DEATH IN VEGAS
THE CONTINO SESSIONS
ALBUM CONCRETE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 8, 1999
In 1997 Richard Fearless, DJ and graphic graduate, released the
occasionally great debut album "Dead Elvis" under the name Death in Vegas.
Since then sound engineer Tim Holmes has become a permanent resident and a
full-time member. This has undoubtedly had a profound effect on the musical
direction. Polished beats from "Dead Elvis" have been replaced with a
rougher and more hypnotic sound. On "The Contino Sessions" the dance floor
has turned into something of a twisted chill-out zone for a generation of
Labelling the music as post-rock, neokraut or some other compulsive term
you risk missing the point. Of course, acts like Death in Vegas, Trans Am
and Primal Scream owe their deepest gratitude to original krautrockers like
Can and Neu. But you should at the same time not exaggerate the strength of
such connections. This kind of music not only stands very well on its own
but also reflect much of the emptiness of today's post modern culture.
Listening to "The Contino Sessions" you instinctually come to think of
Primal Scream's brilliant two year old album "Vanishing Point". Not only
because of the vocal guest appearance of Bobby Gillespie on the narcotic "Soul
Auctioneer" but also due to the particular mixture of styles. The raw power
of "Death Threat" is something of a kindred spirit to "Kowalski" and the
mild gospel on "Alladin's Story" could actually have been a bonus track on
any Primal Scream-album.
Talking about raw power: the undisputed highlight of the album is to be
found in a collaboration with the godfather of punk, Iggy Pop. The single
"Aisha" is nothing but perfection. The spoken words of mad man Pop are as
confusing as they are brilliant and the structure of the song seems almost
nature-given. Pure magic.
With the exception of the two ending tracks, "The Contino Session" is a
very tight and well disposed unity. Definitely one of the best albums so
far this year and perhaps not timeless but very, very contemporary.