Release Date: Feb 17, 2017
Record label: Factory Benelux
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Club/Dance, Alternative Dance, Post-Punk, Post-Disco
Back when New Order were still anonymous, "Be Music" was the alter ego behind which they hid when they took on producing jobs for other acts on Factory and its associated labels. Peter Hook was the first to activate the tag, late in 1981, when he manned controls for "Death Is Slowly Coming", the bleak B-side of Stockholm Monsters' debut single. But it was after New Order split from Joy Division producer Martin Hannett, and split their own atom by becoming self-producers with the eternal "Temptation" in 1982, that Be Music productions really bloomed.
For the four members of New Order, production and remix work had two benefits. First it allowed them to experiment with sounds and ideas on someone else's time, stumbling upon innovations and folding them back into their own arsenal of tricks to be used later. Secondly, and probably most vitally for the band, it was something they could actually get paid for, since most of the cash they earned from sales or on the road, vanished into the money pit of the Hacienda, or was used to keep their label, Factory, afloat.
While the impact of New Order on both the alternative scene and dance floors alike is rarely overlooked, it's always worth taking a step back and really grasping the abnormality of their success. Rising from the ashes of the archetypical post-punk band, these pasty Mancunians got to grips with some the most cutting edge gear of the day, added their genuine love of soul and the emerging hip-hop scene, before smashing it straight back stateside -- all via an indie label. Bizarre.