Liliput | Feminist Punk Music
Who are LiLiPUT?
Formed in Zurich in 1978 by guitarist Marlene Marder and bassist/vocalist Klaudia Schiff, they began with the name Kleenex until the threat of a lawsuit by corporate giant Kimberly-Clark (who had copyrighted the name Kleenex) forced them to become Liliput in 1980. Recording for English indie label Rough Trade, the then-Kleenex produced melodic joyous noise-punk featuring Marder’s scratchy, semi-melodic guitar and Schiff’s happy-yappy vocals.
LiLiPUT were forging a different kind of punk, one that was gleefully anarchic, avant-garde, unrestrained, and suffused with a giddy joy.
By 1982, when they released their first LP, they seemed perfectly happy remaining in Switzerland, running the band as part of numerous other artistic projects (painting, writing, etc.) they pursued. By the end of 1983, LiLiPUT had disbanded, and the music they had recorded quickly achieved legendary status by the relatively few who heard it.
As for the band, they seemed destined to be relegated to the status of feminist-inspired punk rock footnote.
All of this changed in 2001, when Kill Rock Stars re-released a double-disc, 46-track compilation of the entire recorded output of Kleenex/LiLiPUT. Aside from the two Liliput LPs (1982’s Liliput and 1983’s weaker Some Songs), the compilation includes four singles, one EP, and another LP’s worth of intermittent outtakes and unreleased material.
Even today, idiosyncratic acts like the Gossip pay tribute to LiLiPUT (made some of the most adventurous, exhilarating and critically-derided music of the late 70s) by making loud, raunchy records that you can’t help loving. Arguing about if they were any good or not would just detract from valuable listening time.