(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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Liliput (formerly Kleenex) was a female band that came out of Switzerland at the peak of the punk artistic fervor. Like with their American counterpart, the Frightwig, Liliput's lo-fi aesthetic and childish playing bridged the gap between the Runaways and the riot-grrrl generation.

The Kleenex debuted with a self-titled EP in 1978. Beri-Beri and Hedi's Head exhibit the neurotic vocals and funkish beat of the Talking Heads. But Ain't You sounded like a parody of punk-rock, full of their trademark "ooo" and "eee" and chirping choir. The single You (1978) boasts a more aggressive beat and almost screaming vocals.

The first Liliput single, Die Matrosen (1980), is a Raincoats-style nursery rhyme with saxophone. DC 10, from the same recording sessions, is even more musical, and the single Eisiger Wind (1981) is a wild, witchy bacchanal. I Had A Dream sounds like a rehearsal session for the Fleshtones. The skills were improving.

The ever changing line-up (around original founders guitarist Marlene Marder and bassist Klaudia Schiff) finally recorded a full-length album, Liliput (Rough Trade, 1982), whose highlights are the surreal funk vignettes of Do You Mind My Dream and Outburst. But the album also features the spastic square-dance of Birdy, the industrial disco-music of Feel Like Snakes and Tong Tong, the Japanese free-jazz of Tschik-mo and Ichor, the avantgarde noises of Umamm. Suddenly the music was more important than the lyrics and the band was experimenting in all directions.

The single Jatz (1983) was a rap over a funk shuffle. The second album, Some Songs (Rough Trade, 1983), was a tad too self-conscious and artsy: jazzy piano leads the syncopated Ring-a-ding-dong; the accordion leads the Alpine waltz of Blue Is All In Rush; Atonal guitar, piano, sax and bongos jam in the robotic On Streets Without Names.

Liliput (Kill Rock Stars, 2001) is a double-CD anthology.

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