On paper, New Order‘s re-emergence on Mute is a marriage made in Heaven. The departure of Depeche Mode left Mute without a flagship act, and New Order’s path into the stratosphere had run on a zig-zig path that was essentially parallel to the Basildon trio’s own. They even used the same record plugger for many years. The link-up allows New Order to maintain an indie base while getting the label’s full attention, which can’t be good for smaller acts like Polly Scattergood but will give Manchester’s best export long-term presence.
Bassist Peter Hook has left to pursue a Joy Division/New Order tribute project of his own, but that works out well for fans: New Order (Official) don’t play much from the back catalogue, so Hook’s New Order (Provisional) – also called Peter Hook & The Light – fills an enormous gap. Although some fans can’t accept a New Order without him, the reality is that it is Bernard Sumner’s voice and songwriting that is at the core of the band now.
“Restless,” the first single from Music Complete (Mute), arguably comes across better in this Agoria remix than in the original version: Sumner’s voice is even more fragile and languid with the synthetic bass and orchestration behind him. This is promising, indeed.