Boomkat Product Review:
Deluxe 2CD edition including 26 extra tracks - 36 in total - including the ‘Re-Works of Art of Noise (version 5) cuts. Also features a 18-page booklet of liner notes, artwork and credits. Entirely remastered from original tapes
2017 remasters of the 2nd album by pioneering avant-pop group, The Art of Noise, expanded with stacks of alternate versions, singles and previously unreleased material, and working as a prime entry point for anyone looking to delve deeper into their influential catalogue beyond their Moments In Love classic.
Originally issued on China Records in the wake of their departure from the ZZT label, who’d previously released their debut album, Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise , and also now shrunken to a trio following departure of their image creator Paul Morley and producer Trevor Horn, In Visible Silence finds Fairlight wizard J.J. Jeczalik, Anne Dudley and Gary Langan pursuing the group’s playful sense of humour across a melange of dance-pop, sampler-jazz and chart-bothering pop songs starring infamous avatar, Max Headroom.
On the first disc you’ll find the original album in its entirety, including the slackened, slashed rock ’n roll swagger and twang of Peter Gunn featuring Duane Eddy on axe, plus bonus features in the aforementioned Paranoimia (7” Mix) starring a glitching Max Headroom on vocals, and the decadent lushness of A Nation Rejects and Backbeat (Reprise) with its freaky fake-outs, among others.
The 2nd disc goes wild in the archive, drawing for no less than 11 previously unreleased pieces and including a killer haul of 12” single mixes. Of the unreleased material, you’re advised to check for highlights int he prototype of The First Leg and their hard industrial funk cut-up Panic, plus the jabbing Trumpton Boogie and another dash of debonaire in A Nation Regrets (an uncanny anthem for these times?), while the 12” mixes turn out handy new masters of the extended version and dynamic Twang Mix for the daft jag, Peter Gunn, along with natty bonus versions of Paranoimia.
Basically it proves they still had something going without the assistance of Paul Morley and Trevor Horn, and, while it may sound very much of its time, that’s likely because they pretty much defined the sound of that era.