Updated: Nov 2, 2020
In this first part of a recurring series, we're going to talk about a groundbreaking album from an artist that influenced us. If you enjoy the style of music that we make, we're hoping these album picks will send you on an exciting journey of musical discovery!
The Art of Noise were a short-lived experimental act formed in the 80's by super-producer Trevor Horn. Their music featured bombastic tongue-in-cheek sound collages that were intended as an exploration of the possibilities of digital sampling, which was a brand new technology at the time. Their portfolio is something of a hodge-podge, but was undoubtedly groundbreaking, and influenced much bigger artists to come, most notably The Prodigy.
The group reformed in 1999 to produce a concept album entitled The Seduction of Claude Debussy. While still fundamentally an electronica album, this is like nothing you've heard before. It's best described as a musical biography (complete with soothing narration by the late John Hurt) of French composer Claude Debussy. But don't expect tiresome "modern beats mixed over old classical performances" here. In their own words, Debussy was "the revolutionary that set 20th century music on its way" and this is reflected in Seduction, which blends reimagined snippets of his orchestral work with the sounds of jazz, pop, rock, opera, electronica, drum n bass and even rap. Add to this some top-notch production values (a Horn trademark) and we have an absolute masterpiece. In my opinion no album before or since sounds quite like this. It's beautiful, melodic, exciting and unique.
In many ways Seduction's sound reflects the sound that we are striving to achieve with the Nylon Admirals project. As listeners, we're not locked into any single genre. We appreciate any music that is dramatic, emotional and above all musical, whatever the genre. Which is why our own work has such an eclectic sound. A good example would be our track Oyster, which lays rap vocals over a gritty blend of orchestral strings, hard guitar riffs, synth bass, breakbeat rhythms and pounding taiko drums. Musical gumbo, maybe, but we like our tunes rich and spicy!