James Chance - Twist Your Soul
If you’ve never heard of James Chance before, you may ask yourself why after being exposed to these two discs, one of recorded material and one of often scratchy live performances. His act is so strikingly odd and abrasive that you’d assume he should at least occupy a footnote in your mind. A vocalist (think Jack White at his weirdest) and saxophonist, Chance started out in New York in 1977 with his band, the Contortions (The name and line-up of his backing band would be under constant change.) In terms of musical styles, this collection covers Stooges-style punk ('I Can’t Stand Myself'), funk ('Sex Maniac'), punk-funk ('Almost Black') and jazz (just about everything, due to the random bursts of saxophone throughout). It's shot through with a bizarre sense of humour, most notably on ten minute epic 'Christmas With Satan' which grotesquely distorts the 'Jingle Bells' melody and could just be the craziest (anti) Christmas song ever. Twist Your Soul ain’t going to be loved by many people but, as a look at an artist pushing at the boundaries, it's hard to beat.