Electronic Sound – Issue 29 – New Order / Erasure

The latest issue of Electronic Sound includes a major new interview with New Order ahead of their new live album for Mute, NOMC15. The magazine has also landed a major coup by bundling an exclusive clear vinyl 7″ with special copies of the new issue which includes a previously-unreleased remix of New Order’s ‘Academic’.

I contributed a handful of reviews to the latest issue covering the eclectic fields of pop, electronic jazz, electronic grunge and cinematic soundtrack-friendly material in the form of write-ups of new releases by Slackk, Stuff, The Mark Lanegan Band, Kilchhofer / Hainbach and Erasure. I was proud to achieve another career first this month when a quote from my Erasure review made it to the posters promoting their new album World Be Gone across London’s Underground network.

To buy the special New Order edition of issue 29 of Electronic Sound, head here.

(c) 2017 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

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New Order- Beyond The Hits (Clash feature, 2015)

  
I wrote this feature for Clash which seeks to look beyond New Order‘s most celebrated tracks and showcase some of the more interesting moments in the band’s back catalogue.

You can read the piece here.

(c) 2015 Mat Smith / Clash

New Order – Music Complete (Mute Artists album, 2015)

  
New Order release their tenth studio album – their first for Mute Records – on 25 September.

I reviewed the album for This Is Not Retro. You can read my review here.

(c) 2015 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence

S.C.U.M – 568 (Mojo covermount, 2011)

Various Artists 'Power, Corruption & Lies Covered' CD artwork

Power, Corruption & Lies Covered | mojo covermount cd | 2011

This track was recorded by S.C.U.M for a Mojo compilation celebrating the release of New Order‘s Power, Corruption & Lies thirty years before. Thomas Cohen‘s boys joined the likes of Errors, Walls and Zombie Zombie who recorded a track apiece for the compilation which, given the participants and the different music worlds they individually occupy, has a natural unevenness, unlike the sleek production of the New Order original.

‘568’ was never my personal favourite song, either in the New Order back catalogue or on Power, Corruption & Lies. It was, to me, ‘Blue Monday’-lite, with none of the classic moments that the track it was so similar to contained. Mercifully, I’m able to put that to one side with the S.C.U.M version, which dispenses with the shameless (but careless) bounce of the original and moves proceedings into a far darker place than New Order’s version suggested was possible. Cohen’s vocal is detached and sinister (but also strangely authentic compared with Bernard Sumner‘s original), while the serenity of the lengthy build up provides no clue to the musical handbrake-turn that the band are about to pull when grainy distortion and a twisted bass arpeggio swing into view. Their version is more linear, less stop-start, and winds up sounding a lot like ‘New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)’ by Simple Minds.

Sadly this was probably among the last recordings S.C.U.M ever made and it’s yet another reminder of how disappointing it was that they called it quits.

I thought it high time to post this for two reasons: the occasion of Mute announcing the somewhat unexpected signing of New Order to the label that was revealed earlier this week, and also because occasionally I like to depress myself about S.C.U.M’s untimely demise.

(c) 2014 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence