Discovered by friends of Martin Hannett recently and with input from one of his relatives, these recordings give a rare insight into his production ideas for Joy Division and his relationship with the band - the strange things / sound effects they recorded in the studio together, etc., etc. The studio chit chat and interplay between Hannett, Gretton and Joy Division members is all here as Martin left his own tape machine running throughout studio sessions. On this album we have rare alternative mixes of Joy Division that were Martin's personal favourites, and he had the forethought to get the band members to give him control of these recordings.
Review by Jason Lymangrover
So, you've worn out the three essential Joy Division discs, Closer, Unknown Pleasures, and Substance. You even own the Complete BBC Recordings, a few live discs, and the hefty Heart and Soul box set. What next? Well, if you are an absolute diehard, you might want to dig into Martin Hannett's Personal Mixes, but buyer beware; this is probably a last resort even for the utmost fan. Unless you have a craving to hear the original elevator lift recordings that were used on the beginning of Unknown Pleasures' "Insight" or song outtakes that sound nearly identical to the originals, there's not much material here that will interest the casual listener. The first eight tracks of the disc are clips of studio white noise, a few false starts, a couple minutes of keyboard tuning, and some occasional chit-chat in the talk-back mike. None of this is very informative and there's barely any insight provided about Hannett's brilliance as a producer. Instead, you get clips of him saying "let's try one" or casually telling Ian Curtis to "fuck off" after a flubbed take. Essentially, the disc's most interesting moments are during the six songs included here; dry versions of "Autosuggestion" and "From Safety to Where...?," slightly alternate versions of "Passover," "Heart and Soul," "24 Hours," and multiple takes of "Decades" (titled "N4"). It is interesting to hear a little more reverb, a darker bass tone in the mix, or exactly what an unmastered version sounds like, but the changes are so minor, it will take a devout fan to notice the variations, or even care about the differences enough to wade through the unremarkable muck. [The U.K. version of this disc also has two versions of "The Eternal."]