May 21, 2006

Leftovers 2

Two of my all time favourite record labels are Postcard and ZE. Postcard was a bunch of indie (re)defining acts from Glasgow, mainly Orange Juice and Josef K, while ZE was a diverse group of sassy New Yorkers including James Chance, Cristina, Lydia Lunch, Suicide and Kid Creole, in addition to a contingent of wonderfully playful French artists such as Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Les Garçons (who's first record, credited to Marie & Les Garçons, was produced by John Cale) and Suicide Romeo.

Did these two labels have anything to do with each other? To my knowledge, no. I'm pretty sure the Postcard bands were paying attention to what ZE was doing though (it's been rumoured that Orange Juice initially based their image on Marie & Les Garçons), if not vice versa, and I often think of them together. For whilst coming out of very dissimilar cultural contexts, both labels were unified in spirit by their willingness and drive to redefine what great new music (mostly within the confines of pop) should be all about. And by amongst other things fusing punk ideals with disco/funk sensibilities, they succeeded beautifully, setting a blueprint for many of today's post-punk-funk inspired bands.

Suicide Romeo | Images

Take a look at the Suicide Romeo discography on this Japanese ZE website, and you'll notice that Orange Juice is mentioned. Which you'll realize makes a lot of sense when you listen to the track (from their first and only (?) LP 'Images') below.

Suicide Romeo | Suicide Romeo

Thrown in for good measure, here's a Les Garçons b-side; not a million miles from what Josef K was doing at the time. (Or what Franz Ferdinand et al. are doing now I think...)

Les Garçons | Dans Quelques Minutes

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