I discovered the French Lizzy Mercier Descloux in one of these wonderful random crossings while doing research on no wave. Yes, from Paris to New York in some minimalist dissonances, loose phrases and danceable beats, not necessarily in that order.
His music came to me through a live CD called Rosa Yemen – same name as the project she had with guitarist DJ Barnes – released in 1978 by ZE Records, a label founded by her partner Michel Esteban and the newly-known duo/couple Michael Zilkha.
The three bumped into each other in NY a year earlier, when Lizzy and Michel moved to the city that conquered her when she was visiting there (in 1975), when she made friends with none other than Patti Smith and Richard Hell. Descloux, who was already something of a catalyst for the punk movement in France with her Harry Cover store and Rock News magazine, at the age of 21 has found her new home.
Press color is the first full album by the now New Yorker Lizzy, and brings a bit of experimental minimalism to the no wave of the Rosa Yemen project and another of the mirrored globes of the dance floors full of feathers and sequins.
It’s post-punk and it’s disco, it has reggae and jazz, it has a percussive version of “Mission impossible” and a very ironic one of “Fever”, here renamed “Tumour”; sometimes it reminds me of an uneven mix between Grace Jones, Slits, Liquid Liquid and Blondie, at other times it doesn’t remind me of anyone but herself hahaha.
In the following albums, she would, in general, follow increasingly…hmmm…ethnic paths, leaving behind her more rocker and crooked side, precisely what makes this debut of hers a unique piece. Press play on “Jim on the move” and right away you’ll get the girl’s grip.
Listen on the stalk!