Y PantsWater Wing
WW 017 EP
Twelve Inch Single Record
'In the late '70s and early '80s everyone had very fluid art identities. One day you were a filmmaker, the next day a musician, and Y Pants was very much a part of it... The lyrics are ironic without being callous, the voices are sultry, the music is repetitive and trance-like... [with] a sense of urgency - like something being driven out.' --Kiki Smith.
Y PANTS were a three-woman New York band: Barbara Ess, Virginia (Verge) Piersol and Gail Vachon, all visual artists. They played in clubs, galleries and performance spaces between 1979 and 1982. They were 'as idiosyncratic, edgy, minimal, wry and literate as post-punk no wave got. Furthermore, the fact that these were three ferocious and formidable females was not to be overlooked.' -Wolfgang Staehle.
Gail found a toy piano on the street and started jamming with Barbara on the ukulele. When they were invited to play a few weeks later at TR3 (the short-lived but influential downtown NY music club), they electrified their instruments and recruited the neophyte drummer Verge for percussion on a children's drum set. Their first gig met with an unexpected wildly enthusiastic reception. The instrumentation was then rounded out with Barbara's bass (former bands Daily Life and The Static), an African thumb drum, and a Casio keyboard for Gail.
Verge's initial Mickey Mouse toy kit soon fell apart and she cobbled together a modest trap set. They gained a following and soon recorded a four song EP produced by Glenn Branca for 99 Records. They often shared the stage with label mates the Bush Tetras, ESG, Liquid Liquid, Branca and other NYC 'downtown' bands.
This release includes their four-song debut EP and two songs never before available on vinyl: 'Magnetic Attraction' (previously released on Tellus Audio Cassette), and the mysterious 'Kung Fu'. In a NY Times review, John Rockwell wrote"... what really makes Y Pants a success is the actual sound of the instrumentals -- raw and driving yet exotic and imaginative in terms of timbre and minimalist structure."