Lizzy Mercier Descloux Mambo Nassau

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FROM ALLMUSIC.COM : 4.50 / 5.00

Lizzy Mercier Descloux made a significant splash in New York's underground music community with her first solo album for the ZE label, home to equally bent acts like Was (Not Was), Cristina, the Contortions, and Kid Creole & the Coconuts. The French transplant had already established herself as one half of Rosa Yemen, a short•lived no wave combo that released a hastily recorded six•song EP for the same label a year earlier. Along with Rosa Yemen partner DJ Barnes and Garçons' Eric Elliason, she recorded Press Color •• eight tense, terse tunes owing more to disco, funk, and film scores than punk rock •• within the span of two weeks. The lead single, a cover of Arthur Brown's "Fire," couldn't have ripped out Descloux's no wave roots any more violently, all the while changing the original's fire•and•brimstone theatrics into a zippy roller•rink wink. Covers of two Lalo Schifrin compositions •• "Mission: Impossible" and "Jim on the Move" •• are relatively faithful, though Descloux adds something of her own to the latter by repeatedly intoning the title ("Jim...Jim! Jim, Jim, Jim •• on...the move"). The original arrangement of the standard "Fever" is also kept intact, but Descloux replaces every instance of "fever" with "tumor" ("you give me tumor," "tumor when you hold me tight," etc.). The other half of the album is made up of originals, including "Wawa," a bobbing, disco•inspired instrumental full of the spindly guitars that would populate much of her brilliant follow•up, Mambo Nassau. Spirited, fun, and full of luscious basslines, the only thing that prevents Press Color from being as venerated as ESG's early releases is that no rap producer has been keen enough to sample from it.

Andy Kellman

Digital Booklet LP04

24 Pages

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ALLMUSIC

2004

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POP NEWS

JAN. 2004

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ORIGINAL ALBUM

01 • Lady O K'pele • 2:28
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Wally Badarou

02 • Room Mate • 2:44
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Yann Leker

03 • Sports Spootnicks • 4:21
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Yann Leker

04 • Payola • 4:22
Lyrics & Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux

05 • Milk Sheik • 0:50
Music Nino Rota
Arrangements Wally Badarou

06 • Funky Stuff • 4:10
Lyrics & Music Kool & the Gang

07 • Slipped Disc • 3:40
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Phillipe Lemongne

08 • It's You Sort Of • 2:17
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Yann Leker & Phillipe Lemongne

09 • Bim Bam Boum • 3:08
Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Yann Leker

10 • Five Troubles Mambo • 2:14
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Mercier Descloux & Wally Badarou

BONUS TRACKS

11 • Les Baisers d'Amants • 3:52
Lyrics & Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux

12 • Maïta • 3:14
Lyrics & Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux

13 • Mister Soweto  • 2:16
Lyrics & Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux

14 • Sun Is Shining • 2:49
Lyrics & Music Bob Marley

15 • Corpo Molli, Pau Duro • 2:40
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Michel Bassignani

16 • Don't You Try To Stop Me • 6:35
Lyrics Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Music Mike McVoy


Tracks 1 > 10
Produced by Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Steve Stanley
Recorded at Compass Point Studios, Nassau Bahamas, 1980
Lizzy Mercier Descloux : Vocals, guitars
YannLeker : Guitars
Philippe Lemongne : Bass
Bill Pery : Drums
Wally Badarou : Synthetisers
Gregory Zercinsky : Percussions
Executive producer Michel Esteban

Tracks 11, 12,13 &16
Recorded by Dominique Blanc • Francard
at Continental studios, Paris 1982
Produced by Adam Kidron
Executive producer Michel Esteban

Track 14
Produced by Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Michel Bassignani
Recorded Chief Worm studio, Massachussets, 1995

Track 15
Produced by Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Michel Bassignani
Recorded NYC 1982, Overdubs & Mix by Charlus de la Salle
at South Factory studio 2003
Vocals Lizzy Mercier descloux, Phillipe Krootchey & Arto Lindsay

 

SOUND

Original Sound Recording Made by Michel Esteban © 1980, 1982, 2003
Lizzy Mercier Descloux © 1995
Selected by Lizzy Mercier Descloux & Michel Esteban
Produced by Michel Esteban P & © ZE records 2003 

Original analogue master tapes digitaly transfered at 24 bits resolution by Studios: Source & Translab, Paris.
Mastered to 16 bits for CD by Charlus de La Salle at South Factory Studio.
Executive Producer Michel Esteban

 

DESIGN

Art direction & Design by Michel Esteban
Photos Credits :
Michel Esteban : Front cover, booklet pages 1,2,7,10,12,13,14,15.
Veronique G. page 5.
Art Lugh page 11,14 ( background) 16 & Central Digipack cover.

