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Title: The FON mixes
Author: Dave Simpson


AROUND the time of their inception in the early Eighties, avant-futurists The Art Of Noise were widely regarded as a preposterous arty gimmick. Their use of such revolutionary techniques as sampling the sounds of car doors and farmyard animals to create a new form of dance music was seen as nothing but a vulgar fad. Now, following the huge upsurge in sample-based techno, the group have finally been accredited with the pioneer status they deserve.

“The Fon Mixes” is a double album of remixes/reconstructions by many of today’s sampling sorcerers (from Rhythmatic to 808 State) and works both as a homage and a brilliant album in its own right. Kicking off mightily with Prodigy’s next single, “Instruments Of Darkness” , the mood is set for a dizzying excursion into brutal esoteric techno: the squidging subsonics of Rhythmatic’s “Yebo” and “Roller 10”, the urbane delirium of Robert Gordon’s “Back To Backbeat” and the superb shimmering of Carl Cox’s “Shades Of Paranomia”. Like many of the mixes, “Paranomia” is almost unrecognisable from the track it’s based upon.

The finest techno functions not only as dance music but also as a catalyst for imagination. Listening to Graham Massey’s “Legs” , a sulphurous concoction of 808’s boss, fizzing high frequencies and juvenile chants, I’m presented with an image of the children of the damned arising like spectres from a bubbling hot pool, (What, you too? – Ed) while Mark Brydon’s “L.E.F.” is like a hymn to the awakening of a huge computer creature.

“The Fon Mixes” is brimming with the adrenalin, adventure and innovation of a music which reaches a high peak with every turn.

File next to Fluke and System 7: essential, state of the art, boundary-bending modern dance.