Buy – James Chance & The Contortions (1979)

“If there is a single idea from the late ’70s, early ’80s No Wave scene that should be remembered, it’s this; for this brief moment in time, anything suddenly seemed possible. … Both explored, celebrated, or tore apart various musical and artistic influences and styles from the past. Yet, while one amounts to enjoyable, feel-good (albeit steeped in a subversive schoolyard gang mentality) back-to-basics rock, the other, while rarely ever pleasant listening, is utterly compelling for its in-your-face audacity, sneering deconstruction of traditional musical forms, and its creation of something that is still, almost 30 years later, at times shockingly new. Milwaukee, Wisconsin transplant James Chance was one of the key players in this less feted, but far more musically adventurous period in New York musical history. … Punk enough for the punks thanks to Chance’s manic yelps and screams, yet smart and daring enough for the more adventurous thanks to an iconoclastic use of rhythm, sax, and a violent aping of past musical styles. Nowhere is this confrontational assault of sound better heard than on Chance and The Contortions’ 1979 debut, Buy. A blistering collection of tracks that slam together a barrage of ideas whose roots are firmly planted in funk, punk, and free jazz, influences which are sent skyrocketing into the atmosphere in a great big cacophonous ball and slammed back down to earth in order to create something fresh out of the destruction. …”
W – Buy
YouTube: “Contort Yourself” at M-80 Festival, Minneapolis, 9.23.79, Max’s Kansas City (1978) 19:42
YouTube: Buy (Full Album) 39:35


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