We have already said that we are big fans of tribute albums and, if the record is an homage to one of our favourite bands, like in this case Death In June, there is nothing that can make us happier. Unknown Pleasures, the Franco-Spanish label that is sadly stopping releasing albums, has published Honoris DI6, a kind of present for those who have been buying their material. Only 300 copies have been made, completely for free for those who order something from their really interesting catalogue. It’s also possible to listen to the album here. In the past, the label also released a tribute in two parts to the music of Psychic TV, another our favourite artists.
The album starts with a martial take of “Nothing Changes” by Years of Denial, a bit less post-punk than the original, with a beginning that will make you think of Dead Can Dance and a neofolk sound that the Death In June from 1983 still didn’t know. The same track is covered by European Ghost, an Italian artist that we already mentioned due to his remix of Antipole, who this time makes a very frightening and modern post-punk version. Ono Scream points out the gentlest side of “Little Black Angel” with a Nick Cave’s vibe. Instead, Forgotten Sunrise Feat. Kadri Sammel make the track more solemn and sounds like Spiritual Front making a cover of DIJ. Opium Dream Estate makes “But, What Ends When The Symbols Shatter?” a bit more sombre and Sébastien Faits-Divers and HIV+ make us think that they are going to play a Smashing Pumkins’ song instead of “Accidental Protégé”, reminding us how much “Disarm” sounds like Douglas Pearce’s song. “Holy Water” has been covered by Into Nowhere feat Ralf Jesek applying a very modern sound and making the track less rough. Judith Juillerat whose Oneironautics was reviewed a few months ago, takes “Fall Apart” to her own musical universe and transforms the track into something dreamy and beautiful. In the hands of Selfishadows, “Fields” becomes a powerful darkwave track. Edgar’s Dreams ’s “Break the Black Ice” is peaceful and elegant, while Larme Blance founds the evil side of it. Mauri & Selfishadows manage to make “The Calling MKII” even darker. Italian artist Chris Shape, who is also going to be the last release of the label, makes “Heaven Street” a powerful and dark track that you can also dance to.
My opinion: most of the artists were quite respectful with the original, but honestly, is there other way of approaching these songs? Generally, the covers manage to point out some, maybe not that evident, elements of the original and at the same time, they manage to show the personality of the artist covering the material. And we are also talking about some of the best songs ever written in the 20th century. What more are you asking for?