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.
Douglas P. introduced a folk influence to Current 93/David Tibet, who in turn contributed to Death in June's Nada! (1985) LP and its remix version titled 93 Dead Sunwheels (1989), as well as the albums The World That Summer, Brown Book, and The Wall of Sacrifice. He continued his work with Death in June, ending their collaborations with a contribution to the (1995) LP, Rose Clouds of Holocaust before their eventual split.
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.
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.
After completing the Alarm Agents LP, Pearce announced it would be his final collaboration with Rice, citing the decision as having been mutually decided during the recording of Alarm Agents in a studio situated in a valley in Wellington, New Zealand as helicopters flew beneath the two of them. In 2013, in order to dismiss all speculation and questions about future collaborations between Pearce and Rice, Rice announced via Facebook that he had severed personal and business relationships with Pearce.
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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Six tracks of David Tibet (Current 93) fueled Death in June. Three of them take earlier material and rework it with that Tibetan charm, while three are culled (excuse me, I just had to say it) from earlier compilations. This collection keeps much of the overly-dark tone of the earlier Death in June material while making the remixed tracks a bit more accessible to the average pop-rock fan. The highlight here is the remix of "C'Est Un Reve," an earlier track that's rejuvenated here with an infusion of martial drumming and Tibet's usual mischevious-sounding voice nattering away at various times. However, the whole thing is just plain gorgeous.
Tracks 1-2 from From Torture to Conscience compilation LP. Track 3 from She Said Destroy 12". Tracks 4-6 are remixes & re-recordings done circa 1988. At the end of side B there are some samples taken from famous British TV series "The Prisoner"
Misanthropy selection, tracks 7,8,9 from Heaven Street 12" Tracks 10, 11 from State Laughter / Holy Water 7"
Track 12 is a rare version of 'Black Radio' known as 'Some Of Our Best Friends Live In South America' previously issued on the 'New Horizons' cassette-only compilation released in 1983, plus track 13 a recently discovered unissued longer version of 'Sons Of Europe'
Death In June - 93 Dead Sunwheels (flac 364mb)
01 The Torture Garden 6:13
02 Last Farewell 5:35
03 Doubt To Nothing 4:01
04 Behind The Rose (Fields Of Rape) 3:01
05 C'est Un Rêve 3:28
06 She Said Destroy 8:28
07 Heaven Street 5:39
08 We Drive East 3:02
09 In The Night Time 3:32
10 State Laughter 5:48
11 Holy Water 3:59
12 Some Of Our Best Friends Live In South America 7:45
13 Sons Of Europe (Slaughtered) 3:25
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Another slab of Douglas Pearce misanthropy, Brown Book doesn't veer too far from the apocalyptical folk of the earlier Nada! and The World That Summer, acoustic strumming guitars, rhythms that thud slowly like the marching footsteps of an army, and some weird electronics effects thrown in, while Pearce sings in his low voice. Though less absent than on The World That Summer, Current 93's David Tibet provides lead vocals on a couple tracks, the synth-driven "Punishment Initiation" and the calmer "Born Again," with its simple guitar riff, while Rose McDowall backs Pearce on several others, her high childlike voice adding a nice contrast to his deep drones, especially when they duet on the trumpet-fanfare punctuated "To Drown a Rose." Though it's not quite as obvious as the similarly themed "Down in the Willow Garden" from Boyd Rice's Music, Martinis and Misanthropy, one wonders why McDowall would sing either of these songs. There's also plenty of ammunition for Death in June's detractors, songs like "Runes and Men," "Touch Defiles," and especially the title track, which sounds like World War II German soldiers singing with a minimal amount of tape effects underneath. Crying babies, gunshots and screams, spoken word bits, and even the industrial "We Are the Lust," with vocals by Coil's John Balance, who co-wrote the piece, create another grimly disturbing soundtrack that is oddly beautiful in places.
20th anniversary edition : deluxe boxset with original LP artwork and carved soapstone round box, limited to 1000 copies. Each copy has a unique colour, includes 4 round inserts and 4 patches.
Tracks 1-1 to 1-11 : From the original 'Brown Book'
Tracks 2-1 to 2-7 : Remastered tracks from 'Brown Book' Tracks 2-8, 2-9 & 2-11 : From 'Abandon Tracks' 2005.
Tracks 2-10 : From 'The Cathedral Of Tears' CD compilation 1991. Tracks 2-12 & 2-13 : From 'To Drown A Rose' 10" 1987 & 'The Corn Years'' CD compilation 1989. Track 2-14 : From 'Whiphand 6' logo version of 'The Cathedral Of Tears' CD compilation 1998.
