Every time I go to Skopje, there is always someone who asks why on Earth I’d bother to come and stay such long periods of time in what they feel is an insignificant city in the heart of the Balkans. You can thank this song, the disc it came on, and a friendship with Gorazd Capovski and Ilija Stojanovski, for this.
I had worked at Tone Casualties records as an A&R Manager, and came across this disc while at my evening job, buying weird music for Aron’s Records (RIP). I had passed through what was then Yugoslavia a few years past, and knew a bit about Macedonian music, but the combination of goth/darkwave and an ethnic, Byzantine sound, came as a huge revelation. I never, in a million years, thought Love Will Tear Us Apart would sound perfect with bagpipes. A pleasant surprise which still strikes a chord after 20 years.
Nolan (then known as N. F.) Porter was an American Northern Soul singer whose hit, which we’re hearing now, would be the catalyst for Joy Division getting signed to a major label. While the band scrapped their attempt at covering the song, the guitar lick would serve as the foundation of their track, Interzone, as heard below:
For more on the story between N.F. Porter and Joy Division, check out this post by OpinEars.