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various / strut - Ze 30: Ze Records Story 1979-2009
Classic New York label Ze gets this richly deserved look back across its catalogue, commemorating thirty years of no-wave, punk-funk pioneering. The likes of Suicide, Was (Not Was), Material and Kid Creole are all on hand with important contributions to the canon, charting the sort of artistic diversity you'd only expect to encounter during 1980s NYC. Alongside the eerily moving, electrified new wave anthem 'Dream Baby Dream' by Suicide, you'll find riotous disco theatricality from Cristina, strange, vacant sounding 4/4 funk courtesy of Lizzy Mercier Descloux and comical Gallic synth shuffle from Garcons. Bill Laswell's Material are on hand to typify the kind of genre-blurring fusions that characterised Ze's roster, embarking on a soulful, yet progressive piece of bass-dominated proto-house on 'Bustin' Out', while Larry Levan takes on Kid Creole and the Coconuts for a crossover of tropical, Afro-Caribbean instrumentation and slick, modern (well, for the time, that is) disco production. There are some really great selections here, and the compilations judges the balance of big hitters and lesser known tracks rather well - a most worthy retrospective.