"Almost four decades since its domestic release, Karen Marks's 1981 single Cold Café has finally reaped it's deserved international credit to become one of Australia's most recognized minimal wave recordings. Efficient Space now showcases the Melbourne artist's brief but entire discography, including two previously unheard demos, all produced with experimental synthesist Ash Wednesday (The Metronomes, Modern Jazz, Thealonian Music). A rarity in the then male-dominated industry, Marks found her footing in music, first through rock journalism and then in band management. Formally of Adelaide, newly arrived synth-punks JAB(Johnny Crash, Ash Wednesday, Bodhan X) approached her for representation, subsequently contributing tracks to seminal 1978 snapshot Lethal Weapons and playing the Crystal Ballroom's opening night. Wednesday and Crash would soon dissolve JAB, enlisting Mark Ferry and Sean Kelly to create Models. Still under Mark's management, Models became one of the fastest rising new bands of the punk movement, playing to full houses of dedicated and frenzied fans everywhere. Sadly, internal frictions forced Wednesday and Marks to leave after two years, with Crash following three months later. Her creative relationship with Wednesday fortified with the co-production of his 1980 machine-pop prank "Love By Numbers", her swooning chorus uplifting his deadpan count to 100, before the two collaborated on Marks's own recording persona. Immortalized by the icy Oz wave of Cold Café, her Astor issued 7" also boasted the caffeinated flip "Won't Wear It For Long" -- a should be hit with guitar from future Icehouse member Robert Kretschmer. Fans know of one more recording -- "You Bring These Things", a forlorn arrangement of an otherwise unreleased Paul Kellysong, gifted to her by the revered wordsmith. The track only ever appeared on the Astor promotional LP Terra Australis (1981), sinfully alongside "Up There Cazaly" and Joe Dolce -- hard proof that the label grossly misunderstood her talent (Marks recalls their persistent requests to show midriff and cleavage). Locked in a dissatisfying label arrangement and at this stage unwilling to follow her peers to greener pastures overseas, she felt her only way out was to cease all further activities. At the 11th hour of preparing this retrospective, two tracks unexpectedly surfaced via two cassettes -- a paranoid demo version of her signature tune "Cold Café", and a long-lost fourth song "Problem Page". Both living room recordings follow Marks and Wednesday's ingenious framework of minimal lyrics, minimal chord progressions." - Efficient Space.
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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