Death In June - DISCriminate [Nerus - 2011]“DISCriminate” is an excellent, varied & wholly consistent two disc compilation of some of Death In June’s finest work from between 1981 to 1997. This collection original appeared back in 1997, then was re-pressed/ reprinted in 2000, and here it is once more again back in print. And it's easy to see why it’s been reprinted so many times as really this is one of the most balanced and approachable in roads into this cult bands large discography.
Package wise this looks fairly similar to the 2000 edition of this collection- the two discs, each in there own card slip cases, come in a card slip case which features a quite startled picture of Douglas P( DIJ’s core member & song writer since 1985) in his creepy death mask and camouflage get up. Also inside the slip case is a twelve page glossy colour booklet that feature mainly of pictures Douglas P. Really it seems the main difference between this and the 2000 edition is that the cover slip case & the booklets out side cover is in green instead of the brown tinged printing & metallic writing of the 2000 edition, and the booklet been expanded from a four page booklet to an eleven page booklet.
Moving onto the sonic contents of compilation, and the two disc set offers up a total of 33 varied songs taken from various albums and release between 1981 & 1997. The tracks are laid out in a non-chronically order, and for the most part the tracks jump all over the projects time line; but the way the tracks have being sequenced seems to make perfect sense both in listenability & sonic variation stakes. The tracks moves from the projects earliest sound which was a mixture of bass lined post punk, bleak English new wave, militaristic drums, creative electronic, and grim sampled horn textures. Through to their next sonic stage which was a mixture of dark industrial tinged synth pop meets bleak folk. Then finally onto their Neo-folk meets creative singer song writer sound which the project still has today.
The compilation mostly sticks more towards the projects tuneful, accessible yet still creative side which mixes in dark pop edges, stern easy listening, jazz horn edges, and subtle sample/ electronic edges. Nearly all the tracks here run between the two & half to the four and half a piece, and really it’s impossible to pick favourite tracks as the two disc are pretty consistent through-out, and really the set features most of the projects most know & celebrated tracks.
Truly “DISCriminate” is one of the best & most consistent single music project compilations that you’re likely to ever have come across. And it’s a perfect & wholly rewarding introduction to this truly one off & distinctive project…..so if you always wondered about DIJ, but didn’t know where to start- this is the place!.Roger Batty