B-Music

T.R.A.S.E. - Tape Recorder And Synthesiser Ensemble

2013 release. Known amongst a small group of teenage friends as T.R.A.S.E. (Tape Recorder And Synthesiser Ensemble) this previously-unearthed and fully-formed electronic music project was spearheaded by a 16-year-old schoolboy as an extension of his woodwork, metalwork and science classes in 1981. Composed and recorded using a self-made synth, audio mixer and electronic percussion units, T.R.A.S.E. would bridge the gap between a love for sci-fi horror soundtracks, Gary Numan B-sides and an extracurricular hobby as a sound and lighting designer for school plays -- bequeathing a backstory as unique and unfathomable as the individualistic sonic results that he would finally commit to C90. Having successfully recorded his only solo album, Electronic Rock (which was never duplicated beyond his own demo copy), this early musical achievement by Andy Popplewell stands up as a rare self-initiated example of embryonic experimental electro pop and genuine outsider music, marking the early domestication of synthesizers and the dawn of electronic home recording studios with uninhibited results. Unhindered by adult concepts like self-consciousness, popular snobbery, fashion, pride and fear of failure (while funded by paper rounds and odd jobs in his Mancunian community), Andy, armed with the plans to the Chorosynth kit module, an old junk shop piano keyboard and some hand-me-down tools from his deceased dad, would fill an exercise book with plans, arrangements and self-penned new wave pop lyrics to fully realize the potential of his one-man synthetic symphony. Reaping the benefits of his own stenciled circuit boards and soldering iron skills (whilst occasionally enlisting the part time help of his younger brother on guitar), T.R.A.S.E.s homemade technology pop continued to bloom right up until the very cusp of adolescence when careers officers and real life responsibilities saw the end of Andys reel-to-reel multitracking, which is finally presented here for the first time since it was sung and played. This ambitious cross section of robotic funk and moody soundscape sequences gives instrumental nods to John Carpenter and Kraftwerk next to unpolished vocal drones worthy of a sedated Human League or Joy Division, all of whom shared radio dial digits amongst Giorgio Moroder, Tubeway Army and The Glitter Band as Popplewells clearest unabashed influences. T.R.A.S.E.s final hiatus was followed by Andys working education in London under BBC employment as a trainee radio engineer (not far from the closed door of the Radiophonic Workshop) which has since led to a widespread reputation as one of the countrys leading independent tape engineers/editors/archivists, indiscriminately splicing and baking vintage tapes for anyone in-between Alpha in Brussels and ZTT in London, and having worked with hundreds of reputable studios, pop stars and media companies throughout his career. - B-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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