Mike Futch – Kansas (Castaway Part 2)

Mike Futch
Kansas (Castaway Part 2)
1987 Plan 7 Dist.

All song performed by Mike Futch

Side 1:

  1. Northern Lights
  2. She Missed the Point
  3. Kansas
  4. Human Being
  5. Still in Love

Side 2:

  1. Move Along
  2. Silent Running
  3. No-One Knows
  4. Hold On
  5. Miles and Miles

This appears to be at least Futch’s second solo demo, coming out before some of the later Crazed Bunnyz releases. The sound here is like other Futch releases on the time – keyboard based music that is all performed by Futch. Sometimes it is a big techno-ish, other times there is a bit of industrial or even new wave. It is all indie and experimental. This is part 2 of the Castaway series – Part 1 being under the Castaway name, while this one switched over the Futch’s name. There was also a part 3 in 1987 that I have not heard yet.

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.

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).

Castaway – Original Soundtrack Part 1

Original Soundtrack Part 1
1986 Plan 7 Dist. (P7D-003)

Castaway (Mike Futch) – All vocals and instruments

Side 1:

  1. Castaway (Main Title)
  2. The Void
  3. Technicolor Wreck
  4. Thundertown
  5. Dream of You

Side 2:

  1. Chill Me
  2. The Fall
  3. I Told U So
  4. The Mountain
  5. Castaway (Ending)

For those not in the know, this is a solo project from Mike (Bing) Futch of Nutty Faith / Crazed Bunnyz / Johnny Quest fame. This is the first of at least three parts to this series of solo tapes. The sound here is a bit more mellow than the Crazed Bunnyz, but still with the quirky, out of the ordinary sense to it. The songs are also still electronic based – probably with less guitars than other projects. I don’t think this was actually a soundtrack to any real TV show or movie – I think it was Futch writing music for an imaginary movie. But I could be wrong.

Crazed Bunnyz – Blutgasse

Crazed Bunnyz
1988 Plan 7 Dist.
Cerritos, California, USA

Shaka – Vox
Futch – Vox, Axe, Keys, & TV
Rezzen – Analog Bass
Boxx – Rhythm Computation

Side 1:

  1. Blood Street
  2. Days of Our Lives
  3. Shine, You’re Scrambled
  4. Yes Thank You, I Will
  5. No N—–s
  6. [interview]

Side 2:

  1. Earth (The Demon Seed)
  2. Letter From Kristin
  3. Vomit
  4. That Sucks
  5. Sex Nazi
  6. [message from the band]

This is the final Crazed Bunnyz demo (both to review for this site, as well as the actual last one they recorded). This is lo-fi indie punk electronic alt rock weirdness at its best. This really just shows that lo-fi budget recordings can be good if the people behind the music know how to make something interesting. I have always wondered with these guys could have recorded if they were placed in a big budget studio with a full band at their disposal. Would it ruin the songs? Would it produce a genius record? The world will probably never know. But, anyways, because of the way they recorded this – with lots of samples, a drum machine, chainsaw guitars layered over keyboards – many people see Crazed Bunnyz as an “industrial band.” Songs like “Shine, You’re Scrambled” (with a noticeable influence from Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized”) come across as closer to punk. Its all really just hard to classify.

Crazed Bunnyz – Achtung: Musik Klirrfaktor

Crazed Bunnyz
Achtung: Musik Klirrfaktor
1986 Plan 7 Dist. (P7D-002)
Cerritos, California, USA

Shaka Harrison – Vox and munchy crunchies
Futch (Mike Futch) – Bone-sucking guitar and vox
Gadget (Marc Plainguet) – Devo bass-synth and absurd remarks

Side 1:

  1. U.F.O. (the “calling Earl” mix)
  2. Back from the Dead (the Steve Taylor mix)
  3. Don’t Flick That Over Here (the mix)
  4. Flat Brains (the non-partisan mix)
  5. Physical Distortion (the crunchy mix)

Side 2:

  1. The Message (the heat is on mix)
  2. The Killing of a Race (the get-it-on mix)
  3. Church of the Living Dead (the Falwell mix)
  4. Tapdancing into Hell (the chorus line mix)
  5. World Media (the K-ROQ mix)

When discussing the “Christian underground,” Marc Plainguet is usually the center of that discussion. Whether through solo albums, his alter-ego Gadget, or team-ups with others like Crazed Bunny, he pretty much defined the DIY sound and look of “Christian underground.” It is hard to explain why unless you listen. The lo-fi recording of this demo would give one the impression that it is no good; but for some reason, the songwriting and passion make this a classic under-appreciated album. It is drum machine with synth bass and chopping distorted guitars set to deep irony, sarcasm, and social commentary. And it works. You can usually find these songs somewhere if you dig deep enough. Rumor is Plainguet may re-issue many of these someday. That is like a 500 year old rumor, though – so don’t hold your breath.

Update: I obviously did not give Bing Futch the credit he deserves for this project – please see the comments below. Also good news that re-issues for this and other projects from the Underground are still moving forward!