16 Jul 2005
Ike Yard in Q&A with Cerysmatic Factory 
"Early techno" / noise pioneers Ike Yard are back in the frame with a rumoured re-release on the not-too-far horizon and many extra-curricular activities in progress. Cerysmatic Factory caught up with Stuart Argabright to get the down low:

CF: There have been rumours that the Ike Yard album is going to be re-released. What's the latest?

IY: We are considering our options for a label on which to release it, just had a meeting on it yesterday actually. The description of Ike in Simon Reynolds new book Discog 2 seems to be bringing up new interest so we hope to help people discover / rediscover the music sooner as opposed to later. Still sounds pretty good for 20 years ago, and no-one in US was doing anything like it. Early techno? Could be. Electro? Other flavors in there too - Concret, funk .

IN the meantime, there should be 2 Ike cuts on a '1979-1984 NYC no wave proto-electro Collection' we have pulled together over the last 2 years. Currently the plan is for Soul Jazz to release this compilation as part of their "NY Noise Three" in early '06. NY Noise Two is coming in fall 05. We do hope the Comp. will create some more interest in Ike full on rerelease.

CF: By the way, I wonder if you can settle a personal thing for me on the original catalogue number for the album. This was FA 2 and was the second release on Factory America and of course the album's title is A Fact A Second. So, was this just coincidence or planned?

IY: Yea, Factory America stuck us with a cover design that cost them quite a bit of our overall budget. The A Fact A Second catalog number was made so prominent it led everybody to believe the Album is /was called A Fact A Second. The Album was titled simply Ike Yard'. As I recall Fact A 'One' was possibly the Ukrainian National Home show with Ike Yard opening for New Order. Tony Wilson came by the Studio when we were recording the Album and I guess we were 'on Factory America'. We were cut from the New Order At The Ukrainian National Home video (Fact 77 Taras Shevchenko), that night and Peter Hook helped a lot by jumping up to help do our sound that night. I also believe the connections we made / I made with Factory America's M Shamberg in '81/'82's Ike Yard did help (if even in a small way) for the future connection. When I did "Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight" on Arthur Baker's Streetwise in 1983 released in '84 - New Order went on to do their famous tracks with Arthur. It's possible I have the sequence wrong on that, but the scene was so small then , what people saw and liked what one person did - well it wasn't long till they picked it up and did the same thing. I'm not sure exactly HOW those two parties actually hooked up, but I had worked with both.

CF: What else is going on in the World of Ike Yard?

IY: Well, we are all doing different things by now. I am doing lots of other musik going on including a new song for Pac Man's 25th Anniversary and new Dominatrix tracks (originally UPROAR/Streetwise 1984 /rerleeased by DJ Hell on Gigolo '03 with Black Strobe remix). And Death Comet Crew, aka DCC, another 1980's post Ike Yard group I did that included Michael Diekmann, guitarist of Ike Yard, got a sweet re-release last year on Troubleman Unlimited here that has led to a Japanese licensing and now , gigs over there (Tokyo, 30 July) with Toshi Nakanishi's 'Plastics Sex' group , Tosh from the original Plastics (seen in "Downtown '81"). Will be a blast, very hot and humid - but we'll survive. I am also finalizing prep for the Venice Bienalle with the old school MC The Rammellzee who I produced ("Bi-Conicals Of The Rammellzee" '04 Gomma). I will help him with his perf there in the Theatrical section of Bienalle, then we should be doing a 9 date Euro & UK tour after Venice (Sept.21), including swing through London.

:: Ike Yard has some stories ::

>> Stuart Argabright worked for a long time with artist Robert Longo who went on to direct the 'Bizarre Love Triangle' video for New Order. This was edited by Gretchen Bender (RIP) who pretty much pioneered the super fast-editing style that soon became called the 'MTV style'. As artist into science, tech and biology , she was interested in seeing just HOW fast she could cut and have the viewers still percieve it. She then pushed this to an edge in the next video Robert directed for Megadeth.

>> Ike Yard were invited to share rehearsal space in the Music Building (kind of famous NYC music spot in early '80's) with Circus Mort - a band that had a singer named Mike Gira in it. Then when Gira was starting Swans he had our guitarist Michael Diekmann come in and lay it out for them, but didn't join.

>> Kenny Compton , bassist of Ike , became friends with the girl down the hall at the Music Building. She was this loud - then - most, somewhat irritating woman called... Madonna.

More info at: DeMeDo.blogspot.com

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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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