In 1979 the quintessential no wave group released two albums simultaneously; Buy was effectively the Contortions' debut, originally appearing on the indie label ZE, while the same project was released as Off White under the adopted alias of James White, one of the many identities of leader James Chance. The Contortions are considered to be one of the most important and influential groups of the New York no wave scene, which spawned the crazed postmodern persona of James Chance alongside Lydia Lunch, Mars, and DNA, among others. James Chance was a sort of avant lounge lizard personality cult who led numerous projects throughout the '80s, yet he never quite topped the warped distillation of punk, funk, and free jazz presented here, making Buy a pivotal recording of the New York post-punk era. His hybrid of free jazz sax blowing and agitated funk takes the contortions up a notch from the four tracks the band contributed to the Eno-produced No New York compilation, which debuted the furious angular syncopation of transfigured funk and disco rhythms which became the Contortions' signature. Chance's vocals and discordant sax will sound strangely familiar and appealing to fans of early Roxy Music and Television.
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane