Close (To The Edit)
POSTED ON 9/02/2005 | PERMALINK |1 Comments | BOOKMARK
Anne Dudley, Gary Langan, and Paul Morley were members of producer Trevor Horn's in-house studio band in the early '80s before they formed the Art of Noise, a techno-pop group whose music was an amalgam of studio gimmickry, tape splicing, and synthesized beats. The Art of Noise took material from a variety of sources: hip-hop, rock, jazz, R&B, traditional pop, found sounds, and noise all worked their way into the group's distinctly postmodern soundscapes.
It always seemed like Art of Noise was recording either pretentious electronic prog-rock or silly novelty tracks. They even had a special gift for doing both at the same time. However, they could, on occasion, assemble a track that was neither silly nor overbearing. The first, and finest, example of this practice was Close (To The Edit), from 1984's (Who's afraid of?) The Art of Noise!.

They (sure do!) like to use (paranthesis).

Close danced back and forth between way-too-happy funk and a disturbing darkness, while twisting sound snippits of cars starting, "la la la's" and a menacing "hey"--later reused in Prodigy's Firestarter--into a style of music that was strikingly futuristic and experimental while still being radio-ready. It would be another three years before another group, M/A/R/R/S, would dare to bring such a bold experiment (Pump Up The Volume) to commercial radio.

The video for Close was delightful and disturbing as well.
If "Rockit" raised the bar for the art of music videos, MTV's Experimental Video for 1985, Art of Noise's "Close (To the Edit)," set a new standard both conceptually and stylistically. The clip, directed by Polish avant-garde filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski, features long, single-edit shots of a little punk girl guiding three men in laying waste to musical instruments, such as demolishing a piano with a buzzsaw, a chainsaw and a power drill. Much of the footage is sped up and jittery, and the visuals are stark and industrial.

This creepy vibe lives on in clips such as Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and Marilyn Manson's "The Beautiful People." The Prodigy have said that their video for "Firestarter" was influenced by "Close (To the Edit)," and Faith No More might have raised a glass to Rybczynski when they detonated a piano at the end of their video for "Epic."

Sadly, Art of Noise would seldom reach such heights again. The only notable moments come from their most recent--and final?--album, The Seduction of Claude Debussy which, while not lacking in AoN-brand pretension, manages to justify it under the guise of the album as a virtual museum of sorts.

(Close) To The Edit Mp3 Download
(Close) To The Edit RM Music Video Snippit (40 seconds)
Zbig Rybczynski


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I now feel old.

Fri Sep 02, 05:53:00 PM  

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