|No independent label of the post-punk era exemplified the convergence of widely divergent orbits of downtown New York's art and music scenes like ZE Records. Founded in 1978 by Oxford-educated scholar Michael Zilkha and French punk shop proprietor Michel Esteban, ZE's roster, a stark contrast to the then growingly conservative punk scene, was distinguished by its playful eclecticism and genre miscegenation. Listening to ZE 30 ZE RECORDS STORY 1979 - 2009, Strut's cherry-picked overview of the polymorphous ZE sound, one can trace the label's path as spiritual progenitors of `80s New Wave. ZE's cheeky embrace of commercial elements--particularly their assimilation of the recently declared-dead disco genre--while still adhering to a defiantly anti-commercial agenda, certainly makes the case for their being one of the first post-modern music labels. Academic musings aside, it's the music that counts--and ZE released some of the weirdest, most memorable club music of the time. Music that holds up as some of the best examples of post-disco and proto-house ever produced. From the frenetic, punk-funk of James Chance's Contortions ("Roving Eye") to the calypso-flavored disco of Kid Creole & the Coconuts ("Something Wrong in Paradise") to Material's electro-jazz-rock fusions ("Bustin' Out"), on through to the rockabilly and funk appropriations Alan Vega and Was (Not Was), there really wasn't, or ever will be, another label quite like it.