Death In June - Brown Book (flac 521mb)
Original LP Version
101 Heilige Tod 1:01
102 Touch Defiles 2:21
103 Hail! The White Grain 4:14
104 Runes And Men 3:01
105 To Drown A Rose 4:26
106 Red Dog - Black Dog 3:05
107 The Fog Of The World 2:31
108 We Are The Lust 4:39
109 Punishment Initiation 3:26
110 Brown Book 4:26
111 Burn Again 2:01
20th Anniversary Edition
201 Heilige Tod 1:01
202 Touch Defiles 2:21
203 Hail! The White Grain 4:14
204 Runes And Men 3:01
205 To Drown A Rose 4:26
206 Red Dog - Black Dog 3:05
207 The Fog Of The World 2:31
208 Europa : The Gates Of Heaven And Hell 5:13
209 Punishment Inititation 3:28
210 Brown Book - Re-Read 3:08
211 Burn Again 2:00
212 Zimmerit 2:41
213 Europa : The Gates Of Heaven 3:52
214 Brown Book 4:51
Death In June - Brown Book (ogg 201mb)
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By the time of 1989's Wall of Sacrifice, Death in June was essentially a one-man project, although Doug Pearce is joined here by several collaborators, familiar and new: Non's Boyd Rice, filmmaker and occult author Nikolas Schreck, Strawberry Switchblade's Rose McDowall and David Tibet of Current 93. Wall of Sacrifice juxtaposes melodic neo-folk with experimental pieces that dispense with conventional song formats. The album is bookended by numbers from the latter category. On the opening title track, Pearce assembles a chaotic 16-minute soundscape, cutting and pasting together doomy repetitive piano notes, triumphant horn flourishes, martial drumming, old German songs and vocal samples. The track's sound-collage approach recalls some of Current 93's explorations on Nature Unveiled (1984) and Dogs Blood Rising (1984), but it's not particularly engaging. The ominous, epic closer, "Death Is a Drummer," is more successful; a hypnotic, droning electronic pulse gives this track a more satisfyingly unified feel as ghostly military music while female vocals fade in and out. The most rewarding material finds Pearce pursuing his apocalyptic folk muse on several sparse acoustic tracks. The brooding "Fall Apart" and "Hullo Angel" are compelling enough, but most memorable is the beautiful and austere "Giddy Giddy Carousel," which evokes Scott Walker's stirring Europhile ballads -- although Pearce's view is considerably darker than Walker's romanticism ("Europa has burned and will burn again"). While most of this material is either expansive and atmospheric or concise and melodic, some numbers combine the two tendencies. The brief dreamscape "Heilige Leben" fuses melancholic synth ambience and spectral voices; "Bring in the Night" achieves a similar effect (notwithstanding Boyd Rice's spoken word nonsense about the divine order of destruction and violence). Although Wall of Sacrifice isn't Death in June's strongest late-'80s album, it usefully maps the different sonic territories Pearce was exploring during that period.
Death In June - The Wall of Sacrifice (flac 222mb)
01 The Wall Of Sacrifice 16:01
02 Giddy Giddy Carousel 2:23
03 Heilige Leben 2:27
04 Fall Apart 2:29
05 Bring In The Night 4:20
06 In Sacrilege 4:00
07 Hullo Angel 1:36
08 Death Is A Drummer 9:18
Death In June - The Wall of Sacrifice (ogg 94mb)
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"Ostenbraun" had previously been released on tape only with a nice boxset presentation. "Ostenbraun" with DIJ was in origin a double-tape work, with interview to Douglas. This is not strictly a Death In June album. Basically, it's Death In June material that has been remixed by Les Joyaux De La Princesse. If you take the keyboard parts from some of DIJ's mid-80's works ('Brown Book' or 'The World That Summer'), bring them to the fore and add some DIJ friendly samples (sound effects/spoken word etc) then you'd get the idea of what is on offer here. It's pretty special and rather atmoospheric - perfect for if you need something to just wash over you. However, musically it's not as important as say, 'Brown Book' or 'Wall Of Sacrifce', or others in Death In June's back catalogue. 'Ostenbraun' is very hard to find now, seeing as it has been deleted for quite some time.
Death In June & Les Joyaux De La Princesse - Ostenbraun (flac 203mb)
01 Les Cavaliers Du Crépuscule 8:57
02 Heilige... 4:09
03 The Congress 3:05
04 SD XXI 1:22
05 Östenbräun (Collaboration I) 0:36
06 Nichts 3:38
07 Blood By Despair (Collaboration II) 10:52
08 Östenmarsch 3:41
09 A Röse For SD (After She's Dead) 3:24
10 Blood By Despair (Reprise) 2:11
11 Triumph Of The Will 0:13
Death In June & Les Joyaux De La Princesse - Ostenbraun (ogg 87mb)
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