Various Artists B. Loves ZE


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Agnes B. Loves ZE

Multiform cultural encounter, « B Loves ZE » is an unusual but somehow natural breeding between two of the most creative artistic entities in their respective field; providing a delightful and trendy association of unleashed talent.

In the late 70's / early 80's, ZE Records developed an independent and surrealist entity with a very particular esthetic line, a chaotic but coherent universe, refuge of all the Arty New York underground scene and the strong individualities which composed it.

This was also the time of the "Paradise Garage" when Disco was still underground, producing the strangest, silliest, most colorful dance singles ; a vibrant sign of this unlikely cross-over Disco-Inferno / No Wave-Funk that was happening in the city.

ZE is now - 30 years later - glad to present « B Loves ZE », an insight into ZE Records' vintage catalogue by world famous french designer Agnes B. This selection introduces NY underground legends Lydia Lunch, James White, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks (all parts of Brian Eno cult "No New York" compilation), alongside french electro-disco pionners Garçons, sarcastic drama queen Lizzy Mercier Descloux or cosmopolitanos machinegun-funk Was (Not Was).

This cross-disciplinary selection is also a chance to discover Michael Dracula, 1st new addition to ZE Records' roster since 1982 ! Inspired by a collective penchant for hats, cats, and « Release the bats, » Michael Dracula's sound evolved into that of a band hoping to be hired to play at the hypothetical wedding of Michael Jackson to Myra Hindley. Before long, this cross-pollination of cabaret-esqe glamour with no wave dissonance soon caught the attention of the hype european music scene.

Charming but menacing, twisted but dancy, dark but catchy as hell... ZE Records is back.

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01 • ARTO / NETO • Pini Pini • 2:06
Written by Arto Lindsay & Seth Tillet.
Published by ZE Multimedia Music
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1978
Available on "N.Y NO WAVE" ZEREC.CD01. ZE Records © 2003

02 • LYDIA LUNCH • Lady Scarface • 3:12
Written by Lydia Lunch.
Published by Infantunes
Taken from the original album "Queen of Siam"
Produced by Lydia Lunch & Bob Blanck
Original sound recording made by ZE records ©1980
Available on "N.Y No Wave" ZEREC.CD01. ZE Records © 2003

03 • LIZZY MERCIER DESCLOUX • Torso Corso • 1:51
Written by Lizzy Mercier Descloux/Dj Banes/Eliasson
Published by ZE Multimedia Music
Produced by L.M.D / Banes /Eliason / Esteban
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1979
Available on « Press Color » ZEREC.CD03. ZE Records © 2003

04 • ALAN VEGA • Outlaw (August Darnell Remix) • 5:14
Written by Alan Vega.
Published by Revega Music Inc Ascap
Produced by Alan Vega Remixed by August Darnell
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1982
Available on « Mutant Disco Vol. 3 » ZEREC.CD14. ZE Records © 2004

05 • JAMES CHANCE & THE CONTORTIONS • Contort Yourself • 4:24
Written by James Siegfried. Published by Copostatic music
Produced by James Chance • Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1979
Available on « Buy » ZEREC.CD08. ZE Records © 2004

06 • TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS • The Closet • 2:52
Written by Lydia Lunch.
Published by Infantunes
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1979
Available on « N.Y No Wave » ZEREC.CD01. ZE Records © 2003

07 • DON ARMANDO’S 2 ND AVE. RHUMBA BAND • I'm an Indian Too • 3:22
Written by Irving Berlin
Published by Irving Berlin music Ltd. BMI
Produced & arranged by "Sugar Coated" Andy Hernandez
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1979
Available on "Mutant Disco Vol. 3" ZEREC.CD14. ZE Records © 2004

08 • CRISTINA • La Poupée Qui Fait Non • 7:38
Written by Polnareff / Gerard.
Published by Semi Societe (EMI Music France)
Produced by August Darnell
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1980
Available on "Doll in the Box" ZEREC.CD11. ZE Records © 2004

09 • CAROLINE LOEB • Narcissique • 3:32
Written by Caroline Loeb & Ron Rogers
Published by Universal Music
Produced by Ron Rogers
Taken from the original album "Pirananaa"
Original sound recording made by ZE records ©1983
Available on "Mutant Disco Vol. 2" ZEREC.CD02B. ZE Records © 2004
& "Piranana" ZEREC.CD49. ZE Records © 2010

10 • GARCONS • French Boy • 3:04
Written by Vidal/Fitoussi • Published by E Sound
Produced by Michel Esteban & Michael Zilkha
Taken from the original album "Divorce"
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1979
Available on "Mutant Disco Vol. 1" ZEREC.CD02A. ZE Records © 2003
& "Divorce" ZEREC.CD46. ZE Records © 2010

11 • WAS (NOT WAS) • Wheel Me Out • 7:04
Written by Don & David Was
Published by Island Music Ltd
Produced byDon & David Was
Original sound recording made by ZE Records ©1980
Available on "Out Come The Freaks" ZEREC.CD05. ZE Records © 2004

