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Penultimate Press

PANCRACE - The Fluid Hammer

"Pancrace is a quintet from France comprising Prune Bécheau, Arden Day, Julien Desailly, Léo Maurel, and Jan Vysocky. Pancrace began with a residence in 2015 at the Saint Pancrace church in Dangolsheim where the instrument inventor Léo Maurel resides. Pancrace's debut self-titled double-LP was released by Penultimate Press in 2017 and ended up on The Wire's best releases of that year. After the first record and subsequent tour the band were despondent that the main character of their story, the church organ, was not there. A series of meetings and chance encounters resulted in the band developing their own organ which they named "Organous". The approach of Pancrace is based on the physicality of sound, a choice of specific tone qualities within a given spatial contextual awareness. Therefore, the manufacturing and usage of the musical instrument are constantly reassessed. Consequently, playing with the mechanical aspect of the instruments is central to their musical approach and narrative. Designing an unbound pipe organ -- though emulating some of the mechanical idiomatics of the initial Pancrace church organ -- seemed the obvious way to gain more spatial control over a vast choice of places. This allowed them to approach their music from a totally new angle and work from within the organ. The results of these experiments are captured here, on their second opus, The Fluid Hammer. This new beast of an instrument, somewhere between a spider or an octopus, led Pancrace to compose from the frontality of the instrument as well as with the interactive tone possibilities brought by other instruments. With its six panels display (two bass registers, two treble, and a pair of crumhorns) the organ projects sound like the musique concrèt Acousmonium giving the listener a spatialized perception of a wide range of tones and harmonics. Fluid Hammer is the result of the research and experiments undertaken with the Organous and other instruments. Fluid Hammer is a more rhythmic and percussive affair than its predecessor, bringing to mind the experiments of Conlon Nancarrow as well as fairground barrel organs. The wide range of polyrhythmic patterns generates a constant tension between the machine and the human play. Music for Organous (spatialized and MIDI-controlled pipe organ), Uilleann pipes, Pi-synth, piano, motorised bow, boîte à bourdons, gaida, Baroque violin, hurgy toys, toy piano, componium, bodhran, low whistle, bird calls, AM radio, and shaker." - Penultimate Press .
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  • Regular price $35.00


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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