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Joy Division Unveils ‘Unknown Pleasures’ NFT with Exclusive Ian Curtis Recordings


Joy Division’s drummer, Stephen Morris, has collaborated with Peter Saville from Factory Records to craft an NFT that pays homage to the band’s masterpiece album, “Unknown Pleasures”.

The project is slated to be unveiled next month through Pace Verso, the initiative titled CP1919 will serve as a digital archive collection embodying the fusion of iconic album art and unheard tracks. The focal point of this project is an animated rendition of the famed album sleeve, encompassing two separate artworks named CP1919: Sweeping Sun White 2023 and CP1919: Sweeping Sun Black 2023. Each portrays the artistry in distinct monochromatic tones, bringing forth a fresh yet reminiscent experience to enthusiasts.

Newly Discovered Ian Curtis Vocals

The White edition, available openly, showcases unreleased vocal snippets and sounds from Joy Division, adding a touch of novelty to the revered collection. In contrast, the Black edition, a unique piece, complements the visual artistry with an ambient soundtrack enriched with previously unheard vocal fragments from the band. This singular edition is physically manifested in a hard drive housed within a specially designed case.

Moreover, this collaboration promises to resonate with fans by featuring newly discovered vocal takes from the late Ian Curtis, a move initiated by Morris, offering a deeper insight into the celebrated album.

According to Rolling Stone, Bill Holding from Morph U.K. transformed the image into a 3D version for the NFT. Morris crafted music for this project, drawing inspiration from the radio signals of CP1919 and melding it with altered sounds from the band’s archival material. A portion of the revenue generated from the NFT sales will be donated to CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a UK-based organization dedicated to suicide prevention.

Sweeping Sun White Digital artwork 2023

A Look Back at Joy Division’s Musical Journey

Formed in 1976 in Salford, Joy Division emerged as a defining figure in the post-punk and gothic rock scenes. The band carved a niche with their dark, reflective lyrics coupled with minimalist instrumentation. This style became synonymous with their name. Comprising Ian Curtis as the vocalist and lyricist, Bernard Sumner on guitar and keyboards, Peter Hook as the bassist, and Stephen Morris on drums, the band’s synergy created waves in the music industry.

In their brief yet impactful journey, Joy Division released two studio albums – “Unknown Pleasures” in 1979 and “Closer” in 1980. Tragically, the band faced an abrupt end with Curtis’s suicide in May 1980. The remaining members forged a new path after this incident, forming the band New Order. Over the years, the influence of Joy Division’s music has been evident, with notable bands like The Cure, U2, and Radiohead citing them as a substantial influence in their musical journey.

As this new project unfolds, it seeks to revitalize the legacy of Joy Division and introduce a generation to the fusion of music and digital artistry. Thus, as the CP1919 collection steps into the limelight next month, it is a testimony to Joy Division’s enduring legacy in the modern digital era.

Featured Image by Julia Morales

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