Release Date: 11.05.02
Record label: dmc
Where Songs Come From
by: bill aicher
In the early 80's post-punk movement, Joy Division reigned supreme. However, it was out of their ashes that New Order was born, giving birth to some of the most utterly cool new wave dance and rock tracks ever to grace the airwaves. Over their 20-odd years of music making, New Order have become synonymous with the evolution of modern dance music, and have become somewhat of a fairy-godfather to the electronic music scene.
Still, although their more popular songs were heavy on the dance and light on the rock, a comprehensive listen to what New Order's done with their time shows just how varied they really are. And even more so, it begs the question of "just where in the hell did they get their influences?" The latest edition in DMC's Back to Mine series does a bit of work to answer this question.
For those unfamiliar with the Back to Mine series, it's a collection of albums featuring music chosen and mixed by some of the larger names in the field of electronic music. Originally started as DJ-Mix compiliations of blissful chill-out, it has over the years become more of a soapbox for artists to spout out where their influences came from and to almost fight to see who can come up with the "coolest" compiliations.
New Order's entry finally pushes the series completely out of the downbeat mix-album genre, and into the "these are our influences and who we think are cool" mix-album genre. Surprisingly, unlike Orbital's confused Back to Mine release, New Order's shines as a revival of a somewhat failing series.
Sure, the album doesn't mix and flow like Groove Armada or Faithless's entries, but what it does do is cover some of the extremities of modern and classic music and truly explore how they can all come together to still be part of the same general idea. Frankly, anyone who can go from Captain Beefheart to Missy Elliot in three steps knows music. And the inclusion of Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs" and modern rock's new classic "M62 Song" from The Doves is the biggest jump in rock history, albeit one of the most relevant.
The inclusion of Mantronix's "Bassline" and the sublime dance-ecstasy of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" (the Patrick Crowley Mix) and others help cover the dance realm, making this also the most danceable of the Back to Mine releases.
Yet it's songs like Cat Stevens' "Was Dog a Doughnut" and the sublime eccentricity of Roxy Music's "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" that really show where New Order really came from.
No, it's not a chill-out disc. But it's also not all that fast-paced or rocking. It's definitely the strangest of the Back to Mine discs, but it's also one of the best. And hopefully it will breathe a bit of new life into a dying concept. 28-Oct-2002 4:27 PM