Dean McFarlane: "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."
Contortions – Buy – New LP
Originally issued November 1979.
The first long player from James Chance (aka White) and the gang (Adele Bertei, Jody Harris, Pat Place, and George Scott III). While they’d been biting at the Big Apple for a few years (after James took his sax from Milwaukee to NYC) but the Brian Eno-produced compilation No New York helped deliver the sounds to a bigger audience in 1978, and this 1979 album (and James White and the Blacks album very shortly after) of course capturing the instant attention of some while sending most Americans back to the comfort of their REO Speedwagon and Foreigner albums or Bee Gees disco, the sounds on this album hugely influential in the years and decades that followed as bands took Contortions version of black music to places more comfortable with the masses. (And for the record, we must remember that black musicians had offered the focused fury and heart-beat abandonment of this music for decades while often toning it down on records). Meanwhile, punk and hardcore acts took the influences into other territories. The influences are still spreading. “New York’s awright if you -- winch