What does one say about New Order that hasn’t already been said? Everyone knows their story, dating back to Joy Division (maybe even Warsaw, if you know your music stuffs), and lucky enough for all of us, the band is still alive and kickin’, relatively speaking. So, yes, New Order’s music is awesome, fun, and was overwhelmingly innovative for over a decade. So what makes Technique special, besides being their sixth and last album of the decade and the album right before Republic, when the band went on hiatus? In sum, the album is focused, tight, and specific in its music style, making it an intelligent and well-constructed way to top off ten years of success.
Featuring the singles “Fine Time,” “Round & Round” and “Run,” Technique serves as a fine example of New Order’s ability to incorporate diverse styles of music in order to evolve their own. The album was partially recorded on Ibiza, which is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, which explains the influence of Balearic Beat – i.e., synthesized string instrumentation, mandolins and delicate vocals mixed with typical trance. Acid house is the other participating genre on this album, a style of electronic house music frequently enjoyed with lots of flashy colored lights and mind-altering substances (i.e., music designed for warehouse raves populated with people zonked out on LSD), making Technique lively and unfailing after a three-year break. In addition to the Balearic acid house influx, however, is the traditional techno-rock New Order that we know and love. The group blends the two sounds together rather effortlessly, making New Order’s overall influence all the more respectable – they are experimental enough to keep themselves fresh and innovative, but stay true to their roots as a band, dating back to the beginning.
Additionally, Technique deserves praise for being slightly more accessible than previous albums. The lyrical content of the songs is honest and emotional, supposedly motivated by singer Bernard Sumner’s divorce. While this is a sad notion, it also makes this album relatable and more than just superfluous dance music, and fans could get to know New Order on a more personal level than with their previous efforts. Traditionally, New Order often shied away from interviews (to avoid having to talk about Ian Curtis’ suicide) and kept themselves at a low-key level (at least by rock star standards). This element, along with the group’s ability to bring us imaginative and unique albums like Technique, tells me that New Order’s priority was to continuously make good music and not simply sell themselves as icons. The humble and affable nature of New Order comes through in their final album of the 1980s, a decade which saw the group not just as the surviving members of Joy Division, but as a legendary band all on its own.
Similar albums/albums influenced:
Phuture – Acid Trax
New Order – Republic
808 State – Ex:el