Album Review: Ze30 1979-2009

Album Review: Ze30 1979-2009

Score

The label nerd's label gets compiled

DFA? Kompakt? Merok? If you’re looking for the most influential label of the last decade, there is only one serious contender: Ze. Michael Dracula apart, it hasn’t actually released any new music for over 20 years, but you can hear echoes of its early-’80s New York art school aesthetic everywhere, from Franz to Glass Candy, frYars to Vampire Weekend. In truth, the ‘Mutant Disco’ reissues told the Ze story better, but if you’re coming to this fresh then ‘ZE 30’ – a sprawling collage of slyly subversive and soaring disco, strangulated punk-funk, African percussion, [a]Suicide[/a] and carbonated synth-pop – will still sound exhilarating. No wonder Ze’s catalogue is such an evergreen inspiration. Thirty years on, pop is still playing catch-up.

[b]Tony Naylor[/b]