"All the material on Media Dreams comes from live performances from January 1978, when Sun Ra was in Italy with a quartet -- Michael Ray, John Gilmore, and Luqman Ali -- making recordings for Aldo Sinesioand the Horo label. The trip also included concerts in Rome, Milan and elsewhere; these produced enough recorded material for several Saturn albums, including Media Dream. The exact dates are uncertain; all the musicians were present in Rome as early as January 2nd, when they recorded New Steps (1978) for Horo; they were still in Italy on January 23rd, when a concert in Milan resulted in the Saturn LP Disco 3000(1978) (COSMO 111LP). These recordings, of which Media Dream is a great example, feature an instrument newly added to Sun Ra's arsenal: the Crumar Mainman. It's a rare keyboard, probably made in small numbers by Crumar, which manufactured synths from the late 1960s until 1984. Martin O'Cuthbert also played the Mainman -- he uses it on several recordings from 1979 and 1980: it's described in that context as a "string synthesizer." After that, it seems to disappear from view. It was reportedly the first keyboard to provide preprogrammed beats -- Sun Ra certainly uses that feature on Media Dream. The album opens with Sun Ra building dark organ tonalities at the start of "Saturn Research," creating an ominous barrage in the lower register, while Ali contributes a subdued accompaniment. Ra's is an orchestral concept here, a depiction of an ominous, portentous scene. Unlike some of his other explorations in this musical territory the piece is not developed here into a large-scale structure, but presented as a short sketch, satisfying and complete in itself. Applause separates it from the next track on the album: these are two pieces were clearly played one after the other in concert. As "Constellation" gets under way after the applause, Sun Ra lightens the mood, laying down rhythmic patterns with the Mainman, Ray's is the first musical statement over the top of these. Ra adds other keyboard layers above the rhythm to take the music in a different direction. There's almost a hint of minimalism as performed by others here, but the way Sun Ra bends and deconstructs the mechanical patterns are all his own. In their original context, these Italian concert recordings served to document Sun Ra's musical activity; his music was a cosmic newspaper, he once said." - Media Dreams.
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.
++ EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS GET FREE MEDIA POSTAGE ON ORDERS OF $100 AND UP THROUGH JUNE 23++