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Bureau B

POPULARE MECHANIK - Kollektion 03: Popul_ɬ§re Mechanik Compiled by Holger Hiller

"Bureau B presents the third release in its Kollektion series, a volume highlighting the music of Popul_ɬ§re Mechanik, the 1980s post-punk/jazz project of Ton Steine Scherben founder Wolfgang Seidel. Seidel describes the development of Popul_ɬ§re Mechanik after his departure from Ton Steine Scherben: The music of Ton Steine Scherben soon lost its fascination for me, so before long I quit the band. I was far more intrigued by the music performance club Zodiak Free Arts Lab run by Beuys student Conrad Schnitzler. The Zodiak had one white room and an empty black room, the latter used for concerts. And what concerts they were! A poster announced: Totally free music. Everyone plays. Anyone plays. Everyone can do it.... I teamed up with Schnitzler, but there was no room for a drum kit in his little studio. Instead, I started playing around with synthesizers and transposed the rhythms I had played on drums, prompting Schnitzler to nickname me Sequenza. As the years passed by, however, I started to miss the drums, so in the late 1970s I replied to a small ad and found a few musicians roughly the same age as me. Our stories were similar, having begun with rock music in the 1960s. We were not the kind of folk who wallowed in nostalgia, having grown disenchanted with the direction rock had taken. Rock was clearly developing into a soundtrack for squares. Punk was far more attractive to us. It reminded us of the 1960s, rather to the annoyance of the punks. Still, we maintained a certain distance. We shared punks dislike of the way rock and roll had developed, but beer-fuelled nihilism was not our style. Devo and XTC were the kind of bands we really got excited about. And there were also jazz musicians who wanted away from the entertainment circuit for sophisticates. These two ingredients blended into the music of Popul_ɬ§re Mechanik... The bands strategy for resisting assimilation into any scene was the creation of a cassette label -- allowing us to release our music quickly and cheaply. With a 4-track tape recorder and a healthy appetite for experimentation, we jammed endlessly ages before selecting the most interesting recordings." This collection, curated by Palais Schaumburg founder Holger Hiller, includes tracks from two Popul_ɬ§re Mechanik cassettes from the early 1980s, never before available on CD or vinyl. The accompanying booklet includes Hillers interview with Seidel, in which they discuss the function of rock and pop music over the past 45 years." - Bureau B.

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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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