Following the multi-instrumental flair of In No Sense? Nonsense!, 1989's Below the Waste showed the Art of Noise almost completely ditching their elliptical art-punk roots for worryingly stylized, low-key ambient compositions that bordered on world mall-music. The now fully emerged fusion of village chants, ground percussion, rumbling guitars, jumpy handclaps, and mostly generic machine sound showed considerable personal growth, but the band seemed unqualified for it. The textures of the album were all wrong, from the puffed-up, intrigue-free cover of the James Bond theme to the Ron Grainer-like dribble of flutey jazz of "Island" and the dated and cringingly fake synth-thunderclaps in "Dilemma." A misfire.
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AllMusic Review by Dean Carlson