A Hidden Gem of Syntheized Instrumental Pop
Marnie_ATL | Atlanta, GA USA | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not sure why, I had chosen to buy this newly-released album on cassette form in 1986, as I was buying all 3 competing formats at the time: the-slowly-dying LP form, CD and cassettes. At that time, I only really knew the AON, prior release, "Close to the Edit" from a few years prior. "Close to the Edit" had a very strange video, the sawing up of a piano and the dachshund dog looking on, but I was hooked to the song. The heavy, addictive bass lines; it was an unusual song that caught my teenage attention. Back in the 1980s, I had bought a few of the Art of Noise 12 inch records.
In Visible Silence is the best AON album of the 3 albums I am familiar with. If you are just now exploring information about the Art of Noise, basically its music has a very repetitive sound with clever distortions of various samplings of voice, music and a hypnotic beat. In a nutshell, the music has a Post- New Wave, Minimalist or Techno with multilayered incessant rhythms feel to it.
This album is stellar: nearly all the tracks are wonderful; repetitive listening of the entire album is quite easy. In Visible Silence has aged quite well since the mid-1980s. I was shocked and disappointed that this particular album is out of print, hence the high prices fetching for the CD. I had been tracking this album for a while, and I rarely saw any prices for this CD for under $40 USD; so get it on cassette if you are on a tight budget.
Of all the cuts, I enjoy "Instruments of Darkness" the most, in that it is quite a political song mentioning controversial topics such as apartheid in South Africa and Communism. I would like to find out more the history behind this song, "Instruments of Darkness," whose voice is dubbed into it, etc. "Legs" is another catchy favorite. I had the 12 inch of this song. I finally bought this album on CD, in 2005, at a higher price than I normally pay for CDs, but I wanted it on CD, after so many years. This CD album version is slightly different: it is dated 1988 and the version of "Paranoia" is completely different. I hear Max Headroom's voice, but the version feels entirely different than on the release, I had purchased in the US in 1986. This particular CD contains 11 cuts. The Art of Noise had a secretive aura behind them, so in essense, I know quite little about them despite some quick google searches to aid in writing for this article on Amazon.
This is a true gem and if you find you do not like your purchase, you can turn around and sell it on the Internet quite quickly. I will be on the lookout for snapping up other AON albums I had never had prior."
Still Trips Me Out!
Rich Latta | Albuquerque, NM - Land of Entitlement | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . even 15 years or so after first hearing it. These highly imaginative soundscapes make full use of the technology that allows most any sound to be sampled and given a musical range. Typical for Art of Noise, the beat is elemental.IN VISIBLE SILENCE makes excellent use of altered voices and impossible vocal arrangements made possible through technology. The opener, "Opus 4," is a prime example - an a cappella weave of spoken (yet musical) words. At the utterance of "bees," we hear those creatures effectively flow into the picture. An insistent triangle signals the beginning of "Paranoimia" which features water-drop percussion, musical breathing and deep, bizarre synthesized voices. I must say, I don't miss the alternate "Max Headroom" version. Straight-up talking over songs gets tiresome with repeated listens (for me at least) and that even goes for Max's weird voice. But (hey, I have a right to my contradictions) there is some interesting plain ole spoken word buried in the mix that I think is from a Shakespeare play - someone freaking out over having committed murder which is appropriate assuming paranoia is the theme. "Eye of the Needle" is sort of a modern twist on smooth jazz featuring what sounds like a musical cash register. Horns straight from a Vegas dance review announce "Legs" before it launches into a thoroughly infectious beat. "Legs" is a highlight and "Slip of the Tongue" is a cool addendum to that song.I could go on , but suffice it to say the remaining songs are also worth checking out. Anyone who hasn't heard this can rediscover the wonderment of music with this record."
Excellent Sophomore Effort
Reginald L. Davenport | Springville, UT United States | 03/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On this album the Art Of Noise continued to live up to its namesake: taking noise and making it a form of art! Opus 4 sounds very sweet and soothing, even though it's over right after it starts. Paranoimia is a definite favorite. It has a really nice beat and just sounds plain wierd! Eye Of A Needle works the exact same way! Legs -- very danceable; I even tried to mix this record with alot of the House records that were coming out of Chicago in 1986 (what an experiment). Slip Of The Tounge was the other reason I tried to mix these seemingly unrelated forms of music - awsome sound effects! Backbeat sounds more retrospective and laid back. Instruments Of Darkness -- what a song! It is semi-political and yet still funky. Peter Gunn -- doesn't compare to the original 1960's version, but with the AON interpretation you really can't go wrong. Camilla-The Old, Old, Story has to be the best song on the album. Once again the AON showcses the ability to make a serious musical composition; slow records tend to be the best testing grounds. The Chameleon's Dish is more of a concept song, and it is very slick. Beatback...well, I'll leave that one for you to figure out (clue: reprise).If you're not careful you may find yourself playing this album repeatedly. It's excellent!"