Blank Forms

PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE - Dingggdonggdingggzzzzzzz Ferrrr Sssofttt Divini Tiesssss!!!!!!!!!

"DINGGGDONGGGDINGGGzzzzzzz!!!!!!! In the newest record by the iconoclastic Brooklyn-born composer Charlemagne Palestine (b. 1947), find two mesmerizing works for carillon, the keyboard-controlled bell tower derived in the 16th century. On side A, a new piece recorded at the artist’s studio in Belgium—a high-ceiling, stuffed-animal-packed paradise he calls Charleworld—among friends and “divinities,” his name for the thousands of plush toys he’s amassed since the ’60s. On the flip side, Blank Forms Editions’ very first and long-out-of-print release appears on vinyl for the first time: a cathartic street recording of the maximalist composer’s 2018 musical eulogy for his late friend Tony Conrad, performed on the bells of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, where the two first met.  Two mesmerizing “klanggdedangggebannggg” sessions in the Quasimodo of 53rd Street’s inimitable, trance-induced style.

Perhaps more than any of his contemporaries in the bustling, cross-disciplinary downtown New York arts scene of the ’60s and ’70s, Charlemagne Palestine (b. 1947) has embodied the notion of the artist as playful polymath, testing and transcending nearly every creative form imaginable in his more than six-decade career. Originally trained in Jewish sacred singing to be a cantor, he began his artistic life as a musician, studying piano and accordion, accompanying figures like Tiny Tim and Allen Ginsberg on percussion, using early synthesizers as an assistant to Alwin Nikolais, and eventually landing a long-running gig as the carillonneur at Midtown’s St. Thomas Episcopal. This libertine spirit of experimentation soon led to adventures in other aesthetic arenas: making kinetic light sculptures with Len Lye, devising choreographed performances with Simone Forti, and producing a series of visceral videotapes with the Castelli-Sonnabend collection. In the ’70s, he was particularly prominent on the burgeoning loft movement, becoming well-known for his sparse, intense, and exacting long-form piano concerts that seemed to bend the very nature of time and space. Beginning in the ’80s, he spent decades in self-imposed exile from the new music scene, living variously in Europe and Hawai'i and privately honing his hermetic sonic and visual practice. This was followed by a period of triumphant resurgence beginning in the mid-’90s, since which he has performed and exhibited globally. 

This release is on the occasion of Blank Forms’ sixth annual galahonoring Charlemagne Palestine." - Blank Forms

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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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