23 Five

GUM - Vinyl Anthology

In 1986, an Australian fellow by the name of Andrew Curtis posted an advertisement in a couple of record shops around Melbourne expressing a desire to start a band with somebody who shared his interests in Industrial music. The only person who answered the ad was Philip Samartzis, who has since gone on to international acclaim for his pristine electro-acoustic compositions published through Staalplaat, Synaesthesia, and Dorobo. Back in the late 80s, the Curtis and Samartzis collaboration resulted in the aurally volatile project simply called Gum. With little expertise or training, the two gathered up what objects they were familiar with, in particular thrift store turntables and soiled records. Eschewing their original attraction to the giants of Industrial Culture, Gum quickly developed an aesthetic privileging the caustic rupture of skipping records and smoldering surface noise, predating the current avant-turntablist aficionados like Philip Jeck, Janek Schaefer, and Otomo Yoshihide. Within a handful of recordings made during the brief span between 1986 and 1990, Gum piled thick layers of electrically charged static channeled from their locked grooves. These spiraling repetitions and arrhythmic palpitations were suspended in the instant moment of ecstatic release as an infinite crash of overstimulation. Thanks to RRR and Korm Plastics who had published Gum tracks on a couple of 7 compilations, Gum received a considerable amount of notoriety during the last gasps of pre-digital cassette culture. Since then, the two parted ways with Curtis turning his passions to photography and Samartzis infecting his students at RMIT with his cravings for immersive and tactile experiences through sound. Yet, Gums Frankensteinian grooves had remained a secret history within the prolific oeuvre of Australian sound art. With the publication of Gums Vinyl Anthology, 23five, Inc uncovers the bulk of Gums work, including all of the material from their self-published albums Vinyl and 20 Years in Blue Movies and Yet to Fake an Orgasm as well as those aforementioned compilation tracks and plenty of unreleased material."-Ç - 23Five.

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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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