Hyotan

KUDO, REIKO - Kusa

The use of amateurism and error as a compositional device characterize the music of Tori Kudo, particularly in his group Maher Shalal Hash Baz. His wife, Reiko, is nowhere near as prolific (just two short albums in the last ten years) but her interests lead her more towards the pursuit of spontaneity and a considered naturalness. Both share a desire to jolt the experience of playing and listening to music out of stale routines and atrophied sensibilities -¢?? but through play and a haiku-esque close attention to daily life, rather than with a gun to the head. The albums are suffused with a warm, almost alchemical domesticity, rooted in the familiar rhythms of home, community and the seasons. Hito was recorded from summer through to early autumn 2005 and the drowsy heat of the season lies over it like a mosquito net. The hesitant vocals and piano that open its first track are underpinned by what initially sounds like the faint wow and flutter of a cheap tape recorder. Suddenly, as though a window has been flung open, the distortion is revealed to be the pylon-buzz of cicadas in the garden outside. As the sound rises to fill the room, the senses are beguiled, place, time and sensation evoked with the most minimal of means. Kusa sounds slightly stiffer as it takes us from autumn through winter, but on both albums the spare instrumentation is enjoyably creative, with kitchen-cupboard percussion, a vacuum cleaner, the sound of the rain and a gang of local kids on recorders melded effortlessly around the romantic flourishes of Toris piano playing. Reikos albums are always song-based, miniature wisps of melody that sound like something composed over the washing-up, the words perfectly balanced between observation and signification. Her voice has that childlike upper register of many Japanese female singers, but with a definite strength in the low notes. Most striking is her enunciation -¢?? the slightest tremor of hesitation, a lack of demonstrativeness that makes Vashti Bunyan sound like Whitney Houston, the voice pitched uncannily into an area where the exhaled breath seems to shimmer naturally into song. This is captivating and at times heartbreakingly emotive work.- Alan Cummings, The Wire June 2006

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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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