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Ecstatic

V/A - Trax Test (Excerpts From The Modular Network 1981-1987)

Trax Test is the first ever survey of Italys pioneering, visionary, and influential label and mail art collective Trax, which ran from 1981-1987 as a network for the creation of collaborative projects. The collective included a pre-NWW Colin Potter and some of the earliest work from Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, but also had deep connections with the art world; a few Trax members went on to become famous designers and artists -- Ettore Sottsass of hugely influential Memphis Group even guests on vocals on the last track of the compilation. The whole selection here is rare as heck and sorely in-demand by collectors, much of it now making its vinyl premiere some 30-odd years after the fact. With credit due to compilers Vittore Baroni of Trax and Ecstatics avowed wave fiend, Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) -- who was also behind the Mutazione (Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground 1980-1988) compilation (2013) -- Trax Test is a portal to the international scene which laid the grassroots for a proliferation of electronic music over the proceeding decades -- a pioneering part of the infrastructure for independent music distribution which could be said to pre-echo the myriad social networks and platforms today. As Frans De Waard astutely points out in the 16-page booklet, there were no templates" for this thing back then, meaning artists did everything DIY: from cutting, pasting, and Xeroxing their artwork to experimenting with recording techniques and disseminating their work; all resulting in a wonderfully daring and freeform mosaic of ideas which valued the virtues of ostensibly "unfinished" or open-ended work. Traces of disco, cosmic krautrock, jazz, electro-pop, and industrial noise are all tessellated across the compilations 25 tracks, with a number of artists and the same equipment -- cheap drum machines, synths, FX and tape -- cropping up in various, mutant formations. This set is right up there with the best compilations from Vinyl On Demand, Light Sounds Dark, or Minimal Wave. Features: Cancer, M.A.Phillips, Nausea, Amok, Mecanique Vegetale, Daniele Ciullini, E-Coli, The Cop Killers, Peter Mayer, Rod Summers, Robin Crozier, Capitalist Pig, Biagio Degidio, Piermario Ciani, Vittore Baroni, Nocturnal Emissions, De Rezke, Ado Scaini, Enrico Piva, Giancarlo Martina, B Sides, Colin Potter, Naif Orchestra, Merzbow (Vacation Of Merzbow Lowest Music & Arts), Monty Cantsin, Die Form, Utopia Production, Spirocheta Pergoli, Nostalgia, Ptose, Ddaa, Zone Verte, and I Nipoti Del Faraone. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy." - Ecstatic.

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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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