(The Woodwork) Squeaks

ZE 006CD ZE 006CD

2016 restock. First release of this compilation of original Was (Not Was) extended 12" mixes and remixes. "It's not hard to understand why Michael Zilkha & Michel Esteban's ZE Records and the whole punk-funk, disco-not-disco thang of the early 80s has been rediscovered by a new generation looking for their own answers to music's eternal mind-body problem. ZE offered a seductive vision of the world where style collided with substance, where deconstruction made a reconciliation with melody and hooks, where groove embraced distortion, where punk's outcast geek was transformed by the fairy godmother of disco into a 'Halston, Gucci... Fiorucci' clad suavecito with a social conscience and a brain... Left to their own devices, Was (Not Was) were like The Bonzo Dog Band, the Merry Pranksters and Gang of Four on a New Orleans funeral parade led by Parliafunkadelicment. On their extended remixes, though, their music became more streamlined and honed down to a razor smoothness. The remix process and the dancefloor forced Fagenson and Weiss to focus on one idea rather than the 30 they had running around their heads. Their wild eclecticism was restrained as was their tartness. Where most remixes are created simply to get more bodies on to the dancefloor, the mixes collected on (The Woodwork) Squeaks actually shed light on the messages of the songs rather than merely their grooves. Of course, the goal of the best dance music is to get you to think with your entire body and that's exactly what Was (Not Was) succeeded in doing. After all, it's not merely the d├ętourned words of Ronald Reagan that let you know that 'Tell Me That I'm Dreaming' is not your ordinary hands-in-the-air disco stomper; it's the astringent guitar riff, the dub alienation, the comedic voices, the sibilant hi-hat that would soon become the hallmark of house music." --Peter Shapiro, London December 2003