French electronica act Nova Nova are gearing up for the release of their new single, Low Ends. Released in April, the track is a collaboration with legendary bassist Peter Hook from New Order. That’s right, I said “from New Order”, because no matter what beef Sumner has, or Hook has, New Order without Hooky really isn’t New Order. Believe me, I saw them last summer, they were good, but not New Order. Also, Sumner’s a hypocrite…but whatever. Anyway, this new track from Nova Nova & Peter Hook has a long and strangely fortuitous history, which we are not even going to try to paraphrase, here’s the twisting tale copy and pasted straight from the press release: “In 2002, Malcolm McLaren – the Sex Pistols’ former manager and a great admirer of French culture – had been living in Paris for several years. He was looking for a producer for his new solo album called Diorama, which was to be released by Tommy Boy Records as a follow-up to his 1994 album Paris. Swiss DJ Stephan Grieder – manager of Svek Records in Sweden – brought McLaren to the Relax Beat offices, an indie label managed by French electronic music artist Thierry Criscione. The latter was then working on a “chip” music album, made with vintage 8-bit Nintendo Game Boys. Enthralled by the new lo-tech underground scene and their DIY approach based on détournement, McLaren hired Criscione as the producer of his next record and soon everybody was working at the Relax Beat studios in Ivry-sur-Seine (a southern extension of Paris’ Chinese district). McLaren wrote an article called ‘8-Bit Punk’ in American magazine Wired, in which he enthused about the blooming chip music genre that Relax Beat was actively developing with such releases as the Boy Playground compilation, Koro Osanago’s Mini-Click EP and Slabb’s Instead EP. As the album’s recording took place in Ivry, Malcolm McLaren decided to get in touch with his old friend Tony Wilson, the well-known founder of Factory Records, as he wished to use the lead vocals from Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ in a new track called ‘Love Will’. Once the tapes had been received from Britannia Row Studios in England, Thierry Criscione asked his friend Marc Durif from the French electronica bandNova Nova to finalize the track’s production. The mix went to Stephen Hague, a long-time McLaren’s collaborator and the producer of a few New Order’s classics from the 80’s. Happy with the resulting song, Tony Wilson gave a copy to Peter Hook – the famously inimitable bass player of Joy Division and New Order. When Marc Durif heard that Peter Hook had included the track in his own DJ sets, he sent him an acoustic piano arrangement of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ he had done using the full Ian Curtis acappella, and a relationship developed between Marc and Peter. Marc having composed a new song asked Peter Hook if he would play bass and Peter agreed to play bass on that still un-named track which was to become Low Ends.” Phew!
On to the track itself. If you’re like us you find Hooky’s bass playing pretty intoxicating. The man combines melody and bass groove in one instantly recognisable, and pretty nostalgic if you grew up with it, sound. Imagine that rolling over a shuffling Disco beat and sweet, icy strings. The tracks got a real 70s Disco flavour that seems like it would be a head on collision with the dancey, but pretty post-punk bass, but it doesn’t. Both elements work together to create this blissful sunrise vibe, and when the diamond sharp lead synths and dramatic piano kick in, the track hits just the right emotional notes. Pretty amazing, we’re gonna’ be saving this one for the summer.
♫ Nova Nova & Peter Hook – Low Ends (Edit)
Nova Nova & Peter Hook’s Low Ends is released 9th April with reMixes from Thierry Criscione and Slabb (Relax Beat).
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