Tuesday, May 09, 2006

THE ART OF NOISE - (Who's Afraid Of?) The Art Of Noise! (1984)


Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, J.J. Jeczalik, Lol Creme, Paul Morley, Trevor Horn


01 A Time For Fear (Who's Afraid) (4:43)
02 Beat Box (Diversion One) (8:33)
03 Snapshot (1:00)
04 Close (To The Edit) (5:41)
05 Who's Afraid (Of The Art Of Noise) (4:22)
06 Moments In Love (10:17)
07 Memento (2:14)
08 How To Kill (2:44)
09 Realization (1:41)

Link to download:


"Art Of Noise are not a band. Never were. They are an organisation, a distinctly non-rockist creative, post-modernist collective. Starting out as a mysterious, Trevor Horn led experimental studio outfit, the primary contributors to the adventure were Royal College Of Music graduate, Anne Dudley; producer/arranger J.J. Jeczalik and songwriter, instrumentalist and engineer/producer Gary Langan.Ex- NME writer Paul Morley contributed ideas and delivered the bands non-image to the press and media. Horn himself had already tasted success on several different levels, beginning with The Camera Club, featuring the additional talents of Thomas Dolby and Geoff Downes. Horn and Downes then formed Buggles, who scored big with the prescient ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’, a global megahit in 1979. The duo then produced progressive rock giants Yes’ ‘Tormato’ album, before being invited to join the band. This was an uneasy marriage, not least of all for Yes’ conservative fanbase, and when Yes split in 1981, Downes joined guitarist Steve Howe’s new venture, Asia. Horn went on to achieve immortality as one of the most innovative and visionary British production talents of all time, but not before the Art Of Noise project. It was 1983 that Art Of Noise were unleashed on an unsuspecting public, with the debut vinyl EP ‘Into Battle With Art Of Noise’ winning admirers from the then disparate worlds of the pop and dance markets. Dazzling production from Horn, (a year after ABC’s landmark ‘The Lexicon Of Love’ masterpiece, a year before the insane explosion that was Frankie Goes To Hollywood) lifted Art Of Noise above the pop pap of the day, creating a post-rock soundscape that melded hip-hop beats with studio trickery, tape-splicing and more than a little humour. In 1984, the ‘Close (To The Edit)’ single crashed into the UK top forty, winning more plaudits and garnering fans, but…1985 saw Dudley, Langan and Jeczalik depart, taking the name with them. Horn stayed at the helm of ZTT Records, his big screen sonic architecture fashioning mega hits for the aforementioned Frankie, as well as overseeing hits for Seal, Rod Stewart, Simple Minds, Malcolm McLaren, TaTu Belle And Sebastian and many more. Morley gleefully played the part of media puppetmaster, creating front page headlines and slogans that took Frankie Goes To Hollywood on to the tabloid front pages. Morley was to create and twist the perception of many a budding artist over the coming years, and even became a best selling author with his autobiographical tome, ‘Nothing’. He recently followed it with the typically verbosely titled ‘Words And Music – The History Of Pop In The Shape Of A City’. Both are entirely recommended. 1985’s ‘Moments In Love’ failed to make the UK top fifty, (by one place) but anticipated an entire genre – chillout, and the early catalogue has been much sampled over the past twenty years, including in recent years by Prodigy and Eminem.The ‘new’ Art Of Noise continued to have hits – mostly as collaborators, with the likes of Duane Eddy (‘Peter Gunn’, 1986); fictional TV presenter Max Headroom (‘Paranoimia’, also 1986); Tom Jones (a cover of Prince’s ‘Kiss’, 1988) and Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens (‘Yebo’, 1989). Disbanding in 1990, the trio went their separate ways, with Dudley in particular achieving incredible success. A Brit award for her work on the Phil Collins vehicle, ‘Buster’ was followed by an Academy Award for her score for ‘The Full Monty’. Jeczalik made the studio his home, mixing and remixing artists as diverse as Stephen Duffy and Shakin’ Stevens, and Langan also chose to work on his studio tan, following up his production work with ABC, Spandau Ballet and Ronan Keating.Fast forward to 1999: Art Of Noise reform, this time it’s Horn, Dudley and Morley, with the addition of former 10cc vocalist/guitarist/songwriter, video pioneer and half of successful recording duo Godley And Creme, Lol Crème. The result of this collaboration was ‘The Seduction Of Claude Debussy’, an album created around the work of the titular French modernist classical composer. Hip-hop beats, drum and bass, vocal contributions from actor John Hurt and rap pioneer Rakim show the team have lost none of their sense of adventure. Is this where the story ends?" (ZTT records bio)

"Yeah, "Moments in Love" is a brilliant, evocative, smooth, and eminently romantic tune, and this is the album that's got it. But don't expect anything else even remotely close to this song. The rest of this recording is beat and bass, politics and issues, and electronic manipulation/experimentation. We've got a re-mix of their signature "Beat Box" as well as the video-powered hit "Close (To The Edit)." The Art Of Noise came about as a bridge between the electronic music heroes/dinosaurs (Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre) and the electronica-techno-synth stars of today (Moby, Chemical Brothers, Enigma), and largely remains there. It's generally fun music, most of it undeniably danceable, and the closer you listen, the more pointedly editorial and political it becomes. But don't expect a soupy collection of powerful romantic odes."

more info (fan page):


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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