Best Off

ZE 025CD ZE 025CD

2016 restock; originally released in 2006. Ze Records presents a compilation of some of the best work from Lizzy Mercier Descloux. Having already established herself as Paris' punk muse as a correspondent for Rock News, in 1978 Lizzy Mercier Descloux moved permanently to New York City and took a huge empty loft in Soho with friends Patti Smith and Michel Esteban, who would later go on to found Ze Records. They used the space as a workshop to play guitar, produce art and music. Under this incredibly influential umbrella, Lizzy and DJ Banes started a pretty obscure and nervous combo called Rosa Yemen. Drawing from the fertile grounds of punk, new wave and avant garde from the likes of Arto Lindsay, Lydia Lunch, James Chance/White and the rest of the new Ze Records signings, Lizzy eventually produced her own infamous first full-length Press Color (1979), which sounded like nothing that came before it, with angular guitar raves, feminine punk scrawls, and African-influenced dance beats, all liberated by Lizzy's yelps. Her versions of "Fire" and "Mission Impossible" would soon fill the dance floors in Tokyo, London, Paris and Berlin, signalling the transition from the grit of punk to the cheekiness of New Wave. Lizzy continued to expand her palette by recording in the Bahamas, South America and South Africa, recruiting musicians who would bring their diverse worldbeat influences to develop soul/funk/dance/no wave crossbreed records of inimitable originality. For her second record, Mambo Nassau (1981), Lizzy would work with Steve Stanley (who would also work with Grace Jones, and the Tom Tom Club) and employ the talents of Wally Badarou (Herbie Hancock, Level 42, Black Uhuru) as well as no wave founding father Arto Lindsay. After much acclaim for her next record Gazelles (1984) which won Album of the Year award in Paris, she then went on to record One From the Soul, in which she collaborated with Brazilian musicians and jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. After one more somewhat unsuccessful release, and some appearances in films, Lizzy moved to the West Indies, devoting herself to her painting, though she would record one last, unreleased album in 1995. Best Off is a compilation of the most riveting of Lizzy's work, showcasing worldbeat, discordant punk, celebratory no wave, boisterous Latin-infused funk, to comprise a joyful, frenetic celebration of this pioneering, unforgettable artist.