More of the best various-artist releases

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Compilations Of The Month

Over 20 years ago, Michael Zilkha and Michel Esteban, fired up by post-punk and Studio 54, saw no reason why the two couldn’t coexist. So they set up a label called Ze that promised a great future for pop. There is no better place to rediscover this era than Mutant Disco. Originally a single LP containing six 12-inch mixes, it has now been expanded into a double. Of the original tracks, Kid Creole And The Coconuts’ “Maladie D’Amour” has been replaced by “(I’m A) Wonderful Thing (Baby)” and “Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy”. Yet August (Kid Creole) Darnell’s vision remains secure: the elegant spleen of Darnell sidekick Coati Mundi’s “Que Pasa/Me No Pop I” has hardly been surpassed.

Then there’s Was (Not Was) in their pre-corporate production days, still rearranging your head with the mind-boggling collision of MC5 guitar, bebop trumpet and psycho-analytic disco that is “Wheel Me Out”. Or the metal Moroder of Material’s “Bustin’ Out”, the sumptuous demolition derby of Cristina’s “Blame It On Disco” or James White’s squawking urge to “Contort Yourself”? Best of all is the dadaist dub/free jazz/bubblegum alliance of the Aural Exciters (effectively the Ze All Stars) on “Emile (Night Rate)” and “Spooks In Space”. Finally, the obscure-even-for-Ze Gar