Mark Reeder & Bernard Sumner | Original Version of New Order’s Crystal

[dropcap]Mark Reeder[/dropcap] and Bernard Sumner share some similarities, put aside they have a very good idea how dance music works – both are rooted in Manchester, both were in the circle of Factory Records and both were hugely influential on the development of Post Punk and Dance Music, two genres more entwined than one would think in the first place. United by geography and interest, yet divided by career: While Bernard Sumner formed New Order with Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert after the tragic suicide of Ian Curtis, Mark Reeder mainly focused on Label duties – he moved to West Berlin in 1978 to represent Factory Records in Germany, and while being a successful label manager, actor, author, musician (Die Unbekannten) and producer (for the German Punk band Die Vision, Malaria!), occasionally finding time to remix songs of Anne Clark, Pet Shop Boys, John Foxx and many, many others. One of the bigger surprises in his oeuvre of original songs is one called Crystal, and you might have guessed it because I already mentioned Bernard Sumner: Yes, this is the very same track as the one you likely know from New Order’s 2001 comeback album Get Ready.

Audibly different, though. While New Order’ version of Crystal is best known as one of the most outstanding songs of New Order’s post-millennium period, Mark Reeder’s and Corvin Dalek‘s version of the track – also with Bernard Sumner on vocals – is a very early demo of the indie dancefloor smasher released in 2001. Mainly focusing on rhythmic and trancy elements with Bernard Sumner’s soft voice levitating above clubby rhythm patterns (that actually display New Order’s influence on House music exceptionally well), the track is a very good take on New Order’s hit song. Featured on Mark Reeder’s retrospective collection Collaborator – released on Factory Benelux – the song is definitely worth more than one listen and once again displays, first off, New Order’s influence on House and Mark Reeder’s musical vision which was apparently influential enough to make him the main protagonist of B-Movie – Lust and Sound in West Berlin – and of course to give him credit as one of those men who shaped Synth Pop, Trance and Electro Wave for a long time.