Paradigm Discs

MARKS & SHIPEN LEBZELTER, J - Rock and Other Four Letter Words

"This New York-based duo released their one and only LP in 1968 on Columbia Masterworks, just months after Frank Zappa released Lumpy Gravy in California. Although the TWO projects have some superficial similarity in structure, it would seem that this later LP must have been made (at least largely), without any knowledge of the Zappa masterpiece. Another morphogenetic reference point might be the first LP by The United States Of America, which also dates from 1968. Originally released simultaneously with Terry Riley's In C and Wendy Carlos' Switched on Bach, this new edition of Marks and Lebzelter's complex, 50-minute heady mix of spoken-word, electronics and experimental psychedelia is taken from the master tapes and consists of a suite of 13 tracks. Where Lumpy Gravy uses orchestral settings, here we have a combination of theatrical text and sung vocals by the Gregg Smith Singers, and on one track, a full Baptist gospel choir praising the virtues of baked beans. The core of this album though, stems from interviews conducted by J Marks for his book, also called Rock and Other Four Letter Words (essentially a book of photos by Linda Eastman, soon-to-be McCartney, with quotes from many of the leading U.S. and UK rock bands of the time). Included on this LP are numerous cut up and processed excerpts of these interviews with many young rock stars including Pete Townshend, Jimmy Page, Brian Wilson, Grace Slick, etc. Add to this concoction dense arrangements of tape loops, psychedelic rock, electronics and a huge guest list of contributors including jazz players Alan Silva, Andrew Cyrille, Roswell Rudd and Burton Greene, and the scope of this project begins to be seen. It's hard to believe this is their first time in a studio, such is their confident musicality and bold handling of these varied talents. No doubt much of this is due to the helping hand of the in-house engineers and John McClure who produced this, along with 100s of other recordings at CBS, including the Harry Partch records. After this album Lebzelter (1942 - 1986) went on to found The Trees Community, who released a legendary Christian folk album in 1975. Marks (1930 - 2001) subsequently changed his name in the early '70s to Jamake Highwater, which is how he is best remembered; writing books, making documentaries and setting up his own foundation for Indian art and culture. This long overdue reissue comes in a standard sleeve with a 4-page insert that includes all the original artwork and more." - Paradigm Discs .
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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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