Your Silent Face < Ultraviolence > Ecstasy

Clattering, hypnotic Ultraviolence; yet another pearl in the eight masterworks collected on Power Corruption & Lies. Cut from the same cloth as Blue Monday, 5-8-6 and The Village in its synthbass-driven sequencer lines and electronic percussion, Ultraviolence is almost industrial in its form and function.

New Order understood syncopation like few others; at a time when quantizing, Midi and computer control were still ’round the corner. Apart from the bassline and key drum elements, all of the groove would have been laid down live – particularly the various guitar rhythms which, for most producers these days, would just as likely be sampled loops. I just love the multiple layers of phasing chugging guitar work arcing across the stereo; so Chic-like, which as we know is de rigueur for Sumner & co. The song is underscored by mechanical sequencer chatter and the mixing in & out of synthetic percussion sounding like factory steam-engines at full tilt. Did I say this sounded industrial? Ultraviolence: dark disco for a deserted northern mill perhaps…

Bemusic’s head of hypnosis Bernard Sumner draws you further into the swirling rhythms of this song with his sensory lyrics of dark eyes, cold hands and burning skin, delivered variously with outcry and gentle dream-like tones. Indeed everybody makes mistakes, even Bernard apparently, but not on Ultraviolence. Its terrific.

Rating: xxxxi

Available on: Power Corruption & Lies

2 thoughts on “Ultraviolence

  1. 6.5 out of 10.

    Before I worked backwards to appreciating Joy Division, I would often skip this track. It’s a spiky vestige of their earlier incarnation (have you noticed Hooky often says “incantation” in interviews? Freudian Slip?) that requires a little more investment from the listener.

    Nearly tipped to a 7 but live versions were usually more compelling than this recording.


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