Sub Rosa

HASTINGS OF MALAWI - Visceral Underskinnings

35 years after the release of their critically acclaimed 1981 album, Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth (SR 428LP), the British dadaist group Hastings Of Malawi release their second album, an epic sound poem entitled Visceral Underskinnings. It is a 40-minute film without light that reflects on the human condition, on modern society, on the nature of telephony and electricity and an attempt to make sense of the world in which we live that provides no answers. It is a sound collage of diverse elements including the voices of George Washington Johnson (the whistling coon", 1846-1914) and Dr Hastings Banda, the first president of Malawi. It includes randomly generated computer music, voice synthesis, recordings of cold war number stations, American military sound weaponry, and recordings of the some of the many sound sculptures produced by Hastings Of Malawi over the last 30 years. Hastings of Malawi produce sounds that sit in that grey area where sound art and music meet but they reject both labels and cannot be comfortably placed in either camp. This is not an easy album to listen to, but persevere and you may or may not be able to decipher its meaning. "Rarely has an album so consistently made me question what the actual fuck is going on," is how the Wire magazine described Hastings Of Malawis first album Vibrant Stapler Obscures Characteristic Growth and the second album makes things no clearer. If you are a fan of the tedious, peurile, repetitive beats that populate the insipid sonic environment that is popular music today, you probably wont like this album. Assembled with no regard for musical convention, Hastings Of Malawi follow their own rules and have created another fascinating journey into their world which makes it no easier to understand our world. Apparently, the Chinese voice that starts the second side of the album translates as "the deaf mutes have so many intimate words they want to share with you" and this perhaps sums up what Hastings Of Malawi are trying to do with Visceral Underskinnings. Another musique concrète jewel created with the same peculiar, disjointed, uncommercial, and totally original Hastings Of Malawi aesthetic. Limited edition yellow vinyl." - Sub Rosa.

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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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