Album of the Week: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures

What is it: New Wave 
Who will play it: Herr R | Tellstroem
When are you most likely to hear it: At the end of the night.

Our record of the week comes courtesy of Tellstroem this week. The Swedish DJ, producer and label owner joined us on our hunt for this week’s edition, and when he stumbled upon a sale at, he couldn’t resist the temptation of an offer nor an album that’s made one of the most severe impacts on recorded music ever, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. Tellstroem brands a tattoo in his fore-arm that reads “Love will tear us apart again” and although that single is not on this album, there’s a clear admiration for the band from the tattooed DJ when he says “it’s the only band-tattoo I have”. The band’s influence however isn’t the reserve of one individual, but can be felt coursing through the veins of music history, and transcends their original rock roots today.

The DIY sound of the album, which gestates from guitarist and synth-enthusiast, Bernard Sumner’s love for Russian kit synths and simplistic, thin-as-air guitar hooks laid the foundation for bands like Depeche Mode and Human league, while Peter Hook’s rapid-fire, loopy bass lines can be felt through EBM and Techno the world over. Although the band’s career was tragically cut short by the suicide of their singer Ian Curtis after releasing their second only album, Closer, what was left behind in those two albums, especially Unknown Pleasures would never go quietly into that gentle night, including the band that remained after the death of their singer. Joy Division, became New Order, which then became an essential catalyst for the sound of Acid and House in the UK centred around Tony Wilson’s Hacienda, but that’s a story for another time. Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasure is an essential edition to any record collection, and thanks to affordable re-issues we can now call on it whenever we feel the need to reference the genesis of the music we consume today. There’s never a weak moment on the album and whether you like the unbridled punk of a track like “Disorder”, or something a little more upbeat featuring more electronics like “She’s Lost Control”, there’s something in there for the more complete music fan. It’s just an iconic album, and that cover art, reminds us why the LP is still more effective in drawing your attention to the music than any other format.