MAMBO NASSAU : 80/82 THE GRIGRI YEARS...

After touring to promote « Press Color », her debut album, with a funk band, Lizzy Mercier Descloux traveled to Europe with companion•film•maker Seth Tillett. They worked in Italy on a serie of short films where she played Anna Magnani, Suzanna Agnelli, filmed Renzo Rossellini at Cinecitta about the Emerginati movement, met Federico Fellini during the filming of « Cita della donna », discovered the label Ocora (traditional music from all around the world) and with all this in mind started writing songs with help of drummer Bill Perry. In Paris they auditionned many african musicians cause after wild child funk the idea was to make a record malaxating african roots music, french buzz vocals, albatross swing and some bizarre soundtracks. The record was made in Nassau, Bahamas at Compass point, Island Records studios under kindness support of Chris Blackwell. Walli Badarou who worked there as a house musician with Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, joined Lizzy’s band. Steve Stanley a young engineer from Jamaica who was also working on Grace Jones’s album, produced the sound, he later also produced Tom Tom Club, Third World and lots of Island records.

« Mambo Nassau » was all instinctive pulsations, improvized energy. Each song is an attempt to mix the urban vibes of city like New York, raw tempo and acrobatic drum beats, african harmonies, hirsute guitars, heavy pulse of bass lines, anachronistic chants, derisive laughter, a blissfull ignorance of the rules of good taste. Music to snatch and glean with a big black sun in the middle of it. World music was not in the cards, it was a step by step adventure, everyday was a surprise, an uncompromizing ride, a motherfucking hot stew and they had the ocean to get lost.

Eric Clapton, who was recording next door, showed Lizzy his legendary guitars and she sang him an Edith Piaf Song. Nassau is an island for Les millionnaires, drug center, casinos, american ladies looking for sex but Lizzy and the band lived like ermits in the studio, outside Lee Perry was talking to his tree and that was the best Omen for a record. Fireflies music.

« Lady O k 'Pélé » surfs the wave like an african Busby Berkley musicals, brutal transe, ghost dub. « Payola » slides as a hurly•burly spiral, a toboggan run to bankrupcy. « Milk Sheik » is a spooky joke in hommage to Anita Ekberg. « Funky stuff », a muscular spoof to derail a train. « Five Troubles Mambo » inspired by Yma Sumac’s « Five Bottles Mambo» is a sexy drift, jumpy ballad to make ducks and drakes under palm trees. « Mambo Nassau » is Risky Folklore, a swinging chrysalis stomping in voodooland and if you’re tired stop by the Traveler’s Rest and have groupper fingers and a Bacardi with lime. Check out the live bands on sunday afternoon.

"EVERY now and then the heart beats faster. The band has been changed, the recording studio has been changed. And the music has changed its emphasis, although the delivery stays the same. It is a ragged, shattered, subtlety abrasive funk, with that squawky, squeaky but strangely smooth French accent of Lizzy Mercier Descloux. A voice that croons with urgency, a voice that seduces with sensuality, a voice that implies restlessness, a voice that get noticed."

Each separate slice of this delight is laced with something precious, something all of its own. From the sleazy, jazz•air of « It's You Sort Of » to the ethnic feeling that has been ensnared on « Lady 0 K'Pelé », the whole LP communicates feeling. The funk pushes it, the melody slyly insinuates it and the lyrics passionately whisper Lizzy, sensuous tittle crooner and shout about it. A feeling instead of a thought, strokes and touches instead of words and sentences. The feeling is that of being: lost, hopeful, aching, loving and sexy. Lizzy Mercier Descloux is a cunning naif, an aware waif, an experienced virgin, a tipsy teetotaller and a star in the shoddy, shady niche of obscurism. These songs are the current number ones in Heaven (not the one beneath the Arches, but the one above the clouds). Lizzy Mercier Descloux deserves the crown that Kim Wilde currently holds. « Mambo Nassau » is an album to be cherished, to be over•played, left alone and then returned to. It is the tastiest sweet in the shop. It embodies the heavy thudding of a heart in love. But always remember the final lines in « Five troubles Mambo» : « This is for real my baby jive • five». 

