Stuart Argabright, Chris Alker
Raging against the dancing wasteland, OFF THE GRID is a once-a-month event which focuses on dance music that you won't hear on a typical Friday or Saturday night. It will focus on a collage of Mutant Disco, Punk Funk, No Wave, Early Electro, New Romantics and rare B-Sides.
Special guest DJs who have contributed, or continue to contribute to expanding the musical spectrum in NY will share the decks each month with the Resident NY DJ Chris Alker of SUBTRAK records.
This month's special guest DJ is Stuart Argabright of Ike Yard.
Stuart Argabright is a Producer and Director who has been working in music and multimedia in NYC since 1978. Stuart has created The Futants, Ike Yard, Dominatrix, DCC aka Death Comet Crew, The Voodooists, black rain and now Dystopians usually doing a record /CD release or 2 with each group before moving on. In 2003 into 2004, he is able to experience a bit of the past, present and future simultaneously with his 1980's groups getting their Rerelease and new life while he continues working on new music with Dystopians and Dominatrix (now a major Rerelease on Gigolo Records) and Producing Artists like The Rammellzee's "Bi Conicals Of The Rammellzee" Album for the Munich indie Gomma and remixing up and comers like Tussle (SF) for Tmu.In addition, Stuart has been working in Music Video, and with Artists such as Gretchen Bender, Robert Longo, Bill T Jones, and author William Gibson, including the 1994 "Neuromancer" Audio Book and "Hip Tech High Lit" in 1987 with Judy Nylon and Sean Young. Stuart and Co.'s music appear as soundtracks on movies by Directors Nicholas Roeg, Johnathan Demme and others. The music video for Dominatrix (directed by Beth B) resides in MOMA's permanent Collection, the "Digital Shiatsu" CDROM Stuart Directed and CoProduced won Silver Award @ New Media Awards in '95 and Stuart's team recieved Emmy nomination in 2001 for their Sdtk work for NY Times TV's popular Cable TV series "Trauma: Life In The ER" on TLC.
Although IKE YARD dissolved by the beginning of 1983, the band reformed as a three piece unit with original members Stuart Argabright, Kenneth Compton, and Michael Diekmann. Ike Yard is currently writing and rehearsing new material, after doing a few shows in 2007. Listen to examples of new songs recorded during '07 & '08, as well as older songs from the early 1980's. A career spanning compilation was released on the Acute label in 2006 (see below for details).
The name comes from Anthony Burgess's novel "A Clockwork Orange". You know the scene where Alex is in the record shop ...
In NYC Spring 1980 Stuart Argabright, founder/drummer/vocalist of the FUTANTS, began sessions with Kenneth Compton on bass/vocals at Kristian Hoffman's rehearsal Studio on the edge of Chinatown. The group was completed when Fred Szymanski (synthesizers/ programming /treatments) and Michael Diekmann (guitar, synthesizer), with their interest in experimental electronic music and techniques, joined in August 1980.
Although NO WAVE as a musical aesthetic had just peaked in NYC before the formation of IKE YARD, the initial influences were more European: British post-punk and Krautrock. Soon after, non-rock genres such as funk, nascent hip-hop, and experimental electronic were evident in the stylistic approach to composition.
IKE YARD began with a lineup that included guitar, synthesizer, bass, drums and percussion. The additional percussion was often ‘found’ scrap metal: brake drums, sheet metal, and other debris from the streets and vacant lots of the Lower East Side. During 1982, with the guitar and finally bass being replaced fully by a four-piece synthesizer set up, IKE YARD’s sound transformed into a music bleached of flesh, reduced to a glistening skeleton – the music of machines haunted by ghosts.
The band’s modular analog synthesizer set up included gear by Korg (MS-20, MS-50, SQ-10, VC-10), Roland (TR-909, TR-606, TR 808, TB-303, MC-202, CSQ-600), Arp (Solus, Axxe), the EMS Synthi-AKS, and the Buchla Modular 112 keyboard controller. IKE YARD's stark soundscapes were engendered through a combination of the unique contributions of the band members and the availability of new music-making instruments and emerging technologies of that time.
In Spring 1981, IKE YARD recorded an EP for Belgium’s Crepuscule records (which was named single of the week in Melody Maker upon its release in November 1981). IKE YARD was the first US group to record for the Manchester UK’s prestigious Factory label; an album “A FACT A SECOND” was released on Factory America in September 1982. The band performed with NEW ORDER at Ukrainian National Home, SECTION 25 at Peppermint Lounge & Maxwell’s, SUICIDE and 13:13 (w/Lydia Lunch) at Chase Park, and with the DEL BZYZENTEENS (w/Jim Jarmusch) at CBGB’s and the Music for Millions festival. In addition, the band played at Danceteria, the Mudd Club, the Pyramid Club and Tier 3.