New Musical Express
Nick Coleman

Publication Date:
19th April 1986


In Visible Silence (China)
SHORN OF the barogue melodrama of Morley’s wiggly words, The Art Of Noise are a slightly different proposition. Not so much a concrete-and-sheetmetal sturm-und-drang brutalistic feast as they are a breeze-block falling over on the sofa in your living room.
You see, I’ve made this amazing discovery: The Art Of Noise new LP only answers to the name of Kevin. Call him Geraldine or Leopold or Glenn Hoddle; call him Mr Art Of Noise LP, and all you’ll get is a sullen round silence. But call him Kevin and he’s yours. Forever.
He’s pretty undemanding, Kevin. Take him to see Absolute Beginners and he sits there quite unmoved in his nice jacket (he doesn’t even say “Well, it’s just a string of pop videos really, isn’t it?”). Ask him to show you his nipples and all you get is a round black stare. He’s not interested in being sexy or sexist or even rude. Which is quite surprising when you consider that he’s widely suspected of subtley encoding the matrix for the fall of Western Civilisation into his grooves. Mon Dieu! The sound of falling kitchen utensils, the soft-sibilant brush of silicone and lycra door-bells. Sacré bleu, la société me consume!
No, what Kevin really likes is drama school-type girls saying interesting things like “No sun, dawn, no noon, no proper time of day; no shade, bees, no birds…November.” Like…Designer Vivaldi, man! Like, match me, Kevin! He also likes showing who the real bastards are (P.W.Botha) and who the real heroes (Duane Eddy) are, and, like, likes presenting them in an All New Aural Magazine Format ( a garlic crusher falls to the lino setting in motion a chain reaction which quickly consumes the whole kitchen in an orgy of Gourmet Violence). Kevin is The Beast, he is The Apocalypse, he is the Collective Unconscious. Kevin is…
Not David Bowie. He is a rock star who, during the last decade, kept ahead of things by continually re-investigating The Archetype Of Noise, that pitch and scale of Sounds by which all other Sounds aspire.
Kevin is not this. Although he would never admit it, his favourite TV programme is Tomorrow’s World and he delights in the notion that in the 21st Century, scientists say all music will be CONSTRUCTED in this way. Really Kevin is a boring, pretentious little git. But, and I’ll tell you this for nothing, he does make my stereo sound bloody expensive.
Nick Coleman

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