Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Joy Division (Review of Unknown Pleasures)

Music review: Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures (Full Album) [HD] 

John Rotten snarled out, "no future", and Ian Curtis declared a resounding question. "Where will it end?" Joy division is not joyous to say the least but it is ecstatic none the less. Ecstatic? This might sound like the wrong word for them, usually when one thinks of ecstasy one thinks of enthusiasm, or fun, or something joyous, but while the music of Joy division is none of these things it is ecstatic...It's an ecstatic sadness.

The thing about Ecstasy is it’s a loss of control, but there is no band that is more in control then Joy division, from the never ending sprawling linearity of Stephen Morris's drums to the high flying register of Peter Hook's melodic bass lines, to the stiff church choir chores of Bernard Sumner's desperate guitar voicing’s, to Ian Curtis's lonesome sorrowful heart sick pronouncements, it’s all to in control. But isn't it true, that the mark of a psyche out-of-control is its strong focus on what can be controlled, an obsession with little details. That’s what I've heard any way.

The unknown pleasure is known, according to the logic of the mystic. What is the unknown pleasure? I think it’s the pleasure of remembering future projections of a past disconnected from the present, it's a lost dream, and not a good dream but not really a bad dream either; It’s no man’s land, the unknown pleasure is an anxiety that sets a soul free, free as fire. It's this memory that makes Ian Curtis announcement, "I'm not afraid anymore!" what it is, a pronouncement of lose.

As I ponder the unknown pleasure I realize that it is in us all, at least I think so. It's not as scary as it sounds. Or maybe it is! I hear that Ian Curtis was an epileptic, and maybe this has something to do with the unknown pleasure. I was an epileptic once myself. I discovered my epilepsy before breakfast one morning. My family was staying at an RV camp ground with a small store on the property where us kids would go and buy cheap toy's and candy. One morning I was coming back from the store with a box of cereal in my hands and there it hit me, I lost control. I was standing in the door way of our motorhome blank faced, later my mom told me that she was yelling at me to shut the door, but I just stood there. I was rushed off to the hospital in an ambulance; I remember that they cut my shirt to take my vitals. That’s pretty scary stuff, I couldn't imagine that honestly being called pleasure, but I do get some pleasure recounting the story, maybe that’s the unknown pleasure. Ian Curtis sings "I could live a little better with the myths and the lies..

When the darkness broke in, I just broke down and cried." I feel these words, indeed, the affect of the unknown pleasure radiates out from an experience, and finds new forms in the sounds of albums like this one, I feel it now as in the affect of wright my story. The unknown pleasure is like the joy of listening to this album and even the fun of singing it.

The last word of She's Lost Control is,

"When the change is gone, when the urge is gone,
To lose control. When here we come."

 The will to lose control is the will to be changed by somthing more powerful then you, so maybe that is also the joy of the unknown pleasure. Maybe when this urge is gone something yet even darker is on its way. To will the loss of control is to will life, becuase life does as it pleases. Do we dare to will the freedom of life its self. I think the unknown pleasure is a safety net, but it’s also a catalyst for new possibilities, the point is though that it becomes most apparent when old hopes, or dreams start to fall apart, and is there for also like a warning sign warning us to recollect our self’s before the darkness settles in. No good thing will come with out risk, risk is the lose of control, risk is the true love of life.

The music of Joy Division always makes me want to sing along, but when I sing along to Joy Division I scream the words, I can't seem to help myself. I'm over taken by the unknown pleasure of it. And you know I always thought that Ian Curtis was controlled in his delivery of his words but when you see him on stage he's a total spaz, and somehow when you sing along to these songs you take on a spastic affect and somehow all the control is burnt up in an offering of an unknown pleasure. Yes! There is something of the austere in this music and yet there’s also an ecstatic heart at its core that is trying to get out, I can hear it, and it is powerful and true! God Love's Ian Curtis!

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