Death In Vegas is the invention of Brit multi-instrumentalist Richard Fearless.
Steve Hillier helped him deliver his debut album,
Dead Elvis (Concrete, 1998), a concoction of dub, rock, techno and
ambient which bridged the genres in
a way that few musicians had ever attempted (the American version has more
tracks). While lacking the homicidal fury
of Tackhead, there were similarities.
Fearless' music was no less uncompromising and no less amoebic.
His "technological" roots seemed to be in Detroit techno and Jamaican reggae, both
genres that allow for a lot of free will in administering sound to the masses.
The album is amazingly diverse, the tracks sharing only one rule: no track
should sound like the other, and no track should belong to only one genre.
it begins with the subdued blues chanting of All That Glitters,
underlined by Hendrix-ian guitar, jazzy keyboards, flat drumming,
fat bass and neurotic noises.
The heavily reverbed dub-fest of Opium Shuffle magically evokes
alien electronic hisses and a gentle medieval flute.
The joyful reggae dance of GBH is propelled by
a powerful and catchy gospel keyboard riff and by the singer's mad hiccups.
The follow-up reggae novelty, Twist And Crawl, sounds like a parody of
the rhythm and blues standard Twist And Shout, but the repetition of
the main theme (over a fractured organ line and frantic percussions)
achieves a mantric quality.
The singles themselves that revelead Death In Vegas are completely different.
The epic grooves of Dirt (thanks to a monster guitar riff)
and Rocco (hammering drum'n'bass, wildly psychedelic guitar licks)
seem to come from two different bands.
The instrumental second half of the album is, in turn, a completely different
album, and possibly a better one, while no less eclectic.
The futuristic chirping of Rekkit leads into the western melody
of I Spy (that could have been on a Morricone soundtrack) which is
followed by the ambient/trippy abstract electronic music of Amber
and by the heavily syncopated reggae march of Rematerialised
Basically, half of the album is easy-listening novelties and half of the
album is almost classical music.
(Translation by / Tradotto da Riccardo Previdi)
Death In Vegas e` un'invenzione del polistrumentista britannico
Steve Hillier lo aiuto` a lanciare il suo primo album, Dead
Elvis (Concrete, 1998) un misto di dub, rock, techno e ambient che
collega questi generi verso una strada che pochi musicisti hanno
imboccato. Mentre manca la furia omicida di
Tackhead, ci sono comunque
similitudini. La musica di Fearless, non e` meno intransigente e non
e` meno amebica.
Le sue radici "tecnologiche" sembrano essere nella techno di Detroit e
nel reggae Jamaicano, entrambi i generi lasciano molta liberta` di
volonta` nel controllo delle masse sonore.
While the first album was composed during Fearless' spare time,
The Contino Sessions (Concrete, 1999) are a more ambitious affair,
which developed over nine months of full-time work with his now cohort,
sound engineer Tim Holmes. A few guests of honor lend their precious larynges
to Fearless and Holmes instrumental melanges. Fearless retracts much of
Dead Elvis, an album which was also a revolutionary manifesto, and
digs deep into two novel sources of inspiration, one no less extreme than
the other: late psychedelic bands of the 1960s, such as the Stooges,
and German avantgarde-rock of the 1970s, such as Can. If one could mix
the Stooges and Can with a hip hop beat, the result would sound very much
like Come Down Easy. Hyperkinetic tracks such as
Aladdin's Story and Neptune City lean, instead, towards
the Chemical Brothers' sound.
The spoken narratives of Aisha and Broken Little Sister highlight
a more mature side of Fearless' personality, a knack for rummaging the psyche
in the tradition of Jim Morrison, and make this album a much more personal,
private statement than Dead Elvis' public exhibition.
Following the album, the band has created several art installations around the
world, very much inspired by Andy Warhol's work with the Velvet Underground.
(Translation by / Tradotto da Riccardo Previdi)
Mentre il primo album era stato composto durante il tempo libero, The
Contino Sessions (Concrete, 1999) si presenta con piu` ambizioni,
dopo nove mesi di lavoro "full time" , con una nuova corte e l'ingeniere
del suono Tim Holmes. Alcuni ospiti d'onore prestano le loro preziose
laringi alla miscela strumentale di Fearless e Holmes. Fearless ritratta
un po' di Dead Elvis, un album che era ancora un manifesto
rivoluzionario, e scava profondamente verso nuove sorgenti
d'ispirazione, una non meno estrema dell'altra: la tarda psichedelia
anni '60 di gruppi come Stooges, e il rock d'avanguardia tedesco, come
quello dei Can.
Se si potessero miscelare insieme Stooges e Can con un ritmo hip hop, il
risultato suonerebbe molto vicino a Come Down Easy. Tracce come
Aladdin's Story e Neptune City pendono invece dalla parte dei
La voce narrante di Aisha e Broken Little Sister
da` rilievo a una parte piu` matura della personalita` di Fearless,
una abilita` nel frugare tra la psiche nella tradizione di Jim
Morrison, che rende questo album un po' piu` personale, senza
l'esibizionismo di Dead Elvis.
Seguendo l'album ci si accorge che la band ha creato diverse
installazioni artistiche intorno al mondo, ispirandosi molto al lavoro
svolto da Andy Warhol con i Velvet Underground.
The usual cast of superstars does not salvage
Scorpio Rising (BMG, 2002), too
predictable and stereotyped. A few good ideas
(Hands Around My Throat, Scorpio Rising) get diluted
to the point that only the idea is left.
Satan's Circus (Drone, 2004) was their least inspired album yet.
Ein Fur Die Damen is a mildly interesting track, but it is
followed by filler (the Kraftwerk-ian Zugaga)
that sounds like leftovers from the The Contino Sessions.
They sounded like a different band on Trans-Love Energies (2011),
generally more psychedelic but without a real focus.
Transmission (2016) was surprisingly an album if the style of
Cabaret Voltaire, almost four decades
later, a more electronic and noisy work albeit aiming for the dancefloor
(You Disco I Freak, Sequential Analog Memory).
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)
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