Stephen Morris is the legendary drummer of both Joy Division and New Order. His contributions to post-punk and beyond are immeasurable, both as a drummer and synthesizer expert. He’s part of both “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and “Blue Monday,” for God’s sake!
(Photo Credit: Warren Jackson)
Maps is name under which James Chapman has been recording, producing, and remixing music since 2006. Almost exactly a year ago, he released Colors. Reflect. Time. Loss. via Mute, and just today the label has announced a series of remix EPs that will be released throughout the summer. Chapman was excited that Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris agreed to a remix, saying, “I am a huge fan of New Order and Joy Division. When I was growing up they were a major influence on me and still are to this day. When I was still at school, I remember “Transmission” was one of the first songs I ever learnt to play on guitar! I had heard through my label, Mute, that Stephen Morris had really enjoyed my album Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss., which was incredible for me. So when we approached him to do a remix and it not only happened, but what he delivered was truly exceptional, I was a very happy man indeed.” Below, Morris’ thoughts on the project.
—Josh Modell, Talkhouse Executive Editor
I first heard Maps around 2007, it was “To the Sky,” off the first album We Can Create that first did it for me. I thought it was an absolutely brilliant song, the best thing I’d heard in a long time. The rest of that album is equally fantastic, it’s always good when that happens. I think James has got a really beautiful voice.
I felt much the same when I heard “Both Sides” from Maps’ latest Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss., another great song off another great album. I loved the horns and the strings and James’ vocals of course. I said as much to Daniel Miller—New Order and Maps both have Mute in common—and next thing I knew, Daniel asked if I fancied having a go at remixing the song. Of course, I said yes.
Mixing your own stuff is always a bit tricky, live with an idea for long enough and it’s easy to forget what it was you meant to do with it in the first place. But doing a remix can be a lot of fun, especially if I love the song in the first place. It’s a bit like going round to someone’s house and rearranging their furniture, trying something out that they might not originally have thought of. Taking a song into another space is a lot easier when it’s not yours to mess up—it’s also good when it’s got to be done in a few days, too. Nothing like a deadline for provoking creativity. Less time to overthink.
(Photo Credit: left, Warren Jackson; right, Phil Sharp)