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Sublime Frequencies

V/A - Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo

"Numbering less than 1000 people, the Dayak Benuaq from the Eastern Kalimantan region of Indonesian Borneo still practice many of their traditional ceremonial customs. This album of field recordings presents the music associated with the kwangkay, the secondary mortuary ritual celebrated by the Dayak Benuaq, recorded live on location by Vincenzo Della Ratta. According to the Benuaq belief system, upon death the soul of the human being is transformed into the liau, associated with the physical body, and the kelelungan, associated with the intellect or the head. Both the liau and the kelelungan temporarily reside in a sort of cosmic location, connected respectively with the bones and the skull of the deceased, who has entered a state of deep unconsciousness, as yet neither pertaining completely to the realm of the living, nor to that of the dead. Music plays a key role within the kwangkay, as it is crucial for guiding the liau and kelelungan spirits to their final destinations. It is also intended to please the spirits of the dead by providing them with entertainment. This ritual includes a night dance performed for the spirits and accompanied by a musical piece known as the ngerangkau. These rites and ceremonies are often dedicated to several deceased persons and are held within a house belonging to one of their family members. Featured here are two different versions of the ngerangkau, with their long, trance-inducing rhythmic gong patterns. There are two more tracks on the album which are not specifically related to the kwangkay. Titi Mati" is a gong piece commonly played to proclaim the recent death of a villager. And finally, a nocturnal soundscape of a village by the river Mahakam, a channel of transport and communication which is essential for the local people of the Benuaq territories. Limited edition LP; includes insert of text and images by Vincenzo Della Ratta." - Sublime Frequencies.

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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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