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My Awesome Record Collection #2: Lizzy Mercier Descloux / Press Color

April 17, 2014

Welcome to Edition #2 of “My Awesome Record Collection” where I share some of the gems from over 25 years of gathering (mostly second hand) vinyl from around the world.This week’s review is of Lizzy Mercier Descloux’s “Press Color” 12.” It’s 8 songs, released on ZE Records in 1979.

I was only three years old when this record was released, so indeed, this record came into my hands many many years later second hand while I was living in New Orleans. The singer was also in a band called “Rosa Yemen” which I will review another week. Rosa Yemen was earlier, and a bit more experimental/ no wave. This recording is more straight forward pop music. There are a few covers – including a rendition of the “Mission Impossible” theme, and a variation of the classic “Fever” titled “Tumour.” The bass really stands out on this record. It lives in the foreground, sharing equal stage time with the vocals when they are both present- but the other instruments almost live slightly in it’s shadow. This feels very much like a record searching to create a hit song. Luckily, it doesn’t quite make it- the guitar is too unique and at times discordant, and the vocals still have enough no wave darkness and drama to keep it in the weird zone- making it far more brilliant than pop music usually gets. Plus, the songs with original lyrics have gems such as “A charisma I call breaking up the secrets of the nothing to look at body gossips.”
My three favorites on this record are:
Jim on the Move – a great song to play for anyone you know named “Jim.” The bass really drives this one, there’s some twangly guitar work sparkling in the background, with very prominent rhythmic drumming. An occasional bell rings throughout- possibly made by the under-recognized instrument called the triangle.
No Golden Throat – this one the drums really carry the song, with lovely hi- hat work. The vocals are staccato, a bit wild, and mostly tones and chirps rather than words. It sounds a bit like being in a bird sanctuary where the animals are throwing a concert. Incredible.
Fire – this song is definitely the most dancey, and the most “hit” worthy. This song should be played at any dance party where Disco lives. I have played this at several house parties, and it’s always a hit.
Overall, this record definitely stands the test of time – a beautiful gem created at the brink of the birth of the 1980’s. The cover art is also very nice- a great use of black and white. It’s got that sivertone beauty that seems to give a slight nod to Man Ray’s photos.


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