The final studio record by prolific English artistry Joy Division came two months after the initial tragedy with a death in the family of the band. Ian Curtis, the band’s lead singer committed suicide only two months before Closer was released and ushered in a new era to the post-punk world.
The album is less inviting as a welcoming overture and instead fits better to a funeral procession of an everlasting light. The writing, positioning of the instrumentation, and incredible dread of the record is evident as the life has been drained out through these ports of raw, defined marble. “Atrocity Exhibition” is the opening track that acts as a folded-armed stance with these rolling drums as the constructional foundation behind Joy Division. Somehow, this assembly is met with Curtis describing, “This is the way, step inside,” as Bernard Sumner leads this scratchy assault on the guitar. Both Peter Hook on bass and Stephen Morris on percussion play key-roles as the chiseled rhythm section.
The isolation perhaps comes from Curtis’s lyricism that describes this platonic sense of love, “Carefully watched for a reason, painstaking devotion and love. Surrendered to self-preservation, from others who care for themselves. A blindness that touches perfection, but hurts just like anything else.” It is necessarily drenched in these allegories through disciplined writing and rhythmic structure that hits moments of moral desperation and destruction. The message overall is an isolated one and often filled with despair, but Closer is ultimately an accomplished record that can be danced to in an underground, blacked-out sort of way.
Closer as a record feels slick to the touch as tracks like “Colony”, “A Means to an End”, and, “Heart and Soul” can smack from deep range to accomplish these underlying doses of audible morphine. Each track becomes more addictive than the last with hints and traces of harsh bass lines that clash against the smooth and illicit performance from Curtis. As Hook marches along on the bass and works in tandem to Sumner, the production bounces between both the melancholy and the uplifted; the lugubrious and the elevated.
As Joy Division begins this march into the final moments of their second and terminal record for the group, a new order was on the horizon. Forming to fit no standards but their own, Closer nestles to the listener as a cruel, but vivid reminder of the genius that comes from the desolation within one’s self and just how well it tattoos the pages of history.
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Shot & Edited By: Sirasounds
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Madvillain was the first record to ever be reviewed on Matt’s Music Mine, the importance of the record in a personal sense strikes grand overtures. It is not only sentimental but instrumentally challenging as a fluctuating marvel that obtains strikes of translucence into the views of two mad villains. Pretty much, the record is a solid 10/10 that translates the love for jazz and sampling into the end of a golden-era for sound.
With Abstract Orchestra’s rendition of Madvillain Vol. 1, the band is lead by saxophone destroyer Rob Mitchell who provides a strong spine to the otherworldly backdrops. The vivid colors, the whirls and twirls, and the arrangement of each piece were generously laid by Madlib. The rework and revamp of his passion comes through the flutes, keys, bells, and whistles that attach to some of the more faithful renditions of one of the most important records to hip-hop.
Countless have tried, but few can capture the essence of what makes Madvillain such a substantial record. Not only was it the rhyme schemes from MF DOOM, but the instrumentals that ride along the vocal waves to captivate and shock audiences with this Frankenstein monster of devilish pleasure. Stitching of nine-total tracks, Madvillain Vol. 1 combines the instinct of Madlib’s style but peeking as a new lens. Putting the coat of fine varnish over an old familiar feeling can rebrand and even spark a love for something once forgotten.
The importance of retracing the steps of Madvillain, creating more of a work-through than a work-around, and then finally balancing an act of authenticity on the shoulders of fascination. The real shines are the “Madmix 1” and “Madmix 2” where Abstract Orchestra combines three-to-five different tracks wrapped into between six-to-eight minutes. The instrumentation where every piece can flow together and ultimately create this recreation of the original foundation of perfect tribute.
The real beauty of Abstract Orchestra becomes their originality to each track where they take small, but substantial liberties with each piece to shift something crisp. Even after Madvillain has been spun over on the vinyl through thousands of listens, Madvillain Vol. 1 can still overcome monotony and illustrate new life to the sound. In perfected segments, 39-minutes becomes thorough enough to sculpt a tasteful finale to a near-perfect blueprint.