Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Recycle 06: Confusion


[Link removed 20 November 2012] (73 MB)

Factory Records FAC 93
Produced by Arthur Baker and New Order
August 1983

1. Confusion
2. Confused Beats
3. Confusion Instrumental
4. Confusion Rough Mix
5. Confusion (UK Promo Edit)

1 - 4 sourced from Factory NL 45 RPM 12" single FAC 93
5 edited from 1, 2, and 3

Notes from the restorer:

This 12" is cut quite bright and with very little bass, presumably because at ~14 minutes per side at 45 RPM, the mastering would be under similar constraints to an LP except for a little more headroom on the highs. Major bass boost and treble cut were applied to match the Instrumental version on Substance. Although I could've sourced that one track from the CD, I used the vinyl just for consistency.
This was New Order's first effort with Arthur Baker, who had made a name for himself in the New York music scene with his production work on several early and influential hip-hop and dance records. Confusion followed the formula of many dance records at the time in that it had four different mixes of the track on one record, making it ideal for DJs to chop up and remix live. In true dance music fashion, the song has since been remixed many times, first for the Substance compilation, then again in 1990, another time in 1991 for Volume magazine, and quite drastically by The Pump Panel in 1995.

Personally, I don't think this is one of their stronger songs, and the fact that it's quite repetitive only emphasizes its weaknesses. Four mixes is a bit overkill too, unless you really, really like the song... although in all fairness, records like this weren't intended to be heard from beginning to end. I do much prefer this version to the remix on
Substance though. I'm assuming it was redone because it seemed dated at the time. However, the Substance version makes heavy use of then-novel DX7 bell-like timbres, and ironically now sounds more dated than the original. I think the version on Substance is overcooked. Every live version I've heard pisses all over the recorded versions - a compact (5 minute) structure, a much heavier beat, harder electro-style sequencer tracks, and Barney and Hooky both playing bass. They stripped out all of the Arthur Baker elements and made it much more their own song.

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