WATT

MICHAEL MANTLER - Silence

Sealed original WATT label stock from 1977.  US gatefold version.

An adaptation of the play by Harold Pinter. Carla Bley and Ron McClure recorded during January 1976 at Grog Kill Studio, Willow, New York. Robert Wyatt and Chris Spedding recorded during February with the Manor Mobile at Delfina's farm, Little Bedwin, Wiltshire, England. Kevin Coyne recorded during April with the Virgin Mobile at the Gong farm, Whitney, Oxfordshire, England. Additional strings recorded during June and mixed during November at Grog Kill Studio.

The music is a mixture of rock, funk, downtown cool, and European art song. Without it, there might be nothing to hold on to. Guitarist Chris Spedding is remarkable, gaining deepest traction in “She Was Looking Down,” and Bley lays on a thick layer of expressiveness, both as pianist and as vocalist (note, especially, “After My Work Each Day”). But while this is as luscious and engaging as any Bley/Mantler collaboration from the 70s could be, the play itself is lackluster to say the least. Its theme of lost souls is as fatigued as the characters it threads like beads on a necklace far too big for its own neck. As the drama develops, memory overlaps and all sense of time stops, unravels, and expands. But any pretentions Pinter might have of making an existential statement fall flat for me, especially when compared to the stripped-down brilliances of Samuel Beckett and Edward Gorey that preceded it. That said, in relatively short bursts—as in “When I Run” and “A Long Way”—the dialogue is somewhat tangible. The best example is “Sometimes I See People,” which creates a charmingly metaphysical atmosphere for being so much about music, sensory experience, and sense of belonging. But really it’s Mantler’s stage, rather than the people ambulating across it, that keeps me from walking out.” - Tyran Grillo, ECM.


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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.

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