Picks and Pans Review: In Visible Silence

updated 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Art of Noise

The name of this British group, which is made up of three studio specialists, Anne Dudley, Gary Langan and J.J. Jeczalik, has never seemed more apt than on this record. The foundation of most of the songs is a complicated, overlapping beat and high, flyaway melodies on the synthesizer. What makes the group unique are the strange, nonmusical sounds it uses. Reciting voices and natural or industrial noises are introduced; then they're distorted by manipulating tone and tempo. The result, which might serve as the background to a Salvador Dali film, can be startlingly attractive, as on Instruments of Darkness. When less focused, it can be just so much airy fluff, as on Eye of a Needle. When the technically minded trio attempts more straightforward musical statements, they are unexpectedly adept. Their recent dance hit, Legs, with its relentless percussive impact, is included on this LP, as is a clever cover of the Peter Gunn theme. The Art of Noise's version of this campy 1959 Henry Mancini tune outshines the one recently performed by Clarence Clemmons because of the inspired sit-in work by rockabilly guitar pioneer Duane Eddy, featuring his trademark twang. This band's complicated experiments in sound are a crapshoot, but their mix-and-match style is intriguing. (Chrysalis)

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