Soundtrack: Kenneth Mackenzie, 6876

The designer on why the sinister sound of Joy Division spoke to his sense of modernity

My soundtrack is, to those that know me, very predictable but honest, and I’ve wanted to try and articulate my feelings regarding this music so many times that now would seem as good at time as any. Unknown Pleasures, and the experience of seeing the band live was such a moment for me that the subsequent fetishisation and bland commercialisation of Joy Division means that it’s music that I barely listen to, not because its relevance has waned – far from it – but the act of casual listening to me sullies its great power.

As a (very young) child of punk, the empty sense of failure and uncertainty that became its hangover, allied to the economic and political climate of late 70s Britain, left a fairly blank cultural landscape. However, many of the bands that emerged from the debris of punk were revolutionary and extremely influential.

Joy Division’s powerful, menacing sound carried an emotional intensity and technical progressiveness that also felt somehow European and modern. In short, it gave me the courage to follow passion, creativity, modernity and belief in my own vision. It felt so “un-rock ‘n’ roll”, like a breakthrough to a new era that was emphasised by the graphic artwork of Peter Saville, radical production of Martin Hannett and the bands low-key minimalist appearance.Unknown Pleasures