Fütch – 21

Fütch
21
1987 Plan 7 Dist.

Fütch – Vocals, synthesizer, drum programs, dulcimer

Side 1:

  1. Strawberry Street
  2. Blue Eyes & Golden Dreams
  3. They Want to Kill Me
  4. Wake Up, It’s Night
  5. Love is Murder
  6. I Stand Accused
  7. Lori’s Theme
  8. Lifestyles of the Rich & Boring

Side 2:

  1. Green Pastures
  2. December Rain
  3. Wild Ride
  4. Dark City
  5. End of the Game
  6. Zone
  7. Memories
  8. 21

Fütch, aka Mikael Futch, aka Bing Futch, aka Mike Futch, is the man of many names that is also known for his work with Crazed Bunnyz, Nutty Faith, Johnny Quest, and other bands. This is one of his solo albums, probably at least his sixth (as far as I can tell). It appears to have been released between 1987’s Buy Dis Album Ore God Will Disconnect My Fone and 1989’s Fantasy Amidst the Storm. But there could be other albums in there that I am not aware of. Futch does all of the music and vocals here. It does sound a bit like his other work in Crazed Bunnyz and other bands, but without guitar. The synthesizer is the dominant instrument here, and it brings an 80s new wave/synth pop sound to the music. With several instrumental songs mixed in being a little ambient side. Which all works really well.

Kirchenkampf – The Gravity of Grace

Kirchenkampf
The Gravity of Grace
1987 (no label)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

Josh Gore – All noises

Side 1:

  1. The Gravity of Grace
  2. Bethlehem
  3. Street Called Straight
  4. The Ling Trees
  5. Ship of Faith

Side 2:

  1. Faith
  2. Fiat Lux
  3. Arriving at Sinai
  4. Shipwrecked

I had no idea what I was getting into with this tape. The tape case itself was painted on all sides with green 80s texture paint – the kind that was used to make flat surfaces look like rocks. Well, faux rocks at best. Not much to the liner notes. The music is really extreme ambient music – no real discernible rhythms – mostly floating, spacey sounds made by one person. Song lengths run from 6 minutes to 25, so overall this is a long album. It is also available on BandCamp now. Turns out this was his second tape after a self-titled tape in 1986. This was followed by Dancing Toward the Light of Heaven in 1988, and he is still releasing music.

Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings
1987 Plan 7 Dist.
Cerritos, California, USA

Side 1:

  1. Rebellious Shadows – Fade Into Place
  2. Crazed Bunnyz – Kahuna
  3. Nutty Faith – The Uncle Sammy Show

Side 2:

  1. Sasquatch – It’s All You
  2. Mikael Futch – Like a Tiger
  3. Flavor Packet – The Forrest

This is an interesting, but brief, sampler. It appears to have unreleased tracks by Crazed Bunnyz and Nutty Faith (and possible Bing Futch). Which is weird, because I have never heard of the possibility of other tracks by these two bands being out there. As far as the other bands? Rebellious Shadows is a hard rock band that uses a drum machine, helping them fit in well on this compilation. Sasquatch is closer to the Crazed Bunnyz sound, but with a different vocal style that almost comes across as British. Flavor Packet is kind of an instrumental guitar and flute band (Bing Futch is also a member of this band as well). Back to the known bands: The Crazed Bunnyz song is classic Bunnyz – trippy guitar alt/indie electronic rock. And it is an instrumental. The Nutty Faith song is even more trippy, kind of a mixture of spoken word, indie rock, and a drama of sorts. Mikael Futch is Bing/Mike Futch, who was also part of the Crazed Bunnyz and Nutty Faith tracks. I’m not sure if this song is on any of his other tapes as I have not heard all of those yet. But it does fit in with his usual style (or range of styles, that is).

Hip Dream – Jump to the Drum

Hip Dream
Jump to the Drum
1992 (no label)

Sheri Swaback
Janet Chalupnik

Side 1:

  1. Love Thing
  2. I’ll Be There
  3. Waited

Side 2:

  1. Can’t Live a Day
  2. Beat of My Heart

This is another highly sought after demo. This one features Sheri Swaback, who went on to join Deitiphobia, Massivivid, and now Sstaria. It was produced by Barry Blazs of Code of Ethics fame, and even features a cover of a Code of Ethics song (“Can’t Live a Day”). There is also a cover of an Ian Eskelin song (“Beat of My Heart”). The three non-covers are written by Swaback and Blazs. So, of course, it does have a euro-pop sound like Code of Ethics, but really kind of does its own thing. There are some guitars in the mix, but this is still electronica rather than the industrial or industrial metal of Swaback’s next two bands. I think this is the only release by this band, which is too bad.

Jamie Richards – Question of Truth

Jamie Richards
Question of Truth
1993 (no label)
Dallas, Texas, USA

Jamie Richards – Vocals, instruments, lyrics
Greg Richards – Lyrics

  1. Windows of the Soul
  2. Arms of Love
  3. Unseen Hands
  4. Save Yourself
  5. Question of Truth
  6. I Believe
  7. Joy of Life
  8. Silent Songs

I saw this tape on eBay, and a quick search turned up some online sources. It seems that Jamie went on to be a big time electronic music world. This was his debut album that he worked on with his father. There is a remixed version available for purchase on BandCamp, as well as one that is labeled the “original mix” to stream on SoundCloud (where I listened to it). I don’t have the original tape to be able to confirm if the “original mix” is exactly as it was when first recorded, but it seems to sound like it. The sound is a very well written and performed time capsule of early 90s techno/dance/europop. Which is all back in style again. Richards mentions that he recorded three albums, but I can’t find much about the other two. It seems that he is mostly now focused on recording songs for and with others on a song-by-song basis.

Code of Ethics – Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics
1990 (no label)
Brighton, Michigan, USA

Barry Blazs
Eric Switzer
Mark Tanner

Side 1:

  1. Going Home
  2. Don’t Look Back
  3. Oh Father
  4. Can’t Live a Day
  5. Open Your Heart

Side 2:

  1. I’ll Be There
  2. Two World Collide
  3. Give
  4. Saddle of Love
  5. Sleep On

I saw this offered as a download online and decided to check it out. This seems to be the band’s demo before getting signed with R.E.X. Music and releasing Visual Paradox. I don’t think any of the songs here were released on any later releases (at least not with the same name), except for “Can’t Live a Day” on Lost in Egypt in 2008. This tape sounds like their earlier Europop sound, except with slightly more noticeable guitars (but not to the point of being nearly industrial like Soulbait). This is an interesting look into the early days of the band. I don’t have a full scan of the cover, so I tried to recreate one as best as I could above from three of the pictures that were shared.

Sigma Seven – Alpha

Sigma Seven
Alpha
1985 (no label)
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

John Gore

Side 1:

  1. Maelstrom
  2. Slow Fall
  3. Metal Umbrella
  4. Sandwalk (Dune)

Side 2:

  1. A Triptych on War
  2. Ulysses + The Sirens

This is a very ambient tape that is about an hour of keyboard ambiance. Sometimes the keyboard is harsh to the point that it almost reaches into the noise category, while others it is very mellow almost new age music. There are no true rhythm instruments utilized on this tape, and most of the keyboard sounds are long drawn out notes that blend into each other. These are sometimes interspersed with repetitive repeating successions of keyboard notes as well. Both sides are about 30 minutes long, it’s just that the two songs on side two are really long. This is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it as a break from the usual metal and alternative.