Death In Vegas - Milk It
Milk It is Death In Vegas' "best of", the cynical title (along with the breast-feeding corpse on the sleeve) testament to the duo's pervesity. Disc 1, the main feature, draws from their first three albums, and, if you're unfamiliar with the work of Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes, pretty much makes this an essential purchase. (Although those who think they're unfamiliar, may well recognise a few of these tracks: from the film Lost In Translation and TV advertisments.)
To recap, 1997's Dead Elvis, DIV's debut album, is a set of mainly "big beat" and dub-influenced tunes. Dirt and Rekkit, similar to The Chemical Brothers' material of the same period, fit the former category, while All That Glitters and the epic Rematerialised, fall into the latter, revealing a lighter side.
However, the sun would be almost entirely eclipsed for 1999's The Contino Sessions, a dark, gothic-tinged masterpiece which also saw a shift towards guest vocalist collaborations (at least until 2004's instrumental Satan's Circus, nothing from which is included here). It's a trick DIV can pull off better than most. Aisha is sleaze-rock at its finest, Iggy Pop getting into the shoes of a serial killer for an astonishing vocal performance. Soul Auctioneer is narcotic trip-hop featuring an equally brilliant turn from Bobby Gillespie. Along with Dirge, these will get under your skin; you may well desire a shower afterwards.
A significantly lighter album, 2002's Scorpio Rising saw less successful alliances. Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher may be bigger names, but the string-laden So You Say You Lost Your Baby (arguably the worst thing here) and that record's mildly psychedelic title track are more run of the mill. So, from their third LP, it's the astonishing Hands Around My Throat, a tribute to autoerotic asphyxiation featuring the dominatrix-styled vocals of Nicole Kuperus, and Girls, opiate bliss reminiscent of Spiritualized, that impress the most.
Disc 2 is a satisfying blend of remixes and rarities. Trevor Jackson turns Aisha into creepy electro, still holding on wisely to Iggy's vocal. Polyphonic Spree lay Liam on a choir and harp blanket for their re-imagining of Scorpio Rising. Slam make Dirge underground dance, while the Cossack Mix sounds like it should be accompanying film noir. Dave Clarke's frantic, cut up take on Rocco almost excuses the omission of the original.
As some singles have been ditched at the expense of album tracks, Milk It may spark debate amongst DIV enthusiasts. Nevertheless, this comes highly recommended for the curious and (due to an interesting disc 2) fans alike. Sell your soul now.