Books, films, cover versions and increasingly ludicrous merchandise abound, while Joy Division bassist Peter Hook and his new band The Light have performed both of his old band's albums in full. This latest epic electro-orchestral deconstruction of Joy Division's canon, however, might well have been something their late producer Martin Hannett dreamt up.
Electronic auteur Scanner, the 30-strong Heritage Orchestra plus drummer Adam Betts and guitarist Matt Calvert (from post-rock instrumentalists Three Trapped Tigers) and Ghostpoet bassist John Calvert perform an 80-minute suite that takes Joy Division songs as their starting point before stripping them down, bending them out of shape and rebuilding them. What's left of Transmission sounds like Ennio Morricone gone techno; Digital is woozy and funereal; and Isolation becomes cosmic prog as Matt Watkins's video cut-ups capture the music's full Ballardian psycho-geographic sweep.
On one level, technology has made this an easy trick. There are tons of ripped-up versions of classic songs floating around the internet. On another, this is a magnificent homage to one of one of the most important bands ever and a wonderful sleight of hand that can get ageing ex-punks into a sit-down contemporary classical concert to witness industrial abstractions of northern England that sound as vital as they ever did.