photo manipulation & text by nacrowe
NEW ORDER was notorious for their OBLIQUENESS and SECRETIVE nature, especially with regards to their relationship with the press. which can best be described as "complicated." given how such took the death of their friend and former JOY DIVISION bandmate IAN CURTIS and ran with such, their reticence makes perfect sense.
this effective prohibition on press interactions makes the very concept of a documentary about their career a seeming PARADOX in and of itself. how do you create a film that investigates a subject that by definition does everything in its power to reveal nothing. such is what makes the self-produced NEW ORDER STORY (WARNER, 1993) documentary, which came out the same year as the REPUBLIC (LONDON, 1993) LP, such an intriguing artifact.
in terms of construction, the structure utilized revolves around the knowing SUPERFICIAL ARTIFICE of a tacky game show hosted by KEITH ALLEN to bring up topics such as the death of CURTIS, the formation of NEW ORDER, the meaning of their lyrics and artwork and their relationship with MANCHESTER through their HACIENDA nightclub. requisite intercut interviews with their manager ROB GRETON, business partner TONY WILSON and visual artist PETER SAVILLE as well as the likes of BONO (U2), NEIL TENNANT (PET SHOP BOYS), producer QUINCY JONES and writer JON SAVAGE, all of whom attest to their greatness at one point or another and sadly are largely not interesting in the least.
there is a lot of SARCASM and SARDONIC FLAIR, especially with how each individual member is presented in separate interviews, but in the end you are still left wondering who or what is NEW ORDER. which i guess was kind of the point.
if you would like further insight into the band, id point you towards bassist PETER HOOK's two memoirs UNKNOWN PLEASURES: INSIDE JOY DIVISION (IT, 2012) and SUBSTANCE: INSIDE NEW ORDER (DEY STREET, 2017) regarding his time in both iconic bands (reviews linked HERE and HERE).
skip this documentary entirely. it is bollocks!
photo & text by nacrowe
basically everything related to THE SMITHS i was was predisposed and probably indoctrinated to appreciate from my father. he's definitely to blame for my love of all things MORRISSEY and JOHNNY MARR in all their permutations. i can place myself in our beat-up burgundy early 80s HONDA ACCORD shuffling along IMPERIAL HIGHWAY with him listening to tapes of BONA DRAG (HMV, 1990) or STRANGEWAYS HERE WE COME (ROUGH TRADE, 1987) on the stereo as he drove to work in LA HABRA on a typical sunny SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA afternoon.
i distinctly remember when he received the early ELECTRONIC singles "GETTING AWAY WITH IT" and "GET THE MESSAGE" and how i'd stay in his office reading CALVIN AND HOBBES listening to them on repeat. i had no idea who BERNARD SUMNER or NEIL TENNANT was or even NEW ORDER or PET SHOP BOYS for that matter. but this was my introduction to ELECTRONIC MUSIC in general. ELECTRONIC (FACTORY, 1991) by ELECTRONIC was the basis for all other further explorations into SYNTH POP and INDUSTRIAL MUSIC in my teens. basically everything from DEPECHE MODE to KMFDM and THROBBING GRISTLE started with those first few ELECTRONIC singles for me.
i dont believe the single "DISAPPOINTED" was initially on this album, but i think it was released as a single around that time. for me those three singles ("GETTING AWAY WITH IT," "GET THE MESSAGE," and "DISAPPOINTED") are permanently etched in my experience of early childhood.
a few years ago i saw JOHNNY MARR playing a solo set at IRVING PLAZA in NYC with my father and brother and he played "GETTING AWAY WITH IT" which was beyond cool. i know i come across as a fanboy (because i am), but the versatility of his musicianship in various contexts is pretty mind-blowing. it is probably why myself and many others are always interested in what collaborations or musical avenues he is venturing down next.
if you are not familiar with this record, in my opinion it is definitely the ELECTRONIC record to find.
parody by nacrowe
tonight's new episode of DEER GOD RADIO at 6PM on MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC is all about the legendary SYNTHPOP band NEW ORDER who famously emerged from the ashes of POST-PUNK icons JOY DIVISION. this show has been a long time coming and i can't wait.
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST, THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW and CLASSICAL-ISH WITH NUTMEG are available here at the DEER GOD website.
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