Reissue: New York Noise Compilation

Soul Jazz Records' first New York Noise compilation explores the city's downtown music scene from 1977 to1982

Soul Jazz Records has finally reissued its long out of print compilation of experimental dance music and punk from New York.

Released in 2003 as the first instalment in the New York Noise series, Dance Music From the New York Underground 1977-1982 follows the period of music from New York’s downtown scene that came after the emergence of punk.

Categorised into genres such as post-punk, punk funk and no wave, the acts featured on the compilation were part of a young and diverse group of people involved in art, music, film, theatre, fashion and writing, mainly based in the lower east side of Manhattan.

While following the generations of artists who had preceded them, the group took a radical approach to music-making that was designed to separate them from their cultural forebears.

Acts such as Arthur Russell, James Chance and the Contortions, Bush Tetras, Mars and the Theoretical Girls – all of whom are featured on the compilation – helped bridge the gap between experimental dance music and punk and art in downtown New York.

The groundbreaking New York Noise series included three albums from artists such as Jim Jarmusch, Sonic Youth, Snatch and Glen Branca, as well as a now out of print photography book featuring everyone from David Byrne to Madonna.

After the album’s first release, Rolling Stone wrote, “It feels like one big loft party, even when it veers into psychotic, dissonant no wave.”