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Karlrecords

ABRAMS, MUHAL RICHARD - Celestial Birds

"The compilation Celestial Birds reveals and focuses on the widely unknown electronic compositions of the Association for the Advancement Of Creative Musicians (AACM) founder and jazz pianist, Muhal Richard Abrams. The fifth release in KarlRecords' Perihel Series, curated by zeitkratzer director, Reinhold Friedl. Anybody interested in jazz knows that Chicago has always been an impressive hot spot for new talents -- and still is. One essential landmark in the history and development of jazz was the founding of the AACM in May 1965. This non-profit organization was a melting pot (and starting point) for artists like Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis, or Lester Bowie and his Art Ensemble of Chicago but one of its actual founding members is known only to the deep connoisseurs: Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017). The autodidact pianist and composer left music school and university, deciding to learn music by himself. From 1961 on, the Experimental Band was his first ensemble, but it soon turned out that Abrams's interests went beyond jazz and that he was open to the avant-garde and new music and most of all: electronic music. Which led to a double problem: On the one hand, black musicians had almost no access to the rare electronic music studios located in and funded by universities or broadcasting corporations. On the other hand, there were strong reservations regarding electronic music in the black music community. In his important book A Power Stranger Than Itself: The A.A.C.M. and American Experimental Music, (2007) George Lewis wrote that "the use of electronics . . . proved controversial and widely misunderstood in a world of jazz in which acoustic instruments became conflated with musical, and eventually, cultural and even racial authenticity." Abrams's response was to actually "hide" his electronic pieces on the B-sides of his albums, and this compilation focuses on some of his best electronic experiments: the 22-minute long epic "The Bird Song" from 1968 in its original version incl. the reverb that was removed on the later CD reissue on Delmark, the synthesizer compositions "Conversations With The Three Of Me" (1989) and "Think All, Focus One" (1995) plus "Spihumonesty" (1980) with a second synthesizer played by George Lewis and Yousef Yancey on theremin. Celestial Birds casts a new light on the underrated experimenter Muhal Richard Abrams, his innovative approach to composition and pieces that lay dormant for way too long. 180 gram vinyl; includes download code." - Karlrecords .
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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.
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