J. J. Jeczalik

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J. J. Jeczalik
Birth nameJonathan Edward Stephen Jeczalik
BornBanbury, England
GenresElectronica, synthpop, new wave, pop, rock
Occupation(s)Composer, musician, record producer, ex-teacher
Instrument(s)Synthesizers, Fairlight CMI

Jonathan Edward Stephen "J. J." Jeczalik (/jɛnˈɑːlɪk/) is an English electronic musician/record producer, co-founder of the electronic music group the Art of Noise.[1][2] He taught IT at Oxford High School until his retirement in 2013.[3]

Before Art of Noise[edit]

He began his journey into music after coming to London and promoting a gig for a pub group called Landscape (of Einstein A Go-Go fame), then later roadied for their co-lead singer Richard James Burgess before meeting the Buggles a.k.a. Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes.[4]

Before becoming a freelance programmer Jeczalik worked for Downes, programming the Fairlight CMI, as Downes had problems with the machine. After that he became a part of Horn’s production team working alongside future Art of Noise members, Gary Langan and Anne Dudley on hits for Dollar, before working on ABC's The Lexicon of Love and Malcolm McLaren's Duck Rock albums.[5]

Art of Noise and freelance work[edit]

When the Fairlight CMI Series II came out in 1982, Jeczalik got access to "Page R", the built-in sequencer for the Fairlight. While working on the Yes album 90125, Jeczalik was experimenting with drum and percussion samples from Yes' drummer, Alan White. Jeczalik along with sound engineer, Gary Langan, sequenced drum beats and breaks in Page R and created "Beat Box", the debut single for Art of Noise.

During production of Malcolm McLaren's album Duck Rock, Jeczalik and Langan met Anne Dudley, a classical music session musician and composer. Along with Horn, Langan, Dudley and Paul Morley, Jeczalik co-founded Art of Noise in 1983.[6]

As a freelancer, he was in a minority of musicians around the globe that used CMIs to create music, but unlike his contemporaries, at the time Jeczalik developed his own way of creating noises by taking advantage of the machine's then-poor quality audio output and transformed the distorted samples into unrecognisable sounds. Some of these early ideas can be heard on the Kate Bush album The Dreaming.[7]

One night those techniques would change the way that records were made when Langan asked him to help out with an idea. Jeczalik sampled a scrapped drum riff from a session of the Yes album 90125. That would become Art of Noise, a two-man side project that became a quintet with Dudley, Horn and Paul Morley as additions to the line-up.[8]

They were the first act signed to ZTT Records in 1983 and launched it with the EP entitled Into Battle with the Art of Noise that broke new ground, leading to numerous innovative follow-up hit singles and albums for the rest of the 1980s. Jeczalik was also instrumental behind the success of controversial Liverpool band, Frankie Goes to Hollywood with their number one hit singles "Relax" and "Two Tribes" also on ZTT.[9] Other work for the label involved further work for FGTH on the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album and for another two signings, Propaganda and Andrew Poppy.

The future Grammy Award winner continued freelance work as either a programmer, producer or remixer with his most notable work producing the hit singles "Kiss Me" by Stephen Duffy, "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" by Pet Shop Boys, a cover of "Jezebel" by Shakin' Stevens[10] and in 1987 composed the music for the BBC documentary The Case of Sherlock Holmes.[11]

Art of silence and retirement from the music industry[edit]

In 1990, Art of Noise split, leaving Jeczalik to work on other projects including the Biographers' concept album Columbus with some of the recording done at his own Monsterrat Studios in Berkshire. J.J. Jeczalik’s Art of Sampling was released in 1993 including hundreds of samples from his personal audio library and was released on AMG's Hit Sound Producer label.[12]

In 1995, Jeczalik launched Art of Silence (his spin-off to Art of Noise) and his label Axiomattic with the West 4 single, the album artofsilence.co.uk and website that all followed in the next year with Teach Me, his final release as a musician in 1997. He retired from the music business and taught ITC at two Oxfordshire schools until his retirement in 2013.[3]



  • 1993: JJ Jeczalik's Art of Sampling

Studio work[edit]

  • 1981: Sat in Your Lap Kate Bush; Fairlight programming; No. 11
  • 1981: Hand Held in Black And White Dollar; Fairlight programming; No. 19
  • 1981: Mirror Mirror (Mon Amor) Dollar; Fairlight programming; No. 4
  • 1982: Poison Arrow ABC; Fairlight programming; No. 6
  • 1982: Give Me Back My Heart Dollar; Fairlight programming; No. 4
  • 1982: The Look of Love ABC; Fairlight programming; No. 4
  • 1982: Videotheque Dollar; Fairlight programming; No. 17
  • 1982: All of My Heart ABC; Fairlight programming; No. 5
  • 1982: Buffalo Gals Malcolm McLaren and the World's Famous Supreme Team; Fairlight programming; No. 9
  • 1983: Soweto Malcolm McLaren; Fairlight programming; No. 32
  • 1983: Double Dutch Malcolm McLaren; Fairlight programming; No. 3
  • 1983: Owner of a Lonely Heart Yes; Fairlight programming; No. 28
  • 1983: Relax Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Fairlight programming; No. 1
  • 1983: Duck for the Oyster Malcolm McLaren; Fairlight programming; No. 54
  • 1984: Dr. Mabuse Propaganda; Fairlight programming; No. 27
  • 1984: Leave It Yes; Fairlight programming; No. 56
  • 1984: Absolute Scritti Politti; Fairlight programming; No. 17
  • 1984: Two Tribes Frankie Goes To Hollywood; Fairlight programming; No. 1
  • 1984: Young Hearts (Sudden Africa Mix) Silent Running; remix; No. 92
  • 1984: Plague of Hearts Flip; producer
  • 1984: Going Up in the World The Hostages; remix
  • 1984: Flesh For Fantasy (Below The Belt Mix) Billy Idol; Fairlight Programming; 54
  • 1984: Beat Boy Visage; Fairlight programming
  • 1985: Kiss Me Stephen Tintin Duffy; producer/Fairlight programming; No. 4
  • 1985: Cry (Extended Remix) Godley & Creme; remix; No. 19
  • 1985: Opportunities Pet Shop Boys; producer/Fairlight programming; No. 116
  • 1986: I Dream in Blue The Shine; Fairlight programming
  • 1986: Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) Pet Shop Boys; producer/Fairlight programming; No. 11
  • 1986: Ready Made Fehlmann's Ready Made; Fairlight programming
  • 1989: Noisy (Aow Too Dou Zat) Jean Paul Gaultier; produced and mixed/Fairlight programming
  • 1989: Jezebel Shakin' Stevens; produced and remixed; No. 58
  • 1989: Primitive Man Eartha Kitt; mixed
  • 1990: It's Over Paul Monéo; producer
  • 1997: Out of the Fire Lock; producer


  1. ^ Hochman, Steve (20 July 1986). "Art of Noise Got Wrong Image By Avoiding One". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  2. ^ Cromelin, Richard (31 July 1986). "Pop Music Review : Duane Eddy Rocks Life into Art of Noise". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Staff List". Oxford High School for GDST. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Super Delxue Edition Interview". Super Deluxe Edition. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Langan Interview". The Electricity Club. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  6. ^ Whitehouse, KM. "The Art of Noise Online". The Art of Noise Online. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Sound On Sound". soundonsound.com. August 1996. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  8. ^ "History". Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Trevor Horn talks Frankie, SARM and synths". Musicrader. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Shakin' Stevens & The Art of Noise". swisscharts. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  11. ^ "BBC Genome". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  12. ^ "JJ Jeczalik". Retrieved 8 March 2016.

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