Julian Henry

Publication Date:
May 1986


In the early days it was Paul Morley’s extravagant conceptual smoke screen and Trevor Horn’s involvement that were hogging the limelight, the banf themselves (this is rock n’ roll remember?) being conspicuous by their low profile, emerging only to appear at some hum drum promotional event like Top Of The Pops. So what’s going on?? Who are the persons behind the name?? What do they want?? And, more to the point, how much are they making out of it all??
Morley and Horn’s contributions, a hard myth to annihilate, are now well and truly extinct. The Art of Noise are three top notch studio whizz kids: Anne Dudley, J.J. Jeczalik and Gary Langan. Many moons ago they left the clouds of ZTT for the undiscovered world of the great China Empire……
The trio have formidable track records (and a few gold ones too), having been privately educated at the Trevor Horn school of record production. It was J.J. and Gary who first formed the Art of Noise in early 1983, though it wasn’t until Horn’s involvement a year later that records started getting released.
So who does what in the band?? J.J.: “The Art of Noise record, write and perform all the music” And, err, what did Trevor Horn do? “He let us use his studio and made us cups of coffee”. Fine. How about Paul Morley? “Paul Morley is an evil and wicked man and we will not be drawn into a slanging match with him, though I must admit he appreciates a good game of cricket.”
So what is Art of Noise about?? Girls?? Rock n’ roll?? The joys of living?? Gary: "Whereas some might choose to express themselves with tiresome clichés and the shop-soiled semantics of third rate closet intellectuals,  we have gone to the cupboard, selected the tools for our labour and performed our skills to the best of our abilities”. Anne: “We would wish to be judged as manual labourers; in that sense, we look upon our records as high rise blocks, new shopping precincts, or underground car parks – they are commodities provided for those who wish to use them”.
So the Art of Noise are ushering in a new era in music?? Anne: “There can be no doubt we are flag bearers. Or curtain lifters if you like…….”. J.J.: “Look let’s forget all this crap about music; we perform because we have to – we have no choice. The fact that we make money from it is incidental and of no importance; we give all our money away, anyway”. Langan and Dudley agree, silently nodding their heads.
So there you have it. A perfect pop group for 1986; their art may be open to question, but there can be no doubting their immaculate conception.

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