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Back to the future with The Art of Noise

The Art Of Noise, The Best Of The Art Of Noise

CHINA837367-1 LP/Cass/CD

Heres a tidy collection which reminds us of just how cleverly the studio production co-operative of Anne Dudley, J Jeczalik, Trevor Horn and Gary Langan anticipated the current vogue for sampling, splicing and generally funking around with the good technology of the microchip age.

Their music was introduced to most people four years ago by that infernally catchy Close (To The Edit). The outrageously hard, gated drum sound, synthesized percussion pads blurting out shrill bursts of mock orchestral noise, odd sampled voices, and several momentarily recognisable fragments of other songs were the principal building blocks used to create the groups sleek sound and have remained at the heart of the matter since. For all its precise, mechanical qualities, Art Of Noises music rarely seemed cold or impersonal, but tapped instead a jaunty vein of futuristic wonder, suggesting an innocent delight in the tricks that the new machinery could play. It still sounds like tremendous fun.

The project took on a more human face and a distinctly camp flavour with a string of shrewd collaborations, beginning with the rehabilitation of that long cold legend Duane Eddy on a re-recording of his 1959 hit Peter Gunn. Max Headrooms contribution, Paranoimia, became their biggest American success and most recently Tom Jones has raised the incredulity threshold of a new generation with his absurd rendition of Kiss. ☆☆☆

David Sinclair