"Bureau B presents a reissue of Richard Pinhas's East West, originally issued in 1980. The fourth solo album by French spacerock mastermind Pinhas, East West was his first and only album to be released by a major label (CBS). Some say it is his most commercial but Pinhas doesn't see it that way. "Signing to CBS was a blessing. It gave me the tools for better production. At that time, some big companies were better and more honest than the so-called underground labels. Besides, I don't see any virtue in remaining underground. You try to do what's best for the music at each moment in your life. Always." reflects Pinhas. Even so, East West contained some surprises for those who were used to Heldon's extended jams or the sparse and moody atmosphere of Iceland (1979). East West's average track length is four minutes, indicating greater accessibility. It also has a David Bowie cover, although Pinhas naturally chose one of his more avant-garde moments, the foreboding "Sense Of Doubt" from Heroes. (1977). Despite having "gone solo", Pinhas remained a serial collaborator. The intense and frantic opener, "Houston 69: The Crash Landing (Part 1)", features his old Heldon colleagues Didier Batard, François Auger, and Patrick Gauthier. The robotic vocals were supplied by writer Norman Spinrad from whose novel, The Iron Dream (1972), Heldon had lifted their name. East West's synth-centric tracks resemble siblings to the groundbreaking work of Kraftwerk. Others, like the dreamy "XXXXX: La Ville Sans Nom" or longest track, "Paris: Beautiful May", showed Pinhas hadn't lost enthusiasm for fusing the revolutionary sound of the synthesizer with his impressive talents as a meditative and expressive guitarist. Certain songs evoke Brian Eno or Tangerine Dream but hold their own distinct flavor, anticipating much later ambient practitioners such as Mountains or Emeralds. Besides the relatively succinct running times, it's "New York: West Side" that takes most responsibility for East West having been categorized as Pinhas' "most commercial" work, another view which its maker defies. "I don't know why people say it's the most structured or commercial," he reflects. "I wanted to do this album in the way I did it. In terms of commerciality, I don't work with those kinds of concepts." East West hardly represents Pinhas' shift from abstract composer to pop artist but offers a sublime showcase for the diversity of Pinhas' powers, all delivered in handy bite-sized chunks." - Bureau B.
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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