Death in Vegas are a psychedelic rock and electronic rock
band from the United Kingdom, comprising two permanent members: Richard
Fearless (Richard Maguire) and Tim Holmes. Influenced by a wide range of
musical genres including psychedelic rock, electronica, krautrock, dub and
industrial, the band's sound is constantly changing, moving between live rock
sounds, electronica and minimal techno. The band was formed in 1994 by Fearless
and Steve Hellier and signed to Concrete Records under the name of "Dead Elvis”.
Objections from the Elvis Presley estate forced them to change their name, and
Dead Elvis became the title of their first album instead.
The Contino Sessions
The band’s second album, The Contino Sessions (1999), marked
a slight change in direction with more attention to live instrumentation than
their first and the inclusion of guest vocalists (including Dot Allison, Bobby
Gillespie, Iggy Pop, and Jim Reid). Although predominantly rock-influenced, the
album still retained some electronic elements, in particular the opening track "Dirge”
with its drum machine-based rhythm track. "Dirge”, featuring a vocal chant by
Allison, is perhaps one of the band's most recognisable tracks. "Dirge” was
featured on a Levi’s jeans commercial, as well as the second instalment of the
Blair Witch Project, and was used in the trailer for the 2006 film The Black
Dahlia. The song was also used at the end of the 2009 remake of Last House on
the Left, near the end of the Being Human episode "The Longest Day”, and in the
second episode of season two of Misfits. Along with "Aisha” (with vocals from
Iggy Pop), "Dirge” helped the band gain more recognition, culminating in a
Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2000. The song "Dirge” was subject of a
lawsuit by the band "Five or Six”, as it borrowed extensively from their song "Another
Reason”. The matter was settled with "Five or Six” receiving writing credit for
"Dirge”. "Aisha” was a Top 10 hit in the UK and also featured in the Playstation
2 title "Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec”.
In August 2011, a full scale live tour was announced.
[Credit to Wikipedia for afore information]
The Dark Tower Review:Ultimately
and without any doubt whatsoever, Death In Vegas’ "Aisha” became more than a
mile stone for all those ‘Hardcore Players’ that were lucky enough to pick up a
Game Pad of their Playstation 2’s and drive flat out or skilfully around the
various precocious tracks of "Gran Tarismo 3: A-Spec”. It was the introduction
of something beyond the full on buzz of driving custom vehicles around courses
for the fastest lap, or just for the hell of it that had flocked thousands to
choose "Aisha” as their very own personal "Achievement Tune”.
The beginning sound of the guitar riffs, the kick-in bass,
before the drum beats introduce the vocals that elevate the whole sound into a
warble-effective trance-like road of sound. As slowly the individual samples
are dropped into the main track, the voice carries the listener into a sense of
satisfying chaos – a chaos that could only be achieved by two of the Master’s
in music: Fearless and Steve Hellier –
where the track emerges from the game format into the real world of people’s
personal stereos and sound systems.
With first impressions, it was believed by many, including
all of us that "The Voice” was that of Star Trek Commander Spock aka Leonard
Nimoy. Of course this little thought was debunked when it was announced the
voice was that of Mr Iggy Pop himself…
Predictably "my” Death In Vegas favourite track is ‘Aisha’, which is a perfect
collaboration with Iggy because it’s such a musical departure for him...
How did you talk him into working with you bearing in mind
that it wasn't the style of music he was doing at the time?
Tim: Actually we
wrote him a letter!
We didn't do it through record companies, in fact we didn’t
actually tell them until it was definite that Iggy wanted to do it.
If you tell your label about something like that they would
want the press and photographers there and that’s the opposite of what Iggy Pop
At the time he said: "I really like the way you approached
me, as a fan rather than being some sort of media machine.”
We took tapes out to New York, where Iggy lived at the time,
and recorded it. God! That was already ten years ago!!
That was the first track we did for ‘The Contino Sessions’.
[Information from FlowMotion]
…So our indulgence
became fond of the "Death In Vegas” sound, especially as many of our associates
found a strangeness in us liking "Metal” as well as "Psychedelic Rock”, but
this was soon to be widespread before eventually Nationwide with the changing
force of "Musical Culture” from "Acid House” to "Techno” to "Rave”. Some DJ’s
even put their very own spin on "Aisha” by remixing and integrating the track alongside
various unhinged instrumentals so that the upcoming "Algorhythm Styles” were
accepted within the wide audience of "24 Hour Party People”. At last, from a
simple track known for driving influential skills around race tracks, the huge
tune known as "Aisha” had developed into much more, and then some.
The Dark Tower loves this track, as much today as we did
when it first graced our young ears back in the 1990’s. Our "Top 1000 List”
certainly holds a place for the phenomenally popular "Death In Vegas”, and more
so for both "Aisha” and "Dirge”.
The Dark Tower Rating:
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sending us you’re "Review” of this great track.