"It's not often that an artist gets to do a Bowie by consciously carving their personal epitaph into the grooves of their final LP. The Highest In The Land is that rarity of an album, and it could not have been made by a more brilliantly poetic and fearlessly sarcastic writer than Pat Fish, also known as The Jazz Butcher. There are many existentially charged moments on a record whose songs were written throughout the last seven years of Fish's life before his untimely passing in October 2021, aged only 63. Founded in Oxford in 1982 by Pat Fish and prodigious guitarist Max Eider, the band that would become synonymous with its leader embodied an anti-rockist, semi-ironically jazz-conscious indie aesthetic before the word had even been invented. In a world of po-faced poseurs this "Southern Mark Smith" proved that it was possible to be both smart and funny, erudite and unpretentious, the latter sadly to the detriment of his fame. But, as so often the case, his underratedness only seemed to fuel his sharpness as a writer throughout his later years. It was not for want of material that he allowed a nine-year-gap to open after the penultimate Jazz Butcher album Last of the Gentlemen Adventurers appeared in 2012. Between moving personal songs like "Never Give Up" or "Goodbye Sweetheart" and more opaque ones such as the title track (the mysterious "Black Raoul", by the way, is Pat and Dhiren's cat), much of this album is imbued with righteous ire at the isolationist path taken by the UK in recent times. "Running On Fumes" and "Sebastian's Medication" may be the sharpest analyses of the state of Brexit Britain yet committed to song. Meanwhile, the former stands as an angry state-of-the-nation address, drawing parallels to the Weimar Republic by evoking Hermann Hesse and Mackie Messer, musically cloaked in a Dylan reference suggesting there is indeed blood on the tracks. By contrast, "Sea Madness" tells the heart-warming tale of an immigrant in tribute to Turkish George, a legendary presence on the Northampton music scene. It is not without irony that a career that began in witty defiance of the Thatcher years should end under the shadow of the Johnson era. Certainly, The Highest In The Land sounds as relevant to today as A Scandal In Bohemia did to 1984. Likewise, in musical terms, it feels like the closing of a circle, based around live recordings by a core band of Fish, Dave Morgan on drums and Tim Harries on bass, augmented by an array of musicians including founder member Max Eider." - Tapete Records .
After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.
This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).
Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.
Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.
Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).
So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.