SummaryFollowing their recent ZE 30 anniversary compilation album, Strut's collaboration with mighty New York imprint ZE Records continues this Autumn with ZEVOLUTION, bringing together new and rare DJ edits of ZE tracks by 14 leading producers.
Originally tabled in 2004 by Manchester DJ Greg Wilson, the project spawned a 12" featuring an excellent Optimo re-work of James White's 'Contort Yourself' before the untimely death of Lizzy Mercier Descloux took label founder Michel Esteban away to Brazil. The project was shelved.
Since then, as the culture for disco re-edits has burgeoned, ZE has continued to be a prime source for DJs with dozens of re-edits surfacing in recent years, re-working and extending the label's experimental post-punk grooves for maximum dancefloor punch. Many of the edits have become classics in their own right - on this album, we feature Todd Terje's 'Friendly Children' re-work of Gichy Dan's 'On A Day Like Today', looping its nagging kids chorus, and Soul Mekanik's dubbed out treatment of Kid Creole's 'Annie', still a staple in many DJ boxes. Others have surfaced briefly on limited white label 12s or on blog sites - the prolific Social Disco Club from Porto and Idjut Boys, whose brilliant re-touch of another Kid Creole track here, 'I'm Corrupt', is much in-demand.
For the album, Strut also commissioned a fresh batch of versions, many transforming seminal ZE tracks which have previously been tricky to play in clubs. Richard Sen sews together brilliantly the two parts of James White's fidgety 'Almost Black', Italian DJ team The Barking Dogs create a tracky beast from Arto Lindsay's beatless ZE experiment 'Pini Pini' and Luke Howard and Felix Dickinson from Horse Meat Disco create the best club version yet of Aural Exciters' 'Spooks In Space'. For the 'heads', there are ultra-rare tracks too - Fat Camp resurrect a David Gamson track 'No Turn On Red', previously only available on an NME cover mount cassette.