By the time they’d made Technique, New Order had transitioned from being a rock band with dance leanings to a dance group with rock remnants—or as bassist Peter Hook put it, they were engaged in an epic power struggle with their sequencers. It wasn’t that the band had cut rock conventions entirely (both “Run” and “Dream Attack” sound more like The Cure than club music), but that their rock songs took on a nostalgic, almost consolatory role, something to keep you grounded between the straight-on acid house and Balearic elements of “Fine Time” and “Round & Round”. (The LP was partly recorded during a four-month stint on the Spanish island of Ibiza; the rest was made at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios near Bath, UK.) Not to say that Technique is uneven; if anything, it proved that the band could distill their core emotional themes—detachment versus yearning, introspection versus physicality, daydreaming about sex versus actually having it—into music with which they could approach the dance floor not as outsiders, but rather as people who might have belonged there all along.

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