The equation of nostalgia
The live album ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes.. shows a band that ages elegantly. Only this time, with a synth-orchestra, accentuating the multi-layered composition of each track. Though it’s 2019, New Order’s brand of “Retro ‘80s” is even more relevant today.
On the 12th of July 2019, New Order released a live album of their 2017 performance at the Manchester International Festival (MIF). The 18-track album title ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes.. is filled with audio and visual stimulation. Gillick’s conceptual artwork in Istanbul Biennial entitled Hydronamics Applied (2015) expounds on the universality of numerical symbols and equations. And after careful consideration of Gillick’s influence on the minimalistic album cover, the intriguing title of New Order’s live album actually translates to the summation (∑) of New Order (No), 12-piece keyboard synthesizer orchestra (12k) and Liam Gillick (Lg), at the 2017 MIF.
The venue of their performance, indeed, sums up New Order’s classic and unreleased tracks, as well as the band’s more than 40 years of relationship. Keyboardist and guitarist Gillian Gilbert, guitarists Bernard Sumner, Phil Cunningham, bassist Tom Chapman and drummer Stephen Morris exemplify a careful deliberation in harmonizing synthesizer and strings. The album keeps in tack the radioactive-like signature noise that separated the band from Joy Division’s shadows.
They began their performance with an instrumental version of “Times Change,” a track from their album Republic (1993). Without the vocals, it was a great way to introduce the complexity of synth-orchestra and the role of their audience. Unlike studio recordings, New Order’s live album engages the band’s feverishly avid crowd to the totality of their nostalgic album. The live recording encapsulated fans clapping along 2 minute-length intro of “Sub-Culture,” a track from Low-Life (1985).
The post-punk, new wave band New Order brings their audience back to songs of innocence – a key element of their album Brotherhood (1986). The track “All Day Long” still makes one look back at the remnants of his childhood. Meanwhile, the instrumental version of “Elegia,” a track from their album Low-Life (1985) will forever haunt its listeners.
∑(No,12k,Lg,17Mif) New Order + Liam Gillick: So It Goes.. is New Order’s commitment to further incorporating electronic instrumentation with disco beats. The two major innovative ingredients that are pivotal to the totality New Order’s legacy.