That Peculiar Noise Art Makes.

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Perhaps lecturing at the University of Iowa last night, about pics I took a quarter-century ago of Public Enemy’s founding members, has put me in a reflective state of mind. (That presentation went grrreat, by the way, and I’m expecting to do it at other schools. E- me if you can help make this happen.)

Right now, though, check out this clip of The Art of Noise, shot at Wembley Arena for the “Produced by Trevor Horn” Prince’s Trust fundraiser, November 11, 2004, as the band performs a live version of their ill, 1984 masterwork, “Close (to the Edit).”

180full-zbigniew-rybczynskiNow, it’s true that, until the end of time, the images by supergenius director Zbigniew Rybczinski, right, from his feral, clockwork music video for “Edit,” will provoke the hardest memories of the cut for many. Indeed, the short’s visual daring and insouciance still give me chills. Upon its release, I’d never seen a video more forthrightly assert the newness of its vision, instantly making everything surrounding it look dusty by comparison. (I wish Palm Pictures’s Directors Label Series would issue a retrospective of this man’s work. What in the world are they waiting for?)

screen2Yet, for so long has “Close (to the Edit)” resided deep in the mystique of synthetic sound production that, in the Wembley footage, even the sight of Noise keyboardist Anne Dudley striking notes to “start the car,” as Horn charges her, strangely fascinates. In fact, it wasn’t until I saw Horn pulling on his five-string bass that it oddly hit me you could play “Edit”‘s familiar walking bass line on the instrument. Don’t ask me why. It just seemed weird to register them as, I dunno, regular notes.

Anyway, celebrate one of pop music’s coolest tracks from the era, by a band that, to me, remains one of the paragons of invention and edge, and that definitely influenced P.E. (Chuck D namechecks ’em in the first 30 seconds of “Niggativity…Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?” from 1996’s Autobigraphy of Mistachuck.)

Plus, if you’re as much a Trevor Horn hog as I am—you have no idea how long I scrounged the net before I found an mp3 of Dollar’s “Handheld in Black & White,” as it’s not on the otherwise glorious Produced by Trevor Horn compilation:

1) You could do worse than following up “Edit” with this Wembley vid of the Buggles live take on their sparkly “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

2) Tag this soon-to-be-released DVD of the entire concert, Slaves to the Rhythm, out May 19th. But you’ll have to beat me to the head of the line.



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