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Death in June

Alias:
Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom
Description: A controversial English group, which has been exploring a number of musical styles, ranging from new wave and neofolk to ritual/experimental forms of industrial music. It was started in 1980 by the former members of punk rock outfit CRISIS: Douglas PEARCE (b. 1956), Tony WAKEFORD (b. 1959) and Patrick LEAGAS (b. 1961). Its early works were associated with post-punk groups clearly inspired by JOY DIVISION, but what made DEATH IN JUNE stand out was its unusual image involving fascist and military sym- bols and imagery, and attempts at enriching its music with experimental electronica and collage samples. Following WAKEFORD’s departure in 1984 (who immediately started his own group, ABOVE THE RUINS, later renamed SOL INVICTUS), and LEAGAS’s (who launched his own SIXTH COMM project in 1985), PEARCE chose to work on a one-man project basis and subse- quently established close collaboration with the artists of post-industrial and apocalyptic folk renown (CURRENT 93, NON, COIL, Rose McDOWELL). From this point on, his music became increasingly dark, embracing more sombre electronic sequences and formally uncomplicated songs in the vein of neofolk ballads. Another pivotal moment in his career came with his establishing a cooperation with ALBIN JULIUS (aka DER BLUTHARSCH). The new pieces were of a more electronic and march-like nature, en- hanced with majestic synthesizer parts and numerous samples of combat sounds, war songs, etc. Both the band’s name, alluding to historic events of the 1930s and the emergence of Nazism, and the imagery (chiefly the symbol of totenkopf), were a conscious provocative act and a manifesta- tion of an uncompromising artistic approach. The nods to fascism were meant to stem from PEARCE’s identification with that political system, whose existence was aimed against democracy a social order that is sub- servient to conservatism and consumerism. His fascination with fascism, hastily interpreted and condemned by the audience, has concerned the ideological foundations initiating the rebirth of a strong, self-aware man. It has manifested through his contempt of and all-out rebellion against the dogmas, religious institutions, political and cultural mechanisms of social indoctrination as well as the moral hypocrisy pervading society. Conse- quently, PEARCE chose to wage a stealth war on the theatre of sensitivity and mental condition of mankind. For that purpose he has employed a broad arsenal of industrial culture media tools primarily SHOCK TACTICS and INFORMATION ACCESS. His oeuvre has proved a source of inspiration for a number of artists blending industrial music with military, war and neopagan imagery and themes, e.g. DER BLUTHARSCH or LES JOYAUX DE LA PRINCESSE. Discography: Heaven Street (New European Recordings 1981) 12” EP State Laughter / Holy Water (New European Recordings 1982) 7” EP The Guilty Have No Pride (New European Recordings 1983) CD Burial (Leprosy Discs 1984) CD She Said Destroy (New European Recordings 1984) 12” EP NADA! (New European Recordings 1985) CD Born Again (New European Recordings 1985) 12” EP Come Before Christ And Murder Love (New European Recordings 1985) 12” EP The World That Summer (New European Recordings 1986) CD Lesson 1: Misanthropy (New European Recordings 1986) LP To Drown A Rose (New European Recordings 1987) 10” EP Brown Book (New European Recordings 1987) CD Oh How We Laughed (Eyas Media 1987) CD 93 Dead Sunwheels (New European Recordings 1989) CD The Corn Years (New European Recordings 1989) CD The Wall Of Sacrifice (New European Recordings 1990) CD split with CURRENT 93 1888 (New European Recordings 1990) 7” EP
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