Two years in the making, Close To The Noise Floor is the new 4CD (61-track) set exploring the origins of electronica in the UK… and it’s out this week!
Two years in the making, Close To The Noise Floor is the forthcoming 4CD (61-track) set exploring the origins of electronica in the UK… and it’s released this week. Order Close To The Noise Floor here.
Featuring tracks from key figures on the cassette label underground alongside early releases by future stars of the movement, this is part primitive rave, part synthesiser porn and part history lesson.
Enthralled by the mysterious electronics of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Gong and German Kosmische artists such as Tangerine Dream, Harmonia and Cluster, and inspired by the DIY ethos of punk, a quiet revolution took place across the UK in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The rise of the microchip and the advent of affordable synthesisers enabled countless artists for whom guitars, drums and bass had become old hat, and in grubby bedsits, unremarkable living rooms and art school halls across the British Isles, UK electronica was born. The underground, fuelled by cassette exchanges, co-operative vinyl compilations and a thriving mail order network, quickly began to stretch the boundaries of sonic experimentation.
Close To The Noise Floor explores every corner of this fascinating and often overlooked chapter in our musical history. For proto synth-pop look no further than 100% Manmade Fibre and Spoon Fazer, whilst British Standard Unit and Five Times Of Dust lay out techno templates which wouldn’t take full form until many years later. Elsewhere, the synthesiser laden ambient music of Zorch and the found sound collages of A Tent sit comfortably alongside early forays by familiar names – Blancmange, The Human League, OMD and Throbbing Gristle – in over four hours of futurist, entirely modern music.
And who better to tell this story than the artists themselves…. Close To The Noise Floor features forty eight pages of artist written sleevenotes, unseen photographs and extracts from Dave Henderson’s legendary 1983 Wild Planet overview of the entire scene.
1. FIVE TIMES OF DUST – Computer Bank
2. THE KLINGONS – R.A.M.
3. CHRIS AND COSEY – Re-Education Through Labour
4. MALCOLM BROWN – Sedation Strokes
5. STORM BUGS – Little Bob Minor
6. THOMAS LEER – Tight As A Drum
7. BLANCMANGE – Holiday Camp
8. INNER CITY STATIC – Fractured Smile
9. WE BE ECHO – Sexuality
10. BOURBONESE QUALK – God With Us
11. NAGAMATZU Faith
12. O YUKI CONJUGATE – Disco Song
13. BRITISH ELECTRIC FOUNDATION – Optimum Chant
14. KEVIN HARRISON – All Night Long
15. VOICE OF AUTHORITY – Stopping And Starting
1. COLIN POTTER – I Am Your Shadow
2. BRITISH STANDARD UNIT – D’Ya Think I’m Sexy?
3. FIVE TIMES OF DUST – The Single Off The Album
4. SPÖÖN FAZER – Back To The Beginning
5. GERRY AND THE HOLOGRAMS – Gerry And The Holograms
6. THE PASSAGE – Drugface
7. JOHN FOXX – A New Kind Of Man
8. 100% MANMADE FIBRE – Green For Go
9. THOSE LITTLE ALIENS – Sentimental
10. FINAL PROGRAM – Protect And Survive
11. THE HUMAN LEAGUE – Being Boiled
12. INSTANT AUTOMATONS – New Muzak
13. CULTURAL AMNESIA – Materialistic Man
14. WORLDBACKWARDS – (Leaving Me) Now
15. ALAN BURNHAM – Music To Save The World By
16. ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK – Almost
17. EYELESS IN GAZA – Kodak Ghosts Run Amok
18. SCHLEIMER K – Broken Vein
19. NATIVE EUROPE – The Distance From Köln
1. ZORCH – Adrenalin (Return of the Elohim Pt 1)
2. SEA OF WIRES – Robot Dance
3. RON BERRY – Sea Of Tranquility
4. MFH – Mistral
5. ADRIAN SMITH – Joe Goes To New York
6. MARK SHREEVE – Embryo (Extract)
7. EG OBLIQUE GRAPH – Triptych
8. CARL MATTHEWS – Encounter
9. PAUL NAGLE – Ynys Scaith
10. O YUKI CONJUGATE – Sedation
11. KONSTRUKTIVIST – Western Vein
12. ATTRITION – Dead Of Night (Excerpt)
1. THROBBING GRISTLE – What A Day
2. A TENT – No Way Of Knowing
3. PORTION CONTROL – Go For The Throat
4. DC3 – Eco Beat
5. RENALDO AND THE LOAF – Dying Inside
6. BLAH BLAH BLAH – In The Army
7. LEGENDARY PINK DOTS – God Speed
8. MUSLIMGAUZE – Muslin Gauze Muslim Prayer
9. SUISSE – Live At Longborne
10. ALIEN BRAINS – Menial Disorders, Extract B2
11. STORM BUGS – Himeal (And She Blew)
12. THIRD DOOR FROM THE LEFT – In The Room
13. AL ROBERTSON – Dignity Of Labour
14. bcGilbert, gLewis, russell Mills – Mzui (Extract)