises, the Death in June version turns the piece into a rather catchy folk song, though one imbued to the core with gloom and decay. The rest of the album traverses similar territory, despair and torture, death and war, utter bleakness. A few of the tracks revert to the earlier Death in June of mechanical rhythms and strange sound effects, and "Crush My Love" offers strange repeated keyboard textures and droning vocals with some weird effects at the end. Except for the stupid "C'Est un Reve," a piece about Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, Nada! is excellent stuff.
Death In June - Nada! (flac 334mb)
01 The Torture Garden 6:14
02 Last Farewell 5:33
03 The Calling 4:56
04 Doubt To Nothing 4:01
05 The Honour Of Silence 3:20
06 The Calling (Mk II) 5:38
07 Leper Lord 1:15
08 Rain Of Despair 4:24
09 Foretold 5:00
10 Behind The Rose (Fields Of Rape) 2:54
11 She Said Destroy 3:34
12 Carousel 4:49
13 C'est Un Rêve 3:28
14 Crush My Love 4:20
Death In June - Nada! (ogg 144mb)
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This double album finds Death in June covering similar ground to the earlier LP Nada! from a year earlier. Jackboot rhythms, acoustic guitar strums, electronic effects, and Douglas Pearce's low, droning vocals and gloomy choruses conspire to paint a vision slightly more depressing than Joy Division. While "Come Before Christ and Murder Love" could almost be a pop song on heavy downers, other pieces offer more experimentalism. David Tibet adds backup vocals on most of the songs on the first record, his raspy voice offering an interesting contrast to Pearce's smoother lead, and at times Tibet is either whispering or screaming in the background. "Break the Black Ice" with the echoed voices and creepy little piano runs over a bed of acoustic guitar textures is frightening. This piece and several others have horn fanfares, elsewhere gongs and a tinkly music box can be heard. The second disc has three instrumental versions of tracks from the first record on one side, while the flip side is taken up by "Death of a Man," a long collage piece with mechanical rhythms, found-sound voices in many different languages, what sounds like monkeys shrieking, and other effects. The record may not be quite as strong as the earlier Nada!, especially with the filler on the second LP, but still finds Death in June moving forward.
Death In June - The World That Summer (flac 423mb)
01 Blood Of Winter (4:09)
02 Hidden Among The Leaves (4:29)
03 Torture By Roses (3:33)
04 Come Before Christ And Murder Love (4:24)
05 Love Murder (5:09)
06 Rule Again (4:01)
07 Break The Black Ice (4:06)
08 Rocking Horse Night (3:31)
09 Blood Victory (4:17)
10 Death Of A Man (15:28)
11 Reprise 1 (Rule Again) (3:21)
12 Reprise 2 (Break the Black Ice) (4:05)
13 Reprise 3 (Blood Victory) (5:21)
Death In June - The World That Summer (ogg 167mb)
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