Publication Date:
Circa October 1983


(Zang Tuum Tumb Incidental Series 12")
The Trevor Horn putsch on pop enters its final decisive phase. I used to hold Horn responsible for everything that went wrong, only now I realise I was complimenting him all the time. The Art Of Noise wrestles his past successes into a better perspective. Here is an impish architect of sound, a splendid deviationist who achieved the impossible of making pearls from pigs ears – Dollar and ABC – and then took the germ of McLaren’s ideas and blew it up into a grand larceny to match our germinator’s designs.
Horn’s newest mission, masterminded by a mysterious M, is to absolutely and finally prove that everything is possible, that nothing need fall outside the popular imagination. Where others limit themselves to music’s sliding scale of references, The Art Of Noise drops commandos behind enemy lines in time to raid the 20th century for raw material and rediscover joy in what was too readily conceded to evil – namely, the will of action.
Words, first over-and now devalued, are no longer enough. When they’re breathing during The Art Of Noise’s 25 minutes it’s only as simple codes – ‘The Army Now’, ‘Moments In Love’, ‘Battle’ – as keys to Pandora’s ‘Beat Box’ of horrors and delights, the likes of which those of you who work solely through dancehall ciphers have yet to discover. Namely there are ways to move outside BPM. The Art Of Noise makes them clear, wherein lies the advantage of a sound architect like Horn, who is capable of organising the most momentous of shapes into massive yet agile percussion figures.
Don’t take fright, it’s not all the angular clatter of battle; ‘Moments In Love’ is a gorgeously orchestrated latter day ‘Je T’Aime’ whose mechanical sensuality is tempered with the thumping fall of a piledriver rhythm as befits the times.
The Art Of Noise is to remain unfettered. Only then is it possible to restore Noise to Art.

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