Freedom To Spend

BARRECA, MARC - Music Works For Industry

Marc Barrecas Music Works for Industry is a layered assertion. An economic mantra for the mind to spin, like the many loops on this recording, or churn, as gears of some godhead machine. From the pool of playful compositions, a social subtext appears - a somewhat sardonic riposte to the commercial and cynical abuse of music and musicians. The work profits the listener over industry.  Said another way, its motivations are more generative than lucrative.

No longer than four minutes, no shorter than two, each piece on MWFI is a fragment of modern life. Propaganda transmitted between the click of the remote or the turn of the dial. Friend and collaborator K. Leimer checks Cluster, Steve Reich, IannisXenakis, and Morton Subotnick as esoteric influences on MWFI in the albums liner notes, while one might imagine UptonSinclair, Studs Terkel, or Chris Anderson as egalitarian influences.

Made with musicians, performance artists, and a bespoke instrument maker, Barreca combines multiple disciplines into a collective, industrious whole. An experiment fabricated in the synth and tape studio at the artist-run alternative space and/or (Seattles version of NYCs The Kitchen), Barreca manipulates dynamic sound sources into tidy, minimal arrangements using synthesizers, modified instruments, tape looped voices, and melodic, metallic phrases.

To start, “Community Life” strews these elements across the assembly line to meet their maker. The album continues with “Shopping,” countering ominous, mechanical sounds with light, playful tones, perhaps representative of the clash of production versus exchange values. On “Hotcake” we hear mens voices, chains, and hissing steam in a methodical but urgent progression that could soundtrack Fritz Langs silent film, Metropolis. A woman seductively intones “Nerve Roots Are Uncontrollable” on the track of the same name.  “Organized Labor” also incorporates a voice, speaking the  acronym I.W.W. - International Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies - as the music falls in line and wobbles along.

The cover of MWFI features a black and white photo of a figure in silhouette, backlit at a window, softened with curtains and plants. Maybe this is the room where the music was made: a private space, a refuge from some industrial work or at least the dubious fruits of this labor. In a way, listening to the music is entering a space without work, an apple to pluck and eat without wage or taxation.

One can imagine photographer Chauncey Hare listening to Music Works for Industryas he moved from documenting domestic interiors to the bleek efficiency of American offices. His black and white portraits of workers, isolated and obscured by cubicles and files, and published in This Was Corporate America, led to Hares disillusionment with the art market. Not wanting to sell images, he left photography, and become a therapist: publishing the self-help book, Work Abuse.

Perhaps peering into the music industry led to Barrecas eventual career, and a similar impulse to more directly touch those at the effects of economic systems. While exploring the cassette version of Music Works For Industry, we found a business card tucked inside: Marc Barreca—bankruptcy judge in Seattle. Material traces of the cassette are evident in the records packaging, the album format a newly manufactured form for Barrecas work.

Even in post-industrial times, Barrecas music offers listeners easily consumable musings on current work conditions. Freedom To Spend accepts your hard-earned and fortuitously won money in exchange for these morsels, but also believes that you need not invest unless pressed. - Freedom To Spend.
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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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