Chapter Music

MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ - Live Aoiheya January 2003

Maher Shalal Hash Baz is the oddly-named band for Japanese cult figure Tori Kudo and his wife Reiko (the name is apparently a Hebrew biblical phrase that Tori translates as -¢??be quick if you mean to steal something-¢?¬ù). Since the late 1970s, Tori has been a pioneering figure in Japanese punk, post-punk and avant-garde circles, beginning with bands such as GuysnDolls, Cock CNell, Noise and Tokyo Suicide (a cover band dedicated to New York synth-punk pioneers Suicide).Tori formed Maher Shalal Hash Baz in the mid 80s with neighbours who could not play any instruments, and for the better part of 20 years has been pursuing a single-minded vision of music as simple, spontaneous and unpredictable. The bands always changing lineup of anywhere from three to thirty people features mostly untrained musicians playing music often shown to them on the day of its performance, expressing the innate beauty of failure as much as of success. The band began releasing records in 1989, but did not come to worldwide attention until a decade later, when their marvelously ambitious triple album Return Visit To Rock Mass was released. MSHB were invited to tour outside of Japan for the first time. In 1999, when UK label Geographic released From A Summer To Another Summer, a compilation of Maher recordings. Soon the band were touring the US and Europe regularly, and Geographic released their most recent album Blues Du Jour in 2003.Live Aoiheya January 2003 documents an entire brief performance by this unique band, incidentally the first Maher show that Chapter boss Guy Blackman saw after moving to live in Japan in 2002 (he returned to Melbourne in 2004). It captures the band in a variety of guises unusual even for them, including an extended abstract instrumental, songs based on conversations between band members, passages by Japanese composers, vocal relays and a Brahms Waltz. In the EPs 26 minutes Maher Shalal Hash Baz manage to cover more ground than most bands do in their whole career, all the while maintaining a spirit and idiosyncracy that is idenitifiably their own. - Chapter Music.

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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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