ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”


THE Art Of Noise have always placed considerable importance upon the suggestion of textures and the projection of visual images rather than on anything as simple as a melody or a groove. “Below The Waste”, however, is so enthusiastically polished that it is entirely lacking in even the tiniest of bumps, so shiny that its almost blinding. Its as pointless as a blurred photograph of a sculpture and, lets face it, trying to work out what a Henry Moore is all about is difficult enough when you can actually touch the bloody thing. To put it another way, this is like an LP of BBC sound FX, of planes and boats and trains.

With “Yebo!”, the current single, the natural beauty and gentle euphoria of the voices of Mahlathini And The Mahotella Queens are frustratingly crushed beneath the weight of one guitar solo and another elsewhere Dudley and Jeczaliks mixture of the orchestral with the technological veers from the soporific to the irritating. “Island” is a sleepy cycle of ever decreasing interest and “Finale” is like a breeze whistling in the inner ear. “Chain Gang” can only be recommended to those who have recently been converted from industrial to systems music. Actually, it wouldnt be so bad if it was as farcical as that suggests.

“Below The Waste” has no feelings and is no fun. No fun at all. The Art Of Noise may once have held a not altogether reprehensible reputation as the tellers of musical shaggy dog stories but everything here suggests that they no longer have the faintest idea of where to begin, let alone end.