Chris Burkham : SOUNDS. September 1981»

After « Mambo Nassau » in 1982, Lizzy wanted to go to South Africa and record with musicians from Soweto. South Africa was still under apartheid, so in order to persuade the record compagny Lizzy recorded in Paris a couple of songs inspired by South African music. « Mister Soweto » , « Maita », « Les Baisers d’Amants », came from theses sessions, orphan songs, griots ballads, african rollercoaster produced by Adam Kidron (who just had produced Rip, rig & panic & Scritti Politti) with guests Krootchey on vocals and Mike Mc Voy as a white master rabbit, Green Gartside (Scritti Politti) & Aswad drummer OEs Drummie Zeb.

Bob marley’s cover « Sun is Shining » was recorded in 1995 in Massachussets’s Bear den studio with Greg Jiritano, John Schumann and Michel Bassignani : Kusturica dub in mind.

« Corpo Molli, Pao Duro » was recorded in NY with Arto Lindsay and Krootchey back in 1980 and developped in august 2003 with Charlus De Lasalle, orgy of the percussive mouth, brazilian meet Klezmer and have a ball. Sorry no Barbie Doll!

All these songs have a Massai walk, white trash shadow, a samourai heart and the smile of King Kong. AND•JOY. EXPLOSION. Kimbe Raid...

Mau Mau Machuki, N.Y September 2003

 

LINER NOTES (FRENCH)

80/82 LES ANNEES GRIGRI...

Après une tournée pour promouvoir son premier album « Press Color », Lizzy voyage en Europe avec son compagnon le cinéaste Seth Tillett. Ils travaillent en Italie sur une série de court-métrages où elle interprète Anna Magnani ou Suzanna Agnelli, ils filment Renzo Rossellini à Cinecitta pour un documentaire sur l’Emarginati, auditionne pour Fellini pour Cita della Donna. En parallèle elle découvre le label Ocora ( label spécialisé dans les musiques traditionnelles du monde entier) et avec cela en tête écrit de nouvelles chansons. Le batteur Bill Perry la rejoint à Paris et ils auditionnent de nombreux musiciens africains. Le projet est d¹essayer de malaxer les racines africaines avec le « French Swing » et une pulsion funk toujours déglinguée et créer des sountracks imaginaires. Le disque est enregistré à Nassau aux Bahamas au studio d’Island records « Compass Point » sous la bienveillance de Chris Blackwell. Wally Badarou qui est un pensionnaire du studio comme Sly Dumbar et Robbie Shakespeare se joint au groupe. Steve Stanley un jeune ingénieur du son Jamaicain qui vient de travailler avec Grace Jones et le Tom Tom Club produit l’album. Mambo Nassau repose sur la pulsation de l’instinct, de l’instant, énergie improvisée. Chaque titre tente de mixer les vibrations urbaines de New York, pattern de batterie acrobatique, harmonies afro-caribean, guitares hirsutes, lignes de basse bien assises et hypnotiques, choeurs anachroniques. Un coup de machette dans le tableau de bord, une musique en ricochets ignorante du bon gout avec un gros soleil noir en son milieu. La World music n’existait pas encore alors on cherche pas à pas sans compromis, ni tabou et on se retrouve avec un cocktail moitié vaudou, moitié Dada et l’océan pour s’y perdre. 

Eric Clapton qui enregistrait à coté montre sa collection de guitares à Lizzy et elle lui chante Bourvil. Nassau est une ile de milliardaires, plaque tournante pour la drogue, Casinos, belles américaines et canadiennes qui cherchent du sexe, mais Lizzy et le groupe vivent à l’écart comme des ermites. Dehors Lee Perry est en grande conversation avec un arbre et des vers luisants. Bon augure pour cet album hybride. « Lady O K’ Pélé » surfe la vague comme une comédie musicale africaine à la Busby Berkeley, dub fantôme, transe minimale de charabia. « Payola » glisse en spirale, tohu-bohu, jeux de massacre, tobogan a tout berzingue dans le mur. « Milk sheik » ( bébé t’es délatée) en hommage à Anita Ekberg et Nino Rota, fanfare de fête foraine pleine d’humour. « Funky Stuff », grosse machine infernale funk prête a faire dérailler le Soul Train. « Five Troubles Mambo » inspiré de la chanson d’Yma Sumac « Five Bottles Mambo », clin d’oeil sexy, ressac de l’amour, lame de fond. « Mambo Nassau » est du folklore à risque, chrysalide inconnue au bataillon qui fait sa mue entre les mondes, des claquettes sur des échasses et si vous êtes fatigué vous pouvez toujours faire une halte au « Traveller’s rest » et manger des beignets de mérou avec un Bacardi citron. Check out the House Band le dimanche après-midi.... 

