Article in "Público" May 7, 1999
"Death in June and Boyd Rice in Paradise Garage, at 22h A concert from the demons
The world will end. But while it doesnt Death in June entrust themselves to turn it upside down, by combining death to the solstice of June. Douglas P.'s group brings to Portugal their rituals and runes from the sepulchre, their skulls, magic songs and Aleister Crowleys schooling. With them comes Boyd Rice, who someone defined as the cross-breeding of Bambi with a Satan official. A concert from the demons. Novices only.
Feeble-minded should abstain from going tomorrow into the Paradise Garage surroundings, in Lisbon. It will take place in this disco-bar a ritual with the participation of Death in June, Boyd Rice and Der Blutharsch. At night. At the hour of the wolf.
Each one of this names has a special meaning for the restrict number, but militantly faithful, of fans. Integrated in a school which assimilated Joy Divisions nihilism, the industrial music violence and, in a last phase, a falsely acoustic folk tone, Death in June close the ranks beside Current 93, Sol Invictus, Sixth Comn and, much more at the ideology level than the aesthetics sonority, of Psychic TV, Organum and Coil. Each one of this groups share the interest on black magic, the occultism of shady colours and sinister sonority which can go from techno electronics to innocent ballads played on acoustic guitars. Aleister Crowley is one of appellant references. Current 93, par example, David Tibets project, former element and present collaborator of Death in June, has a share on the black-magus magic-symbolic numerology which, in the beginning of the century, travelled on purpose till Lisbon to meet Pessoa.
Death in June designation who contains all one philosophy, in associating death to the Solstice of June, the acme of life born in 1980 from the ashes of two groups wounded by Joy Division's tragedy and still drenched with the blood that dripped from punks wound: Crisis and The Runners from 1984. Douglas Pearce, or Douglas P., as he self entitles, and Tony Wakeford soon assumed the ideological leadership of the group, connoted from the outside of their magic circle with the right-wing politics. The systematic utilization as logotype (generally printed in relief on disc covers) of the skull (Totenkopf) used by Nazi SS doesnt help to part with that idea of them. Three years passed, Wakeford desisted from the project and formed Sol Invictus, leaving the coast cleared for Douglas P. adjust the focusing to Death in June.
For Douglas P., Death in June represents a propaganda vehicle of a doctrine that lives of and for ambiguity. Each show is a ritual in that, words, runes manipulation (the secret writing of the North Europe ancient people, in particularly from Iceland, sorcerer ancestral homeland), and the suggestion (indispensable in magical practices), it worth as much as the sound, in the erection of a black church whose Europe branching doesnt stop growing.
From chaos to discipline
The accompanying of Death in Junes musical evolution allow us to realise the worlds movement in a time in that the Apocalypse drops inward the heads of its inhabitants its own fire deluge. In the eighties the industrial music convulsions matches with the terrorism of fear. The planet Earth was a poor animal devoured by the metal mandibles of a triturating gigantic mechanism. The brains agonized. Some diluted in dance music trance and in a psychedelic state with an (apparent) opposite mark of the sixties, correspondent, in the inner spheres, to what they call new primitives and a new wave of paganism. Death in Junes music obeys to this weight billow, in the celebration of a conceptual universe which most fascinates the gothic appreciators, like those who doesnt identify whit chaos and horror theories leading, at punks way out, by Throbbing Gristle, industrial music precursors. Death in June proposed, as an alternative, the order and discipline, being frequent routine the group elements appear in the shows with military uniforms.
The Guilty Have no Pride, Nada! and the double LP The World That Summer are some of the most significant Death in Junes work in that period. Elucidative of the underlying ideology is the title of one of theirs 12: Come Before Christ and Murder Love/ Chega antes de Cristo e Assassina o Amor.
In Brown Book, from 1987, is already visible an inflection in Death in Junes sonority, they progressively disconnect their synths and the other machines from hell to displace their sorcery to a music full of bucolic poetry and a folk imaginary allusion. But now frozen by the demons hand.
David Tibet, from Current 93, republished a few years ago, with a new title, one of the first albums from the British folk diva, Shirley Collins. At one stroke the traditional music got luciferian connotations.
The Wall of Sacrifice broaches the new mask of suavity of Death in June, which Douglas P. fathoms in the later But, What Ends When the Symbols Shatter?. The The Cathedral of Tears, Flowers of Autumn, 93 Dead Sunwheels, Burial and Östenbräun add new chapters to the saga, with the recurrence of themes that passes by successive metamorphosis, live versions or remixes.
Boyd Rice, alter ego from the NON project, is more obvious. An American journalist defined him as a cross-breeding of Bambi with a Satan official. Others called him a Nazi. In his work, available in Portugal in Music, Martinis and Misanthropy album, from 1989, the violence gains shape and acts as a weapon. Infected appendix of the industrial music at the limit of the Jim Thirlwell madness, thus Clint Ruin, thus Scraping Foetus off the wheel, refined in a more artistic moulds the metal revolution, viscera and totalitarianism cultivated by Rice it inscribes in the same global project that Death in June takes part, rightfully appointed as The Demonic Revolution. Boyd Rice, who recently participated as an actor in Pearls before Swine (a parody to James Bonds films), will be in Paradise Garage to exhibit the trailer of this film, porno short films and kitsch advertisements from the sixties.
One night of darkness that completes with the medieval/ ambient sounds of Der Blutharsch, from the Austrian musician Albin Julius, founder of the The Moon Lay Hidden beneath a Cloud and collaborator in the most recent Death in Junes work Take Care and Control.
Coincidence or perversion: one of Death in Junes internet address has the signature of Brian Oblivion, a virtual character of Videodrome, as far as Im concerned and till watching eXistenZ, this film of David Cronenberg is the one which better does the end of the century paranoia and hallucination autopsy.
Death in June are more poetic - they do roses wither."