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Alga Marghen

ASHLEY, ROBERT - The Wolfman

Alga Marghen presents a 2015 remastered CD edition of its 2003 CD The Wolfman, a collection of pieces that introduce the listener to the most extreme experimental side of American composer Robert Ashley. Presented in digipak with 12-page booklet including liner notes written by the composer and the complete score of The Wolfman," first issued in Source magazine. The program starts with "The Fox" (1957), Ashleys first electronic work, which displays his nascent electronic music theater style. Dark atmospheres and primitive tape collage techniques recorded at home, mixing the electronic tape and the voice in a single live pass. "The Wolfman" was composed in early 1964 and first performed at Charlotte Moormans 1964 second Annual Avant Garde Festival of New York. The piece immediately won a considerable reputation as a threat to the listeners health. For the occasion, instigated by Morton Feldman, Ashley composed a piece of tape music, "The Wolfman Tape," to be played along with the vocal performance of "The Wolfman." The tape composition, played out of the same loudspeakers as the voice and the feedback (the main sound source for this composition), filled in the ongoing performance sound and transformed the performance into an elaborate version of drone under the influence of electronics. For the performance of "The Wolfman" recorded here, produced at the University of California, Davis, Ashley used a 1960 tape composition titled "The 4th of July." That composition changes gradually from a parabolic-microphone documentation of a backyard party into a layering of tape loops and tape-head feedback. "The Wolfman Tape" (1964) is, as described above, a tape composition made for a short performance of "The Wolfman." It uses tape-speed manipulation and mixes of many layers of found sounds, both from AM radio and from recordings made using different kinds of microphones. "The Bottleman" was composed in 1960 as music for an experimental film by George Manupelli. The 40-minute version presented here involves contact microphones on a surface that holds a loudspeaker some six feet away. The loudspeaker is broadcasting open-circuit hum (at the American standard of approximately 60 hertz). That pitch is raised slightly through tape manipulation and the result is mixed with vocal sounds and other found sounds played back at various tape speeds." - Alga Marghen.

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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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