Histories: Die Form
Formed back in the late 70's, Die Form has been, since its inception, the project of artist and musician Philippe Fichot. Under the title Die Form, he has been releasing albums pretty much every other year. Yet he maintains quality on every single record. There is not a bad Die Form album, you can pick up any one of them and it will be good. However, there are two main divisions in Die Form history, and in Die Form's music. Basically it works out to being Eliane P. or after she joined the project. Before she joined, Die Form was much like early Skinny Puppy, short songs, harsh, minimalistic beats, Fichot's distorted screams, and a industrial/soundscape approach to textures. For example, on Some Experiences With Shock, a combination of two early eps, the first half contains short minimalistic industrial songs. Part two is a soundscape of pain and darkness, with very little vocals, and no drum beats.
After Eliane joined, the project became more about eroticism, and writers like the Marquis de Sade, or George Battaile became major referencing points to the music. Also, Fichot's own skill at photography grew into an amazing thing, where the photos and artwork in the booklets of the cds always captures perfectly the feeling of the music. Most of it is erotic, and every booklet has some nudity. However, if you are attracted to the music itself, you probably aren't the kind of person to care about nudity. The music with Eliane became much more intense, and more gothic, and yet also more dance-floor friendly (if we're talking about very Industrial or Gothic dance-floors). However, the music on Die Form's cd is always very special, and there is great attention to the art of everything, from the music to the presentation. Everything is quite well done with Die Form.
The music is dark and entrancing. It has a hypnotic, and almost halucinagenic affect on most listeners. It can be resplendent with dark violence, or with sensual lightness, or sometimes even a heart-breaking darkness. At times depraved, others beautiful. It is very often beautiful in its depravity. There are few musical projects that sound like this. Skinny Puppy comes to mind, but only vaugely, their music is far too ugly (in a good way) compared to Die Form. This music is most often beautiful, and haunting. It brings to mind France, in all its glories, and dark sexual history. Really this could be the sound track to any number of French erotic novels. As you can tell I am a giant fan of Die Form, and I am in the process of buying every single thing of theirs I can find.
Die Form continues to today, and have just released a new album. I think as long as Philippe Fichot is alive, Die Form shall be as well, and one can only help that this is for a long time. Their release history is quite long and quite extensive, I will only have some of their best, or good places to start in the listing of records. For more information go to www.dieform.net, there you will find their full discography, and many of Fichot's pictures.
Suspiria De Profundis
Histories (both one and two)
As I said, this is a small selection, of about 20 releases over many years. No matter what you pick up, it will be excellent, I promise you.