For a while back in the early ’80s Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley, Gary Langan and J.J. Jeczalik were just another group of musicians messing around with ideas in the studio. When journalist and copywriter Paul Morley (working with their record company ZTT at the time) presented an eight page manifesto defining the band and their guiding principles, The Art of Noise was born. Morley became a critical part of the The Art of Noise, contributing ideas, song titles and taking control the band’s image and the presentation of the records. Considering themselves an art-meets-pop project, a ‘hit’ record was not really on the agenda, but that is what happened in May 1984 when Close (to the Edit) hit the UK top ten…
This collection compiles music and films by Art of Noise from the period 1995 to 2000, and is mostly comprised of previously unreleased material, including the album 'balance - music for the eye' and the Producer's Cut of 'The Seduction of Claude Debussy' on CD, and two unreleased complete concerts on the DVD, filmed in London at Coexistence studio and Shepherds Bush Empire in 2000.
More than ten years after the Art of Noise left Trevor Horn's ZTT label to record on their own, original members Anne Dudley and Paul Morley reunited with Horn plus 10cc's Lol Creme to record another LP, organized around the work of French modernist composer Claude Debussy. With a guest list including John Hurt as well as Rakim, the album charts the artistic use of sampled breakbeats – pioneered by the Art of Noise themselves – with nods to '80s hip-hop plus their '90s equivalent, drum'n'bass. Though the Art of Noise doesn't sound quite as brash as they did in their '80s prime, The Seduction of Claude Debussy is an interesting showcase of what made the group great.
Discovery Records, just before its demise, did a great and wondrous thing by putting out four, count them, four Art of Noise CDs in one fell swoop. Art of Noise began in the mid-'80s and is now a touchstone to which all electronic music should be compared. While compiling their own collections, Discovery Records was able to take advantage of a excellent compendium ready for reissue. Ambient Collection had long been a jewel in many vinyl collections. These Art of Noise catalog remixes by Youth, bassist for Killing Joke, remain a classic of compositional ambient electronica. One of the themes to this ambient opus is explicitly stated in "Robinson Crusoe" and hinted at elsewhere. Art of Noise's Anne Dudley had mentioned just before the original 1990 release on a GLR Radio U.K. program that French composer Robert Mellin's main theme for "Robinson Crusoe" recalled here was one of her Top Ten favorite pop songs.