Blue Chopsticks

CIRCLE X - Prehistory

Some of you may remember Circle Xs corrosive, caterwauling, and unutterably fabulous self-titled EP, which was originally released in 1979 and reissued a little over a decade ago by Jim ORourkes and David Grubbs Dexters Cigar label. Now the story picks up again with the long-overdue first CD release of Prehistory, Circle Xs first full-length album. Prehistory was recorded in 1981 and released in 1983 by Index Records, making them, strangely enough, labelmates with Wall of Voodoo. Circle X were formed in 1978 from the remnants of No Fun and the I-Holes, Louisville, Kentuckys first two punk bands. (No Fun, also featuring Tara Key of the Babylon Dance Band and Antietam, finally appeared on the excellent Bold Beginnings: An Incomplete History of Louisville Punk compilation.) Circle X got the hell out of Dodge quickly enough, settling upon New York, then Dijon, France, and then back to New York again. The self-titled EP is a lurching, squalling monster. Prehistory is a tire-burning left turn. The pendulum arc of Tony Pinottis vocals still contain throat-shredding howls, but expands to contain croons, moans, speech. Bruce Witsiepes lacerating guitar is dumped into a dubbish aquarium of reverb, and Rik and Dave Letendre worry obsessive polyrhythms nearly to death. After the trash-compaction of their first EP, this is the sound of unhurried, committed exploration. So where did Circle X fit in among their peers? Its fair to describe them as a genre unto themselves. They came from punk rock and art school and sounded like none of their potential allies. They arrived in New York at the tail end of No Wave, at the same time that equally ornery bands like Swans and Sonic Youth were getting revved up. Circle X are every bit as distinctive and attitudinal as Throbbing Gristle, PiL, Theoretical Girls, DNA, or Mars, and yet they dont particularly sound like any of these groups. After Prehistory, they resurfaced with four white-vinyl 7s, (later collected as the box set The Ivory Tower) and the 1994 Celestial, an album for the then-fledgling Matador label. Bruce Witsiepe passed away in 1995, marking the end of the group. Critic Jordan Mamone hit the nail on the head when he wrote: Every rare utterance from these unsentimental adventurers possesses a passion and a manifesto-writing fervor usually reserved for turn-of-the-century culture movements."- Blue Chopsticks

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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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