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January 31, 2021 59 min

With seminal releases from Suicide, James Chance, Lydia Lunch, Was (Not Was), Kid Creole and the Coconuts, the Waitresses, and many others, ZE Records was described by John Peel as "the best independent record label in the world." UK-born Michael Zilkha founded the label alongside Michel Esteban in 1978, after running the short-lived Spy Records with John Cale. After the label closed in 1984, Zilkha left New York for Texas, where he now is in the renewable energy business.

In this interview, we talk to Michael Zilkha about his early musical influences, his coming to New York immediately after school, and the formation of what would become one of the most acclaimed record labels of the era. Recently, Zilkha revived the ZE brand to release "The Future Is Mine" featuring Bun B and Mr. Biggs:

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