ART OF NOISE

Art of Noise
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ART OF NOISE



20 Monday 20th September 2010
Not many bands can lay claim to being the first to use animation in their videos, pioneered collaboration or been DJ exclusively at Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding. Way before Coldcut recorded chainsaws mowing down trees and Aphex Twin reconstructed sounds of nature, Art of Noise made do with a simple Sony recorder and analogue Fairlight sampler to push their sound to the max. Injected high-octane Bronx indebted hip-hop attitude into bonkers samples recorded in everyday situations. Packaged with the latest artwork the London based group easily pulled off going from experimental to working with Tom Jones and it’s why the Art of Noise can call their latest deluxe album Influence.  Don’t Panic caught up with original member and co-founder of ZTT Records Gary Langan to get behind the scenes.
 
 
How come you used such crazy samples on your tracks?
Nobody was really thinking or really doing anything in the way we were thinking. Everybody was trying to sample a snare drum, a high hat, a bass drum and J.J. and I just though why don’t we just go in the completely opposite direction. Do mad things like try and sample a poor guy trying to start his VW Golf on a cold winter’s morning up in Highgate. Why don’t we go to a squash court and just record a match going on. The only rule was that everything we recorded had to have a rhythm in it.
 
Art of Noise were the second biggest black group in the USA at one point?
I know its bizarre, [laughs] they thought we were a black act because we were born out of that whole early scratching, Mc and DJing world. I spent a lot of time working with Malcolm McLaren (http://www.myspace.com/jazzisparis) making an album called Duck Rock hanging out with him at clubs on the Lower East side of New York. We’d turn up at this club at twelve or eleven at night having been at a gay or transvestite club prior to that. Malcolm would be sitting there wearing this loosely fitting crotchet, see through outfit Vivienne Westwood had made. He knew that at about one o’clock in the morning the whole scenario would change. The present clientele would clear out and a whole new crew would turn up from the Bronx. You would get a couple of scratch DJs, you’d get an MC, some break dancers and some graffiti artists. Right the way through till dawn they would take over this club with a whole raft of entertainment.
 
You wanted to make tracks to be played in that kind of nightclub?
Yeah, I was very heavily influenced at a very early stage by the Bronx. I realised hang on, you can do really mad-bonkers things and as long as you have a groove to it and some music going on it’s all going to be pretty ok. No one back here in the UK had any idea about what was going on in New York at that time.
 
 
How come this is the first time you decided to bring out the unreleased material?
This great guy by the name of Ian Peel (http://www.myspace.com/ianpeel) decided it was about time. Most record companies keep their archives in this huge underground city near Heathrow airport that not many people know about. It was probably built during the second world war for some devious plan, [laughs]but it became a bit like the British Museum type of thing of tape history. Ian got the chance to go to the ZTT area of the vaults and trawl through all the bits that were possible pathways to tracks we now know and love.
 
So it’s almost a kind of behind the scenes?
Oh yeah, there’s a great version of Moments in Love with a guy called Lucky Gordon. In the late 60s the Conservative government were almost brought down by something called The Profumo Affair. A lot of the Tory MPs were having wild sex parties out at Cliveden House, Christine Keeler was the main prostitute and Lucky was her pimp. But he also worked for Chris Blackwell founder of Island records at what became known as Sarm West Studios making sure bands that were going in were ok and untouched. Notting Hill Gate was a real ghetto then. It was one of these fantastic moments where we had started recording and then we thought we needed somebody to give it a bit of vigour. We thought let’s go and get Lucky to do lead vocals on it. The guy who almost brought down the Tory government then sang the hook line to Moments in Love.
 

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Comments

  • Guest: MACKDARIN68
    Fri 15 - Apr - 2011, 03:46
    OMG!DID YOU GUYZ EVER THOUGHT THAT YOUR BEAT BOX & MOMENT OF LOVE WOULD BE SO BIG IN THE HIP-HOP & R&B WORLD? I MEAN YOU GUYZ ARE LIKE A BREAK DANCERS DREAMS FOR THIS TO HIT THE N.Y.C.STREETS SO HARD!FOR WHAT I UNDERSTAND IS THE BEAT BOX WASN'T EVEN SUPPOSE TO BE RECORDED THE WAY IT CAME OUT.,BUT I LOVE IT.YOU GUYS SHOULD BE INDUCTED INTO THE HIP-HOP HONORS.I LOVE YOU GUYZ!!!

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