Friday, June 19, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 144 - New Order - Technique

By: March

Album - Technique
Artist - New Order
Key Players - Gillian Gilbert - Synthesizers, programming and guitar, Stephen Morris - Drums, Synthesizers, programming. Peter Hook - Bass, electronic percussion, synth and programming. Bernard Sumner - vocals, guitar, melodica, synth and programming.
Produced By - New Order

Release Date - January 30, 1989

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- I've been sorta wanting to do a New Order record for a while.

Overview -Three surviving members of the UK band Joy Division went on to form New Order in 1980. On this, the bands 5th full length, the band would get their first taste of mainstream success. This was their first record to go to #1 (in the UK and it would peak at 32 on the US Charts). The band would tour extensively for this record and continue to release records until their hiatus in 1993. They'd return to tour and release more music. The band is, and was considered one of the most influential alternative and dance pop bands ever.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Before we get started, this disc got the "deluxe reissue" in 2008 that had many a 12 inch remix on it. What you have here is the break down of the 9 tracks that made up the original release. What sounds like a cymbal roll slowly fades up "Fine Time" before the barrage of keyboards come over. Each keyboardist has a "section" almost like a lead and rhythm. Sumner comes in with a growl before the song kicks in with its back beat, loop, hook..whatever you want to call it. The vocals get delayed and bounce between speakers before some heavier guitar comes over it. Hooks' punchy bass gets into the fold about 1:30 in, its a tone that is just to die for. About 2:40 in a sort of "robot voice" chants and the trademark Sumner/Hook stringed instruments have a sort interlude before we return to the programs/loops. Hook returns for a compressed bass run as the song begins to fade out, with some sheep "baahs" tossed in there for good measure. "All the Way" has more a guitar, drums and bass feel from the beginning. Sumner begins to sing after only a few bars and the song is sung at a pretty quick pace. Hook has some great bass riffs and the song really speeds along at a comfortable pace. The first keyboard interlude is about 1 minute in and it quickly is out of the way for the drum/bass/guitar. Hook gets a work out once again later in the tune, really showing his chops. The shortest track on the disc "Love Less" comes in with hard drums and bass with an acoustic guitar. The melody is held down with the bass and has some guitar riffs tossed in to fill out the tune. One of the singles from the record "Round & Round" quickly comes up with urgent single keyboard note bursts before falling into a more relaxed mode. Its still and up tempo track but Sumners vocals get a delay put on them and each keyboard runs a varied sequence. Hook has some great high notes on the bass smushed under the loopy bounce of the keyboards. The drums get an electric twist on them and phase is used as well. The phase is heavily used in the final few bars. A darker sounding "Guilty Partner" has Sumner singing hushed as Hook works his bass over it all. The guitar has a nice chime to it, and Morris is locked in to a tight groove. As we hit the chorus, the band gets a little louder and more urgent. There is a flamenco influenced guitar solo in the latter part of the song. Another single from the record "Run" has a curious story. It appears the guitar break sounded a lot like the John Denver song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and he sued the band. The case was settled out of court. I had never noticed, so when I listened once more I tired to see if I could sing "said song" and low and behold. you can do it. Otherwise, the song is one of the stronger tracks on the record. The bass and guitar are more of a focus rather than the syths. You also hear some backing vocals for the first time on this track. The final few minutes of this track are just stunning. They nailed this one. "Mr. Disco" sounds like a disco song as you'd assume. The keyboards have some lighter moments but the tone has been set. The deep keyboard beat of "Vanishing Point" will shake the dust off your speakers. The layers of keyboard range from playful to deep and booming. The feed off the electric drums keeps a steady back beat and the song has a breakdown before return to its dance feel. Another strong acoustic guitar led track closes out the record in "Dream Attack". The intro is guitar and the drums with little other filler. After a bit the keyboard bass line comes in. Like many of their songs there is a strong back beat to this, easily gets your toes tapping. A piano interlude is a nice change of pace as well.

Where are they now? The band took a hiatus between 1993 and 1998. In 2001 they out a new record, but in 2007 Peter Hook left the band. Just recently (June of 2009) Bernard Sumner announced that the remaining members of New Order had formed a new band called "Bad Lieutenant" with the bassist from Blur (Alex James), thus ending New Order.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I saw the band two times on tour. The first time was August 18, 1987 at Great Woods (Comcast Center) with Echo and the Bunnymen (A Look at Heaven Up Here) as the headliners. Also on the bill was Gene Loves Jezebel. (A Look at Kiss of Life) The second time was July 10, 1989 where they headlined over Public Image Limited (A Look at the "Generic" album and the Sugarcubes. (A Look at Life is Good). The most memorable moment of this show was someone jumped up on stage and Peter Hook just wailed him with his bass. I am gonna take a beating for this, but they were seriously one of the most boring live bands ever.

FDF Overall Take - This record was sort of a big moment for New Order. They were getting to be more mainstream, and in doing so getting long term fans a little worked up, but in the long run it worked out for all parties. For a studio record this is pretty solid and representative of their overall "feel". Casual fans would probably be just as happy with an anthology, but this is is a decent enough studio record.


Great site here, as well as a myspace page.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Mp3s have been removed, they were:
Fine Time and Run 2

Tracks taken from "Technique" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 1:16 AM, Blogger Ello said...

Read this and ran to my cd case and pulled it out. I love this cd and haven't listened to it in ages!!!


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