Joy Division remain one of my favourite bands of all time. They helped invent alternative rock, and were among the first groups to fuse electronic and rock music. Singer Ian Curtis tragically topped himself in 1980, just as they had their first international hit with Love Will Tear Us Apart. But the band regrouped as New Order, with a more electro sound, and went on to worldwide fame and fortune. Some – including me – say they never again matched their early work. It looks like drummer Stephen Morris is using drum triggers in this BBC performance of She’s Lost Control from 1979. I remember seeing those for the first time around 2002 and thinking they were terribly modern. Not so much, I guess.
But! Just for an experiment! Try watch the Spoek Mathambo video on mute while you play the Joy Division video with the sound on. Fkn rocks, I’m not gonna lie!
Spoek Mathambo is a bleeding-edge artist out of South Africa, but based in New York. His musical style fuses electro, dubstep, hip-hop, kwaito and rock. His videos are even more compelling. This one, for what he calls his “darkwave township house” version of the Joy Division classic was directed by Pieter Hugo and Michael Cleary. It’s off his Mshini Wam album, and was shot in Langa, Cape Town with a cast from the local Happy Feet dance troupe. Check out the amazing stuff Pieter Hugo’s doing at www.pieterhugo.com.