I’d originally planned to write a rapturously detailed post about where I was and what I was doing the first time I heard the 1984 single, “Close (To the Edit)” by the Art of Noise, potentially regaling readers with how the fact that its placement on a roadtrip mixtape of mine at the time managed to rile the shit out of some of my stuffy, Grafeful Dead-loving cousins (“fuck is THIS shit?”), only convincing me further of its utter brilliance.
But you don’t need me to tell you all that. If you had ears and a brain in 1984, you knew “Close (To the Edit)” was the sound of the future. Thirty years later, while it sounds quaintly dated, “Close (To the Edit)” remains a remarkably produced piece of music.
And then, of course, there’s the video, which packed an equally bizarre, Dadaist punch to the beat-heavy bombast of Art of Noise’s score. Who are those three demolition dudes? Is that the band? Why are they destroying everything? Who’s the little punkette?
Obviously, it was awesome. Let's review, shall we?
Why am I discussing any of this now? Well, I only recently learned that the video for “Close (To the Edit)” was not filmed in Art of Noise’s native England, as I’d initially assumed, but rather right here in New York City. Shot by Zbigniew Rybczynski, the same maverick director responsible for similarly-inclined clips by Lady Pank's "Minus Zero," Lou Reed's "Original Wrapper" and Belfegore's "All That I Wanted," the action in “Close (To the Edit)” takes place on a stretch of what is now a posh, well-traveled public park. That’s right, that garbage-strewn, urban wasteland is none other than The High Line.
Anyway, this is evidently old news. There are several blog posts out there detailed to same. In any case, I was out and about last weekend with my kids, and tried to divine the spot of the final shot of the video, using my daughter Charlotte as a stand-in for the little hellion in pink. See what ya think....
....and our attempt.