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.
The name comes from Anthony Burgess’s novel A Clockwork Orange in the scene where Alex is in the record shop. If you look on the wall there is a list of names, including Ike Yard as well as others like Heaven 17.
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) joined in August 1980.
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.
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 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.