En 1981 Chris Burkham saluait d’un 5 étoiles sa review de « Mambo Nassau » dans « SOUNDS » en ces mots: 

SEX WITH STYLE: « Every now and then the heart beats faster. The band has been changed, the recording studio has been changed. And the music has changed its emphasis, although the delivery stays the same. It is a ragged, shattered, subtlety abrasive funk, with that squawky, squeaky but strangely smooth French accent of Lizzy Mercier Descloux. A voice that croons with urgency, a voice that seduces with sensuality, a voice that implies restlessness, a voice that gets noticed. 

Each separate slice of this delight is laced with something precious, something all of its own. From the sleazy, jazz-air of « It's You Sort Of » to the ethnic feeling that has been ensnared on « Lady 0 K'Pele' », the whole Lp communicates feeling. The funk pushes it, the melody slyly insinuates it and the lyrics passionately whisper Lizzy, sensuous tittle crooner and shout about it. A feeling instead of a thought, strokes and touches instead of words and sentences. The feeling is that of being: lost, hopeful, aching, loving and sexy. Lizzy Mercier Descloux is a cunning naif, an aware waif, an experienced virgin, a tipsy teetotaller and a star in the shoddy, shady niche of obscurism. These songs are the current number ones in Heaven (not the one beneath the Arches, but the one above the clouds). Lizzy Mercier Descloux deserves the crown that Kim Wilde currently holds. « Mambo Nassau » is an album to be cherished, to be over-played, left alone and then returned to. It is the tastiest sweet in the shop. It embodies the heavy thudding of a heart in love. But always remember the final lines in « Five troubles Mambo» : « This is for real my baby jive - five». 

Chris Burkham : SOUNDS. September 1981» 

Après « Mambo Nassau » Lizzy voulait partir en Afrique du Sud pour enregistrer avec des musiciens de Sowéto. L’Apartheid sévissait toujours là-bas et pour persuader la maison de disque, Lizzy enregistra quelques titres à Paris inspiré de folklore sud africain. « Mister Soweto », « Maita », et « les Baisers d’amants », chansons orphelines, à cheval entre les continents produit par Adam Kidron ( qui venait de produire Rip Rig and Panic & Scritti Politti) avec en guests Krootchey et Mike Mc Voy grand seigneur du lapin blanc, Green Garside (Scritti Politi)et le batteur d’Aswad Drummie Zeb. 

La reprise de Bob Marley, « Sun is shining » a été enregistré en 95 dans le Massachussetts parmi 13 autres titres jamais sortis, dans le studio de Greg Jiritano et John Shumann avec Michel Bassignani... Kusturica in mind. « Corpo Molli, Pao Duro » a été commençé à New York avec Arto Lindsay et Philippe Krootchey en 1980 et terminé en 2003 avec Charlus de la Salle. Ballade breziliano-Klezmer avec des bouches pour instruments de base. Time doesn’t exist ! Tous ces titres ont le coeur d’un Samourai Massai et le fou-rire de King Kong. And Joy- Explosion. Kimbe Raid. 

MAU MAU MACHUKI NY SEPTEMBER 2003

 

Track List
  • 1
    Lady O K'pele
    02:28
  • 2
    Room Mate
    02:44
  • 3
    Sports Spootnicks
    04:21
  • 4
    Payola
    04:22
  • 5
    Milk Sheik
    00:50
  • 6
    Funky Stuff
    04:10
  • 7
    Slipped Disc
    03:40
  • 8
    It's You Sort Of
    02:17
  • 9
    Bim Bam Boum
    03:08
  • 10
    Five Troubles Mambo
    02:14
  • 11
    Les Baisers d'Amants
    03:52
  • 12
    Maita
    03:14
  • 13
    Mister Soweto
    02:16
  • 14
    Sun is Shinning
    02:49
  • 15
    Corpo Molli Pau Duro
    02:40
  • 16
    Don't You Try To Stop Me - (Exclusive Digital Bonus)
    06:35
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