Sunday, August 21, 2005

Abiku Red: "Repulsion"


Abiku Red/Ark of Bone split LP From The Ashes of Strange Fruit.

Unknown label, unknown year.

If you've ever wondered what 2nd/3rd era spooky kids goth-industrial from Kalamazoo, Michigan sounds like, your long, potentially hopeless wait is actually over so breathe that goth sigh of relief (high pitched falsetto) and buckle yourself into those fur-lined restraints.

Of the two bands, Abiku Red is the more traditional (if such a word can be applied) project consisting of a drum machine, reverb and other electronics and vocals. Very minimal synth or guitar if any graces the tracks. Songs are not pretty and mostly seem to be about sex with razors, spiders, bondage and things that pierce and bite. Yum! "Repulsion" is the only keeper - distinguished by a delicate female voice (unidentified) - I lack any close touchstones - perhaps the March Violets without the guitars, hooks and commercial aspirations and slowed down by half. Anyway, lissen for yerself, vampires, below.

Ark of Bone is built around someone called "lisa, gypsy, albrecht", exotic dancer/disco singer and appears to be about her experiences as a peep show performer with songs entitled "glass fantasy" and "duchess and the twisted tongue". The "songs" as as messy as the glass booth she used to work in, mostly unintelligible reverby drum machinery with references to bodily fluids and intestines and the like. Kinda like Abiku Red only even more gloomy (in fact, the pictures of the performers look remarkably similar). An interview with "lisa,gypsy,albrecht" is in the liner notes. She describes one of her customers, Mr. Tongue:


Ah - she's got a heart of gold and she cleans up well - how come I can't meet girls like her?

Provenance of vinyl: Probably received as a promo and promptly forgotten, it's obviously a hand-made cover and label with two bands who probably not coincidentally share the same PO Box and whose pictures look the same. I have no idea what the year of this is but I'm guessing late '80s.

Track download:

"Repulsion" - Abiku Red

No links found. If anyone knows more about these two bands, drop a line in the comments box.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth has this to say:

he strange fruit abiku 7" was my first appearance on vinyl. it's sort of funny the band's name was 'spastic rhthym tarts' for longer than it was 'strange fruit' but we never released anything as the 'spastic rhythm tarts' - i have tapes that i've threatened to compile and release but i never knew if there was enough interest in this type of thing or not.

after and during the abiku 7" the band was splintering already. there was a LP titled 'sin eater's picnic' w/ xerox /hand colored sleeves. i'm on maybe 1/2 of this record - maybe drum machines on the remainder of the lp.

a split 12" was later released under the name 'abiku red' (or something like that) featuring yet another line-up of musicians....i didn't play on that record .

this all took place in kalamazoo, michigan where the other bandmembers were students. in those days we dug the pop group, joy division, the birthday party, patsy cline, nancy sinatra, prince, Factory Records,L-Seven(the michigan band),funkadelic, run dmc, motown,...

sherrie feight - vocals
mike love - 3 string bass
tim foljahn- guitar
steve shelley - drums

later joined by :
michael cergizan - guitar (r.i.p.)
steve fix - guitar

http://www.sonicyouth.com/bboard/fanforum/viewtopic.asp?topicID=1698865

Jim H said...

Wow. Patsy Cline, but of course. Thanks. I suspect that the singer then is Ms. Sherrie Feight. Thanks.

Eve said...

Thanks for the info on this end. A friend of mine played this for me years ago (around 1987-89 or something) who had a vinyl copy. At the time, I wasn't into independent music strongly, and this was one of the weirdest things I'd heard in my limited world. I am not sure how he got this, but we lived in Marshall, Michigan, about 30 minutes from Kalamazoo, so maybe some probably it was circulating among college students at Western Michigan University.

Any chance you could share the flipside from Ark of Bone? I've been looking for this again for years.

Eve
seance83@yahoo.com

Jim H said...

Eve - I didn't bother to digitize the Ark of Bone side. Sorry.

If you want the record, I'll probably be throwing it up on e-Bay (along with several others reviewed here) any day now. Otherwise, make an offer and I'll consider it.

Sherrie said...

Well this is Sherrie Feight and if I remember it right the Maximum Rock and Roll Mag. said that Strange Fruit was like a three legged Doberman, very odd but just as dangerous. Then they went on to say you should listen to it while eating a sandwich in the dark. It was a different time for music in the sleepy town of Kalamazoo. Not many places to play and not many people intrested in hearing us play. I think the best show we did was a fund raiser for the Rainbow Festival or something like that in Ann Arbor at the U of M Ballroom.
The Problem we had with the Latin Dogs was that they wanted to come to a party at our house and we we said no they yelled out to my girlfriend, "Your not a virgin" so Mike Love beat them all up at once. It was quite a sight. We had just finished a show with the Necros at a weird little club downtown where we did a cover of "These Boots Are Made For Walking". But at that time Steve was not with us and Mike's cousin Lenny was on the drums. We were at that time Spastic Rhythm Tarts.

Jim H said...

Thanks Sherrie for dropping by and filling in the blanks. Do you know anything about Ark of Bone?

Anonymous said...

Mike Love beat up The Latin Dogs? hmmm I don't recall that...musta been a severe beating I took...

Anonymous said...

lol

lisa said...

so this is lisa "gyyyypsy" it is only fair to say that i was totally produced by mike love like by about 200% i didn't even know how to keep a sorta kinda rhythm ; .he kept saying , do it like janis joplin...my only rock-n-roll reference..(a secret reference at the time)..It's like what?...20 years later now and tonight, outa no where where i get this urge to see what-up wit mike love.... so i googled him and fell on this site. it is so so so funny to read all this...

Paul S. said...

(A little off topic...maybe)
Wow, I just converted (June 2006) a punk rock mix tape Sherry made for me in 1982. We were in art class together in Kalamazoo.
If you (or anyone else) would like a copy just let me know...

Jim H said...

Would love to see the track list at any rate. Mix tapes are great archealogical finds...

Anonymous said...

Hi. This is David Livingstone (x-God Bullies).

Pity you thought "Repulsion" was "the only keeper," but different strokes, etc...as for me, at the time making solo 4-trk. noise on my own, meeting/watching/collaborating with the strange fruit/abiku/spastic axis was life-changing in the extreme...maybe the quality of what they were up to didn't translate as well to vinyl as I (personally) think it did, but for me watching these ppl was life-changing, no shit. I learned a FUCK of a lot that I later applied to my own gtr style from Tim Foljahn and Mike Cergizan (later my collab. in Soluble Fish/Nerve), and just as much about studio tricks and fuckery from Mike Love & Rastus Goodwill.

Say what you will about the lingering vinyl evidence, but this much I know: the ppl in these bands were individually and collectively possessed of sheer fucking genius, and they made revolutionary stuff ca. '82-'86 that other ppl are still catching up to (esp. M. Love's production stylings and foljahn/cergizan's shattered-glass guitar stylings). Shit, this LP was recorded on FOUR TRACK CASSETTE ferchrissake and there are still enough layers of noiz-splee and mooditoria on there to deafen half of cleveland...no mean feat. And on the off chance that Lisa/Sherrie/others drop by here again--y'all drop me a line @ david(at)grayroom dot com, k?

Anonymous said...

Hi, a sad post. I don't know if anyone from the kalamazoo area have heard already, but Scott Bala (Toxic) passed away in Oct. Part of the band ADC, he and Charlie Wallace (Victor) were friends with members of Ark of Bone, Strange Fruit/Abiku Red, etc. If anyone is still in contact with Charlie, and think he may not know, please give him the news.

Rich
ajaxx2@comcast.net