Art Of Noise - Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise

Subversive techno-pop classic finally released on CD

Crude, prehistoric, and
decidedly low-tech by today’s
standards, the Fairlight CMI
was a digital sampler that
revolutionised pop music in
the early 80s. Among its early
enthusiasts were Peter
Gabriel, Jean Michel Jarre,
Kate Bush and Stevie Wonder,
but it was studio group Art Of
Noise (led by producer Trevor
Horn) who brought the
futuristic Australian-made
keyboard and it’s mind-boggling
sonic wizardry and
array of sounds into the wider
public consciousness.

That was in 1984 – not the
year when Orwell’s dystopian
nightmare came true, but
rather the dawn of a new pop sensibility where sequencers,
samplers and drum machines
held sway, all encapsulated by
Who’s Afraid…. Though a vivid
sonic snapshot of its time –
crystallising 80s excess,
techno-fetishism and chutzpah
in all its hubristic glory – AON’s
debut album exudes an aura
of timelessness, especially
Close (To The Edit) and the
haunting Moments In Love.
In addition to the original
album, this deluxe version is
appended by BBC live sessions
from ’84 and ’85, and a DVD
consisting of promotional
videos, live footage and even a
TV ad starring Carry On
comedian Kenneth Williams.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

ZTT/Salvo | SALVOMCD 22 (CD+DVD)

Reviewed by Charles Waring
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