INDIE DANCE: KILLING JOKE / THE ORB

Goth punk veterans reform and get a 1996 makeover from ambient stars The Orb.

Heavy and slow, Killing Joke (at least early in their career) was a quasi-punk/metal band dancing to a tune of doom and gloom. They eventually became less heavy and more arty (the latter seems almost impossible) — more danceable even.

The origins of Killing Joke lie in the Matt Stagger Band. Paul Ferguson was drumming for the group when he met Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards) in the late ’70s. Coleman joined the Matt Stagger Band briefly, but soon he and Ferguson split to form Killing Joke in late 1978. The duo recruited bassist Youth (born Martin Glover Youth), who had previously played with the punk group the Rage, and guitarist Geordie (born Kevin Walker) to complete the band’s lineup. Killing Joke moved to Notting Hill Gate and recorded their debut EP, Almost Red. BBC dj John Peel was impressed by the EP and offered the group a session on his show. By the end of 1979, the group had signed with Island Records, who allowed them to set up their own label, Malicious Damage.

After recording and releasing the group’s third album, 1982’s Revelations, Jaz Coleman — who had developed an obsession with the occult — decided that the apocalypse was near, so he left the group and ran away to Iceland with Geordie. While in Iceland, Coleman and Geordie worked with a number of Icelandic bands, most notably Theyr, which would later evolve into the Sugarcubes. Youth followed Coleman to Iceland shortly after his departure. Killing Joke’s new lineup — featuring Coleman, Geordie, Ferguson, and Raven — worked in Iceland for a brief period. Soon, the group returned to England and recorded Fire Dances, which was released in 1983.

For the rest of the ’80s, Killing Joke continued to release albums, all of which failed to regain the audience they had in the early ’80s. After 1988’s Outside the Gate, the group broke up, only to reunite two years later featuring a new drummer, Martin Atkins, and the band returning to the noisy dance experiments of their earlier records. Following its release, the group took a four-year break. In 1994, Killing Joke re-formed as a trio with Coleman, Geordie, and Youth and the group released Pandemonium, a harder-edged, heavier album than their previous records. Democracy (1996), a second self-titled album (2003), and the live celebration XXV Gathering! followed.

The Orb mix is ambient heavy metal and has an epic 17 min length.

Killing Joke – Democracy (The Russian Tundra Mix) by Le Petite Orb

Killing Joke – Democracy (Hallucinogen Mix)

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~ by acidted on August 23, 2009.

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