Friday, September 14, 2012

First Ever Fat Friday Feature REDO! (Featuring Joy Division's Peter Hook)

I have to confess:  there was something about today's "Fat Friday Feature" that doesn't quite work.  It feels like a lackluster effort.  Sure, the bass parts to those songs are fine; and yes, I like all of those songs well enough.  But I don't really feel as strongly about those tunes as I do all the other stuff I post.  I don't feel a real connection to them; they're not a part of my life in any significant way.  I felt the need for a "redo" featuring Peter Hook.

Here's the funny thing about Peter Hook:  in a way, I don't like his style of playing at all.  To me, he demphasizes everything I like about bass.  He plays in the upper registers of the instrument instead of the chest cavity-vibrating lower range.  Something about his lines feels more like melody instead of rhythm.  As a result, he makes the bass sound like simply another instrument in the mix.  He leaves me wanting for a bottom end.  Finally, he seems to have only one gear - he's always pumping in the same time, propelling songs forward as though he has a train he needs to catch.  There's not a lot of feeling or nuance to his playing.

And yet, it works.  I find Peter Hook's playing intriguing.  I wouldn't ever call it "acrobatic", but it's always active.  The added voice his bass gives to any given tune makes said tune quite unique.   And because of the originality of his style of playing, imitators sound just that much more horrible.  Take a listen to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and see if you hear what I'm talking about.

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