Nothing in this world can touch the music that I heard, when I woke up this morning. It put the sun into my life, it cut my heartbeat with a knife. It was like no other morning.
Not sure what tune Bernard is referring to, but for me these words are a splendid encapsulation of my feelings on Technique. Nothing can touch it. Dream Attack closes out a near-perfect album near-perfectly.
Like All The Way, Dream Attack is another of Technique’s guitar songs, but unlike the pure rock tracks on – say – Brotherhood, Get Ready et al, the guitar tracks on Technique are not so set in their way that the electronic elements have been completely disregarded. Technique’s guitar songs embrace it and are better for it; e.g. in Dream Attack’s case using synth as the primary source of bass, the atmospheric strings, piano keys, and the choppy percussive/flute sound used for the closing melody. Crossover songs like Dream Attack, in their dovetailing of both rock and electronic, are where New Order’s stars most often align and we get closest to a true ‘New Order sound‘; bridging the dance fans with the rock fans, the football heads with the clubbers, the melancholy with the ecstatic. In their seemingly unplanned evolution, New Order have passed through many doors (in some cases that they themselves constructed): post-punk, electro, alt-rock, industrial, synth-pop, house, techno, leftfield, etc., but it’s the tracks which intersect these genres that are oftentimes New Order’s best. A quick scan shows that the vast majority of my 4½ and 5-star rated tracks exist at these crossroads. Of course when the band walks along the edge it can be exciting as well, and we fans find ourselves polarised in our opinions. It’s no wonder then that the band enjoys such a diverse fan-base and has credible longevity, and it’s no wonder that their music imbues all of us with such strong feelings. Your comments and ongoing feedback in this blog illustrate this point well – thank you.
The strummed acoustic guitar in Dream Attack works so beautifully with the lead electric guitar, particularly during the verses where it chimes and shimmers, and in the lead-in to the second verse where Hooky’s bass is in the spotlight. The only minor irritations preventing Dream Attack from ticking every box for me are in the choruses, where the song seems to ‘brake suddenly’ and we get a dose of Bernard’s double negatives; although having said that the song soon accelerates again. Indeed after the final chorus we get this little flurry of orchestra strikes (a sound much used across Technique) heralding the glorious instrumental outro; lead guitar balanced with the layered bass elements, merging into that wonderful (and exquisitely programmed – in terms of its simple notes yet unconventional meter and looping) synth melody. The long fade-out (one of the few times this is used on Technique) is very effective; giving an apropos dream-like quality to the track.
How to sum up Technique…
The Oxford Dictionary defines a masterpiece as: “a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship”. In my opinion New Order (as distinct from Joy Division) can count 2 albums in their life’s work to-date as masterpieces: Power Corruption & Lies and Technique, and I’ve come to think of them (to paraphrase Martin Hannett) as two aspects of the same thing: PC&L all dark and brooding, Technique gleaming and ecstatic… yin & yang… winter & summer… both entirely unique yet both inextricably linked in their sublimity.
Outstanding artistry? ✓ … skill? ✓ … workmanship? ✓. I would add substance and exquisite style. So by definition (and to these ears) Technique is a masterpiece, and you can bury me happy as long as the afterlife has a copy. The question is: what format do they play in Heaven / Paradise / Nirvana / Valhalla / Stovokor? Probably DAT.
Available on: Technique