IWDG are Ian Weatherall and Duncan Gray. Released today – in memory of and in tribute to Ian’s brother, Andrew – is the pair’s cover of New Order`s In A Lonely Place. A song dating back to the legendary Manchester band`s previous incarnation, Joy Division – a version voiced by Ian Curtis surfaced a few years ago on Record Store Day. Back in 1981 it was the flip of the group’s post-Curtis debut single, Ceremony. An ice-cold continuation of the mausoleum atmospheres created by mage / producer Martin Hannett for the album, Closer. Showers of crystalline synths and shimmering cymbals “caressing marble and stone” in what appeared to be a lament for an absent lover or a deceased loved one. Slow tribal tom tom driven trance-inducing gothic melancholy, where the lyric – “How I wish you were here with me now” – is replaced by a melodica as the track reaches its coda. Ian and Duncan’s reproduction takes that melodica as its lead and sets it moving to electronic percolations and a new disco-not-disco b-line. Modular manipulations buzzing around a treated guitar.
David Holmes` delivers a psyche-edged remix, where I think the vocals are David`s own. Machine-d rock, filtered and washed by sonic seas of distressed and Echoplex`d noise. Feedback and skittering details. Climatically constructed and closing with a priceless spoken word snippet of Andrew professing his fandom for Factory Records, and label supremo, another late lamented hero, Anthony H. Wilson.
Hardway Brother Sean Johnston`s rework seems On-U-inspired. Chunky and sexily squelching. Less haunted, more dancehall. The melodica melody now replayed as a high frequency oscillation / vibration – a sitar / harmonium-esque hum hovering above a dense gated and fragmented psychedelic swirl.
Surviving Lone Swordsman Keith Tenniswood`s transformation is a 13 and a half minute epic. A mix of 2 halves. The first, a spaced-out suite for bubbling beatbox and fairground Wurlitzer. Its body-bashing bass shaking the original synth riff apart – freeing fresh ringing variations. Each breakdown effectively a solo as the hardware takes its turn to mourn and ache. The second is a glacial glide, slowly spinning off into nostalgia, dub soundclash sirens and rattling Come Together / Screamadelica sound-effects.
IWDG`s In A Lonely Place is released today, February 17th, on Rotters Golf Club. Proceeds will be divided equally between Andrew’s partner Lizzie and the charity, Thrombosis UK.