Various Artists – Close to The Noise Floor 4CD Retrospective of Formative UK Electronica 1975-1984: Proto Synthpop, Ambient Explorations, Noise, Drones and Concrète – (Cherry Red Records)

For anyone interested/ obsessive about the history of UK electronic music then this compilation from Cherry Red is an absolute must have. Spread over the timeline of four cd’s the thing that strikes you is just how radical these tracks still sound decades later, as well as how great they are of course. While the initial flair of Punk’s energy spun off into a second wave of guitar chorus’s some took that D.I.Y impulse and tuned it into the emergence of synthesisers in the seventies and the next decade, resulting in an awkward if not beautiful chaos. The more familiar names of Throbbing Gristle, The Human League and John Foxx exist amongst a wealth of long buried geniuses as the electricity of sound engaged with the avant-garde or brushed against melody. Either way, ‘Close to The Noise Floor’ is excitement personified.

5 out of 5

Reviewed by Greg Fenton