Monday, March 06, 2006

A Zed And Two Tees

I have been on a bit of a ZTT binge of late. Last week I wrote about how a bunch of the ZTT reissues were coming out in the US and posted some Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Another recent ZTT purchase is the Art Of Noise's Daft, a compilation "containing noise-shots" from the the pioneering electronic combo's early output for the label. This was originally released after Trevor Horn and Paul Morley had left the group, the rest of whom continued to record and move in a more traditional pop trajectory. Here's a quote from the liner notes - "members...have now decided that they are competent enough to pursue a conventional rock career." Hehe. Max Headroom, Peter Gunn and Tom Jones and Kiss were all to come. The earliest AON recordings were sonic advetures. It was studio trickery as practiced by the cream of the crop - Horn, Dudley, Langan and Jeczalik, the masters of new technology, the Fairlight programming, the sampling technology, the "high art" of the beat. They took the breakbeats of NYC hip hop and electro and forged musique concrete. They were also capable of melodic brilliance - Moments In Love is still gorgeous 20 years later. Having never owned this music on CD I am really enjoying theses digital remasters. Everything is so crisp and clean. Close (To The Edit) is a giant of the genre - the car revving noises, the industrialism, the voices, that "HEY!" that has been sampled countless times, and those crushing beats still sound fantastic. (Three Fingers Of) Love is a reworking of Moments In Love that slows it down and focuses on some dreamy piano riffing of the melody. Blessed are the noisemakers.

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