Saturday, 6 June 2020

The Art Of Noise ‎– In Visible Silence (1986)

Style: Synth-pop, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Chrysalis, Chrysalis, China Records, Polydor

01.   Opus 4
02.   Paranoimia
03.   Eye Of A Needle
04.   Legs
05.   Slip Of The Tongue
06.   Backbeat
07.   Instruments Of Darkness
08.   Peter Gunn (Featuring Duane Eddy)
09.   Camilla - The Old, Old Story
10.   The Chameleon's Dish
11.   Beatback
12.   Peter Gunn (Extended Version)

Arranged By, Performer, Producer – The Art Of Noise

After the release of several ZTT-era reissues and compilations of the masked Fairlight-wielding art-poppers' seemingly bottomless catalogue, comes the first in a line of revisits centred around their time on Polydor and China. 
By the time In Visible Silence appeared in 1986, The Art of Noise were a core trio of Anne Dudley, JJ Jeczalik and Gary Langan, having split from co-founders Trevor Horn and Paul Morley. The band's artful, anonymous and cool persona had diminished somewhat by this time, not because of its detachment from Horn and Morley but because ZTT was all but over. 
No matter. In Visible Silence hasn't dated any worse than Into Battle or Who's Afraid Of... although one can still easily pinpoint its age as mid-'80s. Legs is a sprightly take on club-belter Beatbox, Paranoimia got remixed with yoof TV's pseudo-rebellion pop-art talking head Max Headroom, Instruments of Darkness echoes A Time To Fear and Backbeat is a distant cousin of In The Army Now or Donna from their first EP. 
Where In Visible Silence comes into its own is on the blissed out come-down track Camilla The Old Old Story and the opener Opus 4, both signifying where The Art Of Noise had been and where they were going with the follow-up sets In No Sense, Nonsense and the superior Below The Waste. Camilla is quite, quite lovely - faux-xylophones and congas drive the whole thing onwards with sampled vocals and atmospherics that recall Moments In Love and 10cc's I'm Not In Love intertwined in carnal harmony. Dudley and co could have created a Tubular Bells length epic from this one piece and triumphed, such is its warm organic appeal. 
Extras include numerous remixes by Peter bloody Gunn, Legs and Paranoimia, unreleased snippets and excerpts and a few decent b-sides, including a track I used to cane at late '80s house-parties, Why Me? which sounds like Synclaviers on overdrive and the sweet A Nation Rejects, simple in composition but pretty nonetheless. Sleevenotes from ZTT archivest Ian Peel successfully completes the picture.
Paul Pledger / peek a boo

Yello ‎– Claro Que Si (1981)

Style: Synth-pop, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mercury, Vertigo, Ralph Records

01.   Daily Disco
02.   No More Roger
03.   Take It All
04.   The Evening's Young
05.   She's Got A Gun
06.   Ballet Mecanique
07.   Ouad El Habib
08.   The Lorry
09.   Homer Hossa
10.   Pinball Cha Cha

Composed By, Arranged By – Boris Blank
Drums – Beat Ash
Electronics, Backing Vocals – Boris Blank
Guitar – Chico Hablas
Lyrics By – Dieter Meier
Tapes– Carlos Peron
Vocals – Dieter Meier
Producer – Boris Blank, Ursli Weber

Another leap in musical sophistication made Yello's second album another high point in the development of synth pop. The future of Euro-disco and dance-pop are easily audible from the opening "Daily Disco" and other tracks like "Pinball Cha Cha," "The Evening's Young," and "Cuad el Habib." Though Claro Que Si is slightly more pop-oriented than the group's debut, with Boris Blank's electronics just as innovative and obtuse as before, that's hardly a step backward.
John Bush / AllMusic