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Celluloid Records was the epitome of downtown New York chic in the 1980s. A Franco-American alliance between maestro bassist Bill Laswell and transplanted Parisian scenester Jean Karakos, the label had a wildly eclectic roster of acts, as illustrated by the excellent two-CD compilation Change the Beat.

French “cold wave” duo Mathematiques Modernes deliver a supercool ode to the dance floor on “Disco Rough”, The Clash go hip-hop with graffiti artist Futura and John Lydon teams up with Afrika Bambaataa on “World Destruction”, a track devised by Laswell in illustration of “collision music”, the slamming together of different genres. The ethos runs through Change the Beat, a portrait of 1980s New York as the ultimate musical entrepôt.

Various Artists

Change the Beat: The Celluloid Records Story 1980-87

(Strut)

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