Feb 11, 2015

RhoDeo 1506 Aetix


One of the central figures of the No Wave movement of the late '70s was James Chance & the Contortions, thay formed in New York City in 1977 and were led by vocalist/saxophonist Chance, a Milwaukee native (born James Sigfried) who also answered to the alias James White. After relocating to the Big Apple to play free jazz, he fell in with the city's avant-garde community; upon adopting the surname Chance and acquiring a wardrobe of outrageously loud suits, Chance formed the Contortions, an abrasively chaotic funk-noise outfit featuring organist Adele Bertei, guitarists Pat Place and Jody Harris, and drummer Don Christiansen. Plenty to .....N'Joy

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Born and raised in Milwaukee and Brookfield, Wisconsin, Chance attended Michigan State University, then the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee. There, Chance joined a band named Death, which performed covers of the Stooges and the Velvet Underground before moving toward original songs. At the end of 1975, Chance dropped out and moved to New York City after the dissolution of the band and the death of its singer. He quickly became active in both the free jazz and no wave punk rock scenes. His first band in New York in 1976 was an instrumental quartet with violin, drums and bass called Flaming Youth. After studying for a short time under David Murray, Chance formed The Contortions, who fused jazz improvisation and funk rhythms, with live shows often ending in violence when Chance would confront audience members. The Contortions reached a wider audience with their contribution to the Brian Eno-compiled No New York collection of No Wave acts.

While Chance was professionally and romantically linked with No Wave musical luminary Lydia Lunch, the duo created seminal No Wave group Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, whom Chance soon left. Chance was noted for engaging in physical confrontations, from pushing contests to fisticuffs, with his New York City audience, including rock critic Robert Christgau. At first this was just an attempt to engage the passive New York audience, but this practice is reported to have somewhat diminished after audiences came to expect the physical confrontations.

In 1979, Chance collaborated with Arto Lindsay, Bradley Field, and George Scott on the soundtrack to Diego Cortez's film Grutzi Elvis. Chance's stage and musical persona were finalized by romantic partner and agent Anya Phillips, who died of cancer in 1981. Frictions between Chance and band members eventually led to a breakup of the Contortions in the fall of 1979.[3] The Contortions released one album, Buy in late 1979, and another album, Off White, under the pseudonym James White and the Blacks in 1980 (featuring Lydia Lunch under the pseudonym Stella Rico). Chance re-formed James White and the Blacks with a completely different lineup that appeared on the 1982 album Sax Maniac which was dedicated to Phillips. The group released one more album, Melt Yourself Down, a very limited Japanese release.

The first version of the Blacks was set up by Joseph Bowie. Shortly after, Defunkt emerged from the Blacks. In 1982 Chance toured with the re-formed James White and the Blacks with his brother David "Tremor" Siegfried and his band David and the Happenings from Carbondale, Illinois, playing Chicago, their hometown Milwaukee, and much of the Midwest. Chance briefly relocated to Paris, returning to New York City in 1983 to record the album James White Presents The Flaming Demonics. In 1987, he contributed saxophone to The False Prophets' Implosion album.

In 2001, Chance reunited with original Contortions members Jody Harris (guitar), Pat Place (slide guitar) and Don Christensen (drums) for a few limited engagements. Original keyboard player Adele Bertei appeared briefly, but bass player George Scott III had died of an accidental drug overdose in 1980 and his slot was filled by Eric Sanko. The reunited group has played twice at the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival, and, in 2008, at the PS1 Warm Up series. Chance has also recorded with Blondie since coming out of his semi-retirement. Tiger Style records released the 4-CD box set retrospective Irresistible Impulse to critical acclaim in 2003.

In addition to limited engagements with the original Contortions, Chance has occasionally performed and recorded with the Chicago band Watchers. In Europe he performs with James Chance & Les Contortions, French musicians who have been his backing band since 2006. They played a 15 show Europe tour in April and May 2007 and were back in Europe in October 2007. In May 2012 they released the CD Incorrigible! on the French label LADTK, comprising seven Chance originals and two covers, all of them brand new recordings.

In 2009 Chance made occasional appearances playing keyboards in NYC with a trio, with the material restricted to close readings of jazz standards. In June 2012, Chance played in Portland, OR with local group Ancient Heat as his backing band. They played a number of songs from various points in his career, including a new cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "Home is Where The Hatred Is." Chance appears on the video release James Chance - Chance of a Lifetime: Live in Chicago 2003 backed by the Chicago band Watchers.

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In 1979 the quintessential no wave group released two albums simultaneously; Buy was effectively the Contortions' debut, originally appearing on the indie label ZE, while the same project was released as Off White under the adopted alias of James White, one of the many identities of leader James Chance. the Contortions are considered to be one of the most important and influential groups of the New York no wave scene, which spawned the crazed postmodern persona of James Chance alongside Lydia Lunch, Mars, and DNA, among others. James Chance was a sort of avant lounge lizard personality cult who led numerous projects throughout the '80s, yet he never quite topped the warped distillation of punk, funk, and free jazz presented here, making Buy a pivotal recording of the New York post-punk era. His hybrid of free jazz sax blowing and agitated funk takes the contortions up a notch from the four tracks the band contributed to the Eno-produced No New York compilation, which debuted the furious angular syncopation of transfigured funk and disco rhythms which became the Contortions' signature. Chance's vocals and discordant sax will sound strangely familiar and appealing to fans of early Roxy Music and Television.

