The Art of Noise – The Ambient Collection, 1990

One final send-off to a perfectly nightmarish year. This technically isn’t an album but rather a compilation, mostly of tracks from The Art Of Noise’s 1986 In Visible Silence and 1987 In No Sense? Nonsense (both of which, if you’re unfamiliar with the group, are incredibly generous places to start). It’s been reworked with some tasteful mixing and transitions by regular AON collaborator Martin Glover (aka Youth).

This isn’t exactly what we think of as ambient these days, but boy oh boy is it a prime early 90s time capsule. If you’re an Art of Noise fan, you’ll love hearing favorites like “Crusoe” and “Ode to Don Jose” in slightly more vivid hi-fi. Try not to be put off by the language excerpted below–these are brilliant songs, and they make a lot of sense tweaked into an explicitly balearic context, given that a lot of AON signature synth textures and environments feel like very direct precursors to what is described below as ambient house. Includes “A Nation Rejects” and its successor “Roundabout 727,” the riff from which has famously been sampled in too many rap tracks to count. Choral samples, ocean waves, hypnagogic percussion, and cotton candy synthesizers. It’s almost embarrassing how up my alley this is, so I hope it’s the same for you.

Enjoy, thanks for reading, happy new year, and may we all be on the up and up.

With the advent of the nineties a new decade of clubs and DJ’s have floated into our consciousness. Their trip is a journey into peace. An ambient ecstasy. The creation of a new musical travelogue. A minimalistic embrace of everything good about the hard and uncompromising trance-dance of house and the surrealism of ambient instrumentalism.
Ambient or ‘chill out’ rooms have been set up in clubs all around the country as an alternative to the dance floor. Pure ecstasy escapism. Rooms for day-dreaming, fantasising or hallucinating.
This ambient collection is a sound step into the future. A collection of tracks alternatively known as ‘New Age House’ or ‘Ambient House.’ Everyday sounds, noises and atmospheres we’ve imagined and heard all our lives but never consciously listened to. An unfocused daydream with no background or foreground. A sense of not being yourself, or being apart from what you’re listening to. A draft into tranquility, in and out of reality.
Oft played and more than often sampled, The Art Of Noise have long been torchbearers for this form of ambient instrumentalism.
So…chill out.

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5 thoughts on “The Art of Noise – The Ambient Collection, 1990”

  1. pulled ‘moments of love’ off the shelf yesterday in a midst of wax shuffling mania. Played it at -8 and was suiting the relaxed holiday household vibe. Played the ‘booty bass’ mix of Ginuwines ‘Pony’ to an interested party, winner of best use of ‘moments in love’ many moons ago. zeitgeist.
    This blog is exceptional. Long may it reign in 2018.

  2. It says a lot about the closed minds controlling music history that Art Of Noise are never rated important. Thankfully musicians and fans know deeper and better.

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