Much ado - okay, a moderate, respectable amount of ado - was made about Ashtabulas debut LP River of Many Dead Fish. A mere side project for Bob Malloy, according to the conventional wisdom, it allowed the remaining members of the Strapping Fieldhands to restock their dwindling supply of owl tonic and to gas up the skiffle barge in the port of limbo. There may well be a kernel of truth in that posit, but now we have a second Ashtabula release, and there hasnt been a collection of new Fieldhands recordings since-جø¬-? well, the last one. They say owl tonic isnt so easy to get nowadays, and a barge aint exactly a canoe, either.Correct us if were wrong, but we believe it was the legendary 60s imagemaker Jake Witsen who said, Give me intestinal fortitude over verisimilitude any day, cause I want a band with blood and guts, not a group of bleepin nuts." Good on yer, Jake ol boy, you said a mouthful there. But the Witsenian guts on Possible Smokestacks might better be spelled p-l-u-c-k. Lots of pluck. As with outfits within the Elephant 6 collective, theres a ubiquity about it as well (Brobdignagian in this case, as opposed to E6s Lilliputian, lets set the record straight).Smokestacks takes in everything from the glimmer of 60s psychedelic Britpop (a la the UK Kaleidoscope) to a bizarro-world cross between Remake/Remodel-era Roxy Music and Dub Housing-era Pere Ubu, to the Edgar Broughton Band and Hawkwind (setting ears on fire in a tent on the Glastonbury plains). An appearance by a German chanteuse on one track sways somewhere between Nico and Lotte Lenya (but for gods sake, dont go blabbing to Boyd Rice). This album is, as they are wont to say in Magnet, "all over the place." It might make you cry, it might make you sweat, but itll definitely make you moist. And in these frigid times, kingpin, isnt leaving ones glands to the mercy of people like Bob Malloy what its all about?"
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.