Mental Groove

MANNING, ANTHONY - Islets in Pink Polypropylene

"Amazing and legendary 1994 album on the equally amazing and legendary Irdial Disc label, remastered at Emil Berliner Studios in half speed mastering. The whole album was composed and realized on the Roland R8 drum machine. It followed the same process as the Elastic Variations pieces, with the major addition of many, many hours of editing. Each piece was composed as a series of patterns, of varying lengths. The stock R8 sounds were embellished with one of several ROM sound library cards/ These patterns were created by tapping out a rhythm, then, in real time, using the pitch slider as the pattern looped, to create improvised melodies for each of the pattern's voices. The rough version of each piece was built by stitching the patterns together as a song, listening to each addition over and over, to make sure the melodies flowed into each other in a vaguely coherent manner. Once this initial rough structure was in place, Manning set about fine tuning every single note. Most of the percussive sounds, when pitch shifted, only sounded "good" over a reduced range. The first editing step was to go through the entire piece, and change every note's pitch to its nearest multiple of 400. The second step was to draw out the entire piece on graph paper, the Y axis being pitch, X being time. It was easy to see too many notes clustering around too tight a pitch range for instance, or a single note straying way down into the lower register while all others at that point in the melody were in the upper. Once these first "clearing-up" edits were complete, Manning could set about re-writing elements that didn't sound right melodically. Often this meant stripping out whole chunks of superfluous notes, to reveal a cleaner melody line, then shifting its shape slightly. If the flow of the line of dots on the graph "looked" balanced and sweetly sinuous, then often it sounded so. Slowly, a shape, narrative, starts to appear. Then, all of a sudden, somehow, it's done. When all the pieces were complete the R8 was taken into Irdial's studio where some simple effects were added, each voice recorded individually for clarity onto 8-track tape and mastered onto an ex-BBC half-inch tape deck. Included in Pitchfork's "The 50 best IDM Albums of All Time"." - Mental Groove .
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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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