"Room40 continues its series of archival releases from Tokyo noise maestro Merzbow with an unreleased work originally recorded in 1997. EXD is like some kind of pulse driven industrial electronics experiment. It grinds with an uneasy sense of determination, rupturing outward into caustic waves of Merzbow's trademarked harsh noise. Across the middle years of the 1990s, Merzbow (Masami Akita) refined a stochastic language for harsh noise that had emerged from his studio experiments at the beginning of that decade. This technique, which involved a combination of self-made instruments, synthesizers, tabletop effects and, in the case of EXD, drum machines, often recorded at incredible levels to create a uniquely visceral distortion, has essentially become the benchmark for noise music in the 21st century. A devout archivist, Merzbow's unreleased works from this period are finally getting the attention they deserve. Editions like Noise Mass, issued by Room40 in 2019 (RM 4108CD), are amongst a growing number of releases that document the gradual unfolding of his signature approach to overabundance of frequency and ceaseless sonic chaos. Recorded at the end of 1997 and early 1998, EXD owes its title to the Bias Rockaku-kun EXD 5ch analog drum synthesizer. It is an exercise in maximal minimalism. Using repeated phrases, atmospheric, but reductive drum patterns, and tightly wound pulses, Merzbow calls up a vision proto-industrial technoscape. Bathed in white noise, it is a music in which the reassurance of the kick drum is largely torn away, sending the music into an uneasy orbital decay. It's the sound of warning systems onboard a satellite as it begins to burn up, falling back to earth. An exquisite sonic evisceration. What makes EXD quite unusual is it reveals, in part at least, some of the skeletal structures Merzbow deploys in the creation of his works. It's especially revealing, as this period is mostly recognized for its unending shower of brutalizing harsh noise. On the title track "EXD" a Roland TR-606 drum machine folds into and out of focus. Its grooves ruptured by, and then become gradually consumed in, a field of phasing noise and distortion. Includes poster." - Room40 .
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.