lizzy mercier descloux

...lizzy mercier first got busy in paris in 1975 helping to get the primitive nascent leather jack iggy rock/punk scene going by starting a zine called somewhat uninviting 'rock news' but it got the relevant players in the ensuing french new wave a more public profile so a few trips to new york for interviews scored her some time hanging out and working with such flipped out poets as patti smith/richard hell/tom verlaine the following in both paris and NYC got her to dig the funky sounds that could be heard in each locale without too much effort, the funk groove playing itself in record shops/radio/street corners infiltrating and mixing in with any number of permutations calculable to have a positive affect on any situation...when she moved full time to 'hick city central' she put out a couple of discs on the newly created 'Ze' imprint, the first under the name 'rosa yemen' and the second under her own appellation, both exquisite delicacies of 'NO Wave' angular spazz with discoid persuasions on the 'press color' joint and on investigation one is struck by the accessibility of the sound, clean shapes are thrown in a conforming randomness of cluttered disorder landing like small pellets of mind piercing psychic shrapnel upon the discerning aural attendee...mutant reggae and scraping guitar runs mix in with TV themes (mission impossible) and strangled high life string bending, all kept to the correct length (short) for maximum impact...thunky bass under pins other attacks of repetitive one note joviality's, keeping the party bouncing for a 'dislocation of the norm', getting groovy in a downtown art enclave with 'out of town' bohemians looking for the next thrill...these first two discs are lizzy in her purest form, all ideas are worked through her assemblage of local urban input to spring out in (then) unfamiliar forms of communication, the later discs have lizzy moving outer national with influences and musos from africa and south america as well as the usual arty smear all her work has to some degree...the third joint 'mambo nassau' was financed by 'island records' who were looking for a commercial hook on the new sounds/new styles happening in the post punk whirl wind of chaotic creativity then raging across the western world and its a much fuller sound still built on lizzy's understanding of the funky rock vibe but with more complex interplay, hosing themselves with a jazz shower dancing on their receptors (think of a less pretentious and infinitely more groovy version of tom tom club) with some 60s retro vibes like sleazy crime jazz weaving and bobbing with aplomb and lizzy chirping her pipes in exaltation of the mind dance...lizzys forth outing simply self titled was a full trip to shanty town soweto with a full on indigenous sound kicking up a storm and gaining lizzy a hit record in her native land and upping her profile as a serious artiste...due to the timing it must be seen as part of the 'dreaded' world music scene then taking place but this is one instance where a western musician took the host pop sound and blended themselves into the surroundings and not try to alter the original to a more homogeneous sound, lizzy took on the soweto pop groove and melt right in, swimming in the vibes from the southern land and becoming one with the whole, a magnificent self effacing achievement...the mid eighties saw lizzy making her fifth album, this time in brazil getting grooved up with the tropical sound in a laid back jazzy mood with trumpet blower supreme chet baker helping out on a few tunes lending the whole proceedings a sense of historical this point it may be pertinent to mention the production does have that sterile eighties sound and feel on some tracks which could lead to some disappointment so it really is down to a matter of personal preference and general tolerance of the antiseptic atmosphere generated from the discs of that decade...this might be her worst record when put alongside the others but a few spins brings the cool numbers to the surface and the program button into play so all is not lost, it just shows what happens when record co. A&R doofus get in the driving seat and think they know whats best...her last album came about in 1988 and this time lizzys back on form with some punchy pop rock partly produced by mark cunningham from early NO Wavers 'mars' bringing everything back to a nice starting point which should have propelled lizzy into the nineties but this did not happen, her recording career came to an end which is a drag for all concerned but we must be thankful for the cool sounds she left behind...


  1. hi there - would love to get the Suspense rip - but how do i become a 'right thinking cats who know the deal' ???!!!

  2. Hi Phil
    This link will take you to all the d/l links for Lizzy.