AGATA, MORIO - Norimono Zukan

Japanese folk-rock legend Morio Agata stunned fans with this way-outta-left-field dispatch - a synthesizer-laden, new-wave/post-punk classic. Originally released by Osaka’s Vanity Records in 1980 and back on vinyl for the first time in nearly 40 years, this fully authorized reissue has been newly remastered from the original analog tapes. In sturdy tip-on sleeve, with double-sided insert.

50 years ago, Hokkaido-born singer-songwriter Morio Agata released his debut single, Sekishoku Ereji (Red Elegy), an emotive, shuffling piano ballad that (shockingly) sold half a million copies in Japan. While he would never have another Top-40 hit, Agata would spend the next half century issuing a series of idiosyncratic, experimental pop albums. Today, he’s a beloved cult figure, still actively touring and recording in his seventies.

In his first decade as a recording artist, Agata released a stream of classics right out of the gate — Otome No Roman (1972) melded American-styled folk rock with traditional Japanese melodies, Zipangu Boy (1976) was a sprawling, Haruomi Hosono-produced psychedelic opus, and Kimi No Koto Suki Nan Da (1977) saw Agata tackle slick, lightly funky AOR. While this sort of stylistic schizophrenia might sink your average artist, Agata’s singular voice and magnetic charisma elevates everything he touches, and subsumes it all into Morio Agata World — a joyous, playful and frequently unhinged world.

Arguably the biggest left-turn of Agata’s early career, however, came in 1979, when legendary experimental label Vanity Records’ Yuzuru Agi paired Agata with major players from his label’s roster and the Osaka punk scene for an impromptu recording session. An impressive list of musicians took part (SAB, Yukio Fujimoto (Normal Brain), Masahiro Kitada (INU), Taiqui (Ultra Bide), Jun Shinoda (SS), Chie Mukai (Che-Shizu), and others) and even though they all came from different wings of the underground music scene, together they built an arresting, minimalistic bedrock of synthesized and acoustic sounds for Agata to work his magic over. The recording sesssions were tense and it took a while for the collective to find their footing. But the hard work paid off — Norimono Zukan is a masterpiece of ramshackle new wave and droning dirges, topped off with Agata’s unmistakeable croon, at times delicate, other times twisted. It’s a relatively short album, but a deep one, and Mesh-Key is honored to introduce it to a new generation of music fans.” - Mesh-Key


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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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