Long-lost recordings culled from performances between 1979 and 1982 from the loose group of feminist performers known as DISBAND. Ilona Granet, Donna Henes, Barbara Kruger, Ingrid Sischy, Diane Torr, and Martha Wilson screamed, shouted, sang, and stomped through the heyday of New York City’s new- and no-wave scenes, blurring the line between performance art and live music. Mirroring the chaos and temporarity of that time, the band split up in 1982 having never produced a record. This is the first comprehensive look at their all-too brief career.

This CD features 21 recordings captured from the band’s live performances between 1979-1982.

DISBAND was founded in 1978 by Martha Wilson, Daile Kaplan, and Barbara Ess. Although Kaplan and Ess were members of seminal downtown punk and No Wave bands, Wilson took her lack of musical training as inspiration to formulate this “all-girl conceptual art punk band” in the midst of New York’s No Wave scene. While the group began with standard instruments, they discarded them quickly, focusing on their voices, harmonies, and corporeal percussion (clapping, stomping, etc) as the foundation for witty, humorous, and intellectually biting songs. The lineup was initially fluid, with Daile Kaplan, Barbara Ess, April Gornik, Barbara Kruger, all participating in the early days of the group, along side Martha Wilson. Eventually the line-up shifted to artists Ilona Granet, Donna Henes, Diane Torr, Martha Wilson, and writer Ingrid Sischy. DISBAND performed regularly between 1979 and 1982 at exhibition spaces, clubs, and art festivals throughout the world. DISBAND reunited with Granet, Henes, Torr, and Wilson in 2008 at MoMA PS1’s installation of “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution,” and continue to perform internationally.

5 x 5.5 inches
31 minutes
June 2009

Managing Editor: James Hoff and Miriam Katzeff
Managing Designer: Jeremy Mickel