Ike Yard

  • Ike Yard
  • Night After Night EP (Bel. les Disques du Crépuscule) 1981  (Superior Viaduct) 2020 
  • Ike Yard (Factory America) 1982  (Superior Viaduct) 2020 
  • Dominatrix
  • The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight EP (UpRoar/Streetwise) 1984  (Gigolo) 2003 
  • Death Comet Crew
  • At the Marble Bar EP (Beggars Banquet) 1984 
  • DCC America EP (Troubleman Unlimited) 2003 + 2004 
  • This Is Riphop (Troubleman Unlimited) 2004 
  • Death Comet
  • "Mystic Eyes"/"Death Comet Drive" (J-Mark/Elektra) 1986 

New York quartet Ike Yard mixed vocals not unlike the zombie mutterings of a bum in the subway (and barely more intelligible) with spurts of electronic noise to create minimalist “music” with a funny sort of force. The recorded emphasis was on percussion and rhythm, although there are traces of pitch courtesy of assorted drones and grunts. By and large, the sounds resemble audio vérité — street noises, howling winds, guns, clanging doors — more so on Ike Yard (not titled A Fact a Second, that was a Factory catalogue number), the preceding EP being more musical.

Stuart Arbright (né Argabright) followed Ike Yard with Dominatrix. The charming and catchy club hit consists of passionless dada femme recitation over light, atmospheric music with scratch mix effects by producer Ivan Ivan and Ken Lockie of Cowboys International. The 12-inch offers two full-scale versions plus two additional remixes (“Chants” and “Beat Me”).

With Lockie as co-producer, Arbright then launched the Death Comet Crew with a 12-inch electro-funk exercise that’s not as exceptional as Dominatrix, but still amusing and offbeat. “At the Marble Bar” offers a varied collection of percussion sounds; “Exterior St.” has rap vocals by Rammellzee; “Funky Dream” is an amusingly reductionist cut-up edit of the word “funky.”

Taking a rocking Billy Idolish approach without much dance-club potential, Arbright and the rest of the DCC crew — guitarist Michael Diekmann and bassist Shinichi Shimokawa — did a nice cover of Van Morrison’s “Mystic Eyes” on the Death Comet 12-inch, sticking a similar-sounding but inferior original on the flip.

Argabright has since done what he calls “Haitian cyber voudou” as the Voodooists and post-punk in a band called Black Rain. He remains active as a producer and remixer.

[Ira Robbins]