Cacophonous beast of a track this.
Angel Dust is one of the less accessible tracks on Brotherhood, and I can sense the in-studio debates about its inclusion on the album or use as a B-side; but I’m glad it is there (on the LP) because its the antithesis of Bizarre Love Triangle: a raucous, discordant, and industrial number – riddled with gunshots, distortion, brash piano, thrash guitar, wailing Middle Easternesque vocal samples, and drum machine programming that switches from simplistic (and near-raw) to powerful – with reverbed & phasing tom rolls and rimshots. The synth sounds and sequences are textbook 1986, and seem to take one last look back to the influence of Baker and Robie in their sound and structure. A modern electro remix of Angel Dust would be a cool candidate…
Angel Dust is a really interesting track that shows – contrary to popular opinion – that New Order hadn’t sailed completely into the high seas of commercialism, and were still open to just going for it in the studio. The track’s evil twin, issued only on the gloriously limited edition True Faith CDV* and licensed to (the great American tape label) ROIR and later the Funky Alternatives compilations, opens the door a little wider so we can take in the fuller vocal samples**, a re-mix that isolates the sequences, and some additional motifs and sounds that offer up Evil Dust as a useful alternative take.
The lyrics are typically obtuse, and I’m still trying to figure out if its a tale of vampiric love, and Bernard has gone all gothic on us. Perhaps someone can tell me who is the ‘Master of Bourgeois’, ‘whose life became illusion’? Answers on a virtual postcard please.
* You have to love and admire Factory’s willingness to brave media formats that were destined for obscurity (easy to say in hindsight), including Beta video, CDV (as distinct from VCD) and DAT.
** I’ve sometimes wondered if Factory’s single release by Fadela was of any influence here? It would have been about the same time…
Available on: Brotherhood