James Chance and The Contortions - Buy  (flac 251mb)

01 Design To Kill 2:44
02 My Infatuation 2:17
03 I Don't Want To Be Happy 3:19
04 Anesthetic 3:51
05 Contort Yourself 4:21
06 Throw Me Away 2:41
07 Roving Eye 3:07
08 Twice Removed 3:02
09 Bedroom Athlete 4:13

10 Throw Me Away - Live 3:00
11 Twice Removed - Live 3:08
12 Jailhouse Rock - Live 3:22

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For Off White, James Chance, a veteran of New York's avant-garde no wave scene, recast his seminal band the Contortions as a parody of a soul band, albeit one incorporating the rhythms of disco and funk rather than R&B. Thus, Chance became James White (as a nod to James Brown), the Contortions became the Blacks, and his music, previously a twisted, experimental brand of avant-jazz, became a disco/funk/free jazz hybrid. As bizarre as the fusion of Albert Ayler and Giorgio Moroder might sound, Off White works primarily because Chance commits to both sides of the music. The disco rhythms, especially on "Almost Black, Pt. 1" and "Contort Yourself" are as pounding as anything Casablanca ever released (even the production is slick and polished), while his sax solos on both those tracks are squawks and bleats that would scare off all but the most committed avant-garde hipsters. He even attempts calypso on "(Tropical) Heat Wave," mixing a languid island rhythm with intricate blasts of noise. By carefully constructing his music with such polar opposites, Chance manages to highlight how both of them have more similarities, especially in rhythm, than would appear at first listen. Off White may be an acquired taste, but listeners who dig into it will have their patience rewarded with some of the most challenging, intriguing music to emerge from the post-punk era.

James White and the Blacks - Off White  (flac 512mb)

01 Contort Yourself (August Darnell Remix) 6:15
02 Contort Yourself 3:08
03 Stained Sheets (Voc Lydia Lunch) 5:50
04 (Tropical) Heat Wave (Voc Anya Phillips) 3:52
05 Almost Black Part 1 (Voc Anya Phillips) 3:17
06 White Savages 4:52
07 Off Black 6:28
08 Almost Black Part 2 3:58
09 White Devil 4:36
10 Bleached Black 2:51

11 Christmas With Satan 10:00
12 Disposable You (Live) 6:05
13 Don't Stop Till You Get Enough (Live) 6:35
14 Exorcise The Funk (Live) 6:41

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For Sax Maniac, James White (aka James Chance) eschews the disco and funk sounds he used on his previous album, Off-White, and instead overlays his squealing, anarchic sax solos over spare, minimalist rhythms. Chance also dropped his longtime backing band, the Contortions, in favor of an array of top New York session pros, and though the backing band is mostly top-notch, the absence of the Contortions results in rather anonymous music. The songs can be compelling (especially "Money to Burn"),  for the most part, they are fairly indistinguishable variations on the same themes and melodies. There's nothing here that will alienate die-hard fans, but Chance's music, always an acquired taste even at its most accessible, isn't really showcased to full advantage here. For a real worthy introduction to Chance's brand of anarchic jazz terrorism, Off-White or Buy the Contortions remains a far worthier choice.

James White and The Blacks - Sax Maniac  (flac 314mb)

01 Irresistable Impulse 6:10
02 That Old Black Magic 6:50
03 Disco Jaded 6:22
04 Money To Burn 6:23
05 Sax Maniac 7:35
06 Sax Machine 4:20
07 The Twitch 6:29

08 Super Bad 8:28
09 Melt Yourself Down 6:10
10 Hell on Earth 8:18

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Recorded June of 1980 in Rotterdam, Soul Exorcism proves that jazz, funk, experimental, and new wave make quite an intoxicating mix when perfected. James Chance sums up the proceedings perfectly in the liner notes, where he states that the music perfectly reveals the essence and soul of New York City (even though it was recorded in Rotterdam). Backed up by a stellar backing band, which Chance himself calls one of the most volatile units he's worked with, the Contortions simply shine. Like most other Contortions recordings, cacophony rears its head from time to time, but that's what the band uses to paint different moods and textures: it's not used haphazardly. The whole album is inspired from beginning to end, and features such great tracks as "I Danced with a Zombie," "Exorcise the Funk," and a pair of interesting covers -- Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and James Brown's "King Heroin." [In 2007 the Roir label reissued the album as Soul Exorcism Redux. Three tracks from a 1987 demo session were added to the end of the track list along with new art work.]

James Chance and The Contortions - Soul Exorcism Redux  (flac 467mb)

01 Intro By Anya Phillips 0:22
02 Don't Stop Til You Get Enough 6:35
03 I Danced With A Zombie 8:45
04 Exorcise The Funk 6:46
05 Disposable You 6:14
06 The Twitch 5:28
07 The Devil Made Me Do It 8:53
08 Melt Yourself Down 5:33
09 King Heroin 9:55
10 Put Me Back In My Cage 5:23
11 Contort Yourself 4:20
Bonus Tracks
12 Disposable You #2 4:11
13 I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing 3:40
14 Truth Or Consequence 4:28

James Chance & The Contortions - Soul Exorcism Redux  (ogg 186mb)

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bobbysu said...

thank you so much

Anonymous said...
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El Isabelino said...

Any chance for a re-up? Saludos.

loveisthedevil said...

Thanks a million for this hit, really really happy to have higher resolution files. Soul Exorcism links won't yield, any chance of a reload? It's the missing link for me..

Anonymous said...

Dearest Rho, would it be possible to reload these James Chance/Black sonic delights one day soon?
Much thanks for your in-depth & far ranging posts.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Rho, much thanks for this re-up - very much appreciated!