12 • MICHAEL DRACULA • What Can I Do For You? • 3:44
Written by Emily MacLaren
Published by ZE Multimedia Music
Produced by Michel Esteban


This selection selected by Agnes B
Remastered by Charlus de la Salle at South Factory
This selection (p) & © ZE Records Mundo Ltda 2010


Front cover desing by Agnes B
Booklet design by Michel Esteban

B. Loves ZE

In 1975, Agnès b. opened her first Parisian shop, rue du Jour, in the Paris Halles district, while I was opening mine (Harry Cover) on rue des Halles, just a few blocks away. Agnès was selling simple, elegant and somehow timeless clothes; I was selling T.shirts, various publications, books and imported anglo-saxon records. In the mean time, I started publishing the first Patti Smith's poetry books - reissued 20 years later by the famous French editor Christian Bourgois - and also « Rock News », a magazine which covered the birth of the various New Wave and Punk movements in New York, London and Paris.

Agnes picked the first initial of the above-mentioned editor's name who was also her husband, to name her brand, while 2 years later, I would associate the first letter of my name to the Z of Michael Zilkha's and start ZE Records. Early eighties, Agnes opened her first New York shop on Prince street in Soho, two blocks from the Lafayette street loft where I was living at the time.

We were meant to meet each other and yet, it never happened over those 30 years. Yet, during this period, we both had loved John Cassavetes' and Jacques Tati's films, listened to the same records, been to the same art shows, clubs and festivals. We obviously shared the same passion for independence, discretion and new adventures.

Thirty years later, Agnès is still making clothes and I'm still producing records. She's about to create a contemporary art foundation in Paris, while I am setting up the same thing around a cultural institute for music and contemporary art, as well as an Indie music festival, both based in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

30 years that we have been working in parallel without ever meeting each other. 30 years also being the age of the snap cardigan which made her famous and of James Chance's or Lizzy Mercier Descloux' debut albums, all of which, I arrogantly tend to believe, haven't aged a bit. In 2007, through this b. loves ze project, Agnès is finally selecting her twelve favourite tracks from the ZE Records' catalogue, and I'm proud to say that I, we & ze love b.

Michel Esteban.Paris 2007



B. Loves ZE

En 1975 Agnès b. ouvrait sa première boutique à Paris rue du Jour dans le quartier des Halles à Paris pendant que j’ouvrais la mienne (Harry Cover) rue des Halles, à quelques centaines de mètres de là. Agnès vendait des vêtements simples, élégants et indémodables, moi des T. Shirts, des publications, livres et disques imports anglo-saxons. Je publiais parallèlement les premiers livres de poésie de Patti Smith que Christian Bourgois rééditera une vingtaine d’années plus tard, et le magazine “Rock News” qui couvrait la naissance des différents mouvements New Wave et Punk à New York, Londres et Paris.

Agnès choisit comme marque l’initiale de son nom d’épouse d’éditeur sus nommé, et moi j’associais 2 ans plus tard la mienne au Z de Michael Zilkha pour créer ZE Records. Au début des années 80 Agnès ouvrait sa première  boutique New Yorkaise, à Soho dans Prince Street à deux blocs du loft sur Lafayette Street où j’habitais alors. Nous étions faits pour nous rencontrer et pourtant ce ne fut pas le cas pendant 30 ans. Pourtant durant toute cette période nous avons aimé parallèlement le cinéma de John Cassavetes ou de Jaques Tati, les mêmes disques, fréquenté les mêmes expos, clubs ou festivals. Nous partageons de toute évidence une passion pour l’indépendance, la discrétion et les nouvelles aventures.

Trente ans plus tard Agnès continue de fabriquer des vêtements et moi de produire des disques, elle s’active aujourd’hui également à la création d’une fondation pour l’art contemporain à Paris, pendant que moi-même je fais la même chose autour d’un institut pour la musique, les arts contemporains, ainsi qu’un festival de musique indé, tous basés à Salvador de Bahia au Brésil.

30 ans que nous nous activons parallèlement sans nous rencontrer, l’âge de son petit cardigan à pression et des premiers albums de James Chance ou de Lizzy Mercier Descloux dont j’ai l’arrogance de croire qu’aucun n’a pris une ride.In 2007, à travers le projet b. loves ze, Agnès sélectionne ses douze titres préférés du catalogue ZE ; et je suis fier de dire que I, we, and ze loves b.

Michel Esteban

Paris 2007.

Track List
  • 1
    Pini Pini - Arto Lindsay
  • 2
    Lady Scarface - Lydia Lunch
  • 3
    Torso Corso - Lizzy Mercier Descloux
  • 4
    Outlaw - Alan Vega - (August Darnell Remix)
  • 5
    Contort Yourself - James Chance
  • 6
    The Closet - Teenage Jesus & The Jerks
  • 7
    I'm an Indian Too - Don Armando's 2nd Av. Rhumba Band
  • 8
    La Poupée Qui Fait Non - Long Version - Cristina
  • 9
    Narcissique - Caroline Loeb
  • 10
    French Boys - Garçons
  • 11
    Wheel Me Out - Was (Not Was)
  • 12
    What Can I Do For You? - Michael Dracula