Skip to content

Art of Noise, ‘Who’s Afraid of the Art of Noise – Deluxe Edition’ (ZTT/Union Square)

Art of Noise didn’t make hip-hop so much as a high-concept imitation of it: more the idea of funky than funk. Well, you can read the manifesto (though it offers no answers). Interestingly, this was 1984, so hip-hop was already inspiring brainy English commentary just as it was starting to evolve. But ’80s hip-hop flaunts and celebrates, while Who’s Afraid doesn’t — it sneaks, shifts, and pranks, a jigsaw puzzle of a sound admired from afar.