World Arbiter

VA - Bali 1928, Vol. II Tembang Kuna: Songs from an Earlier Time

"Vol. II in a five-disc series of 1928 Balinese recordings features Balinese vocal music, the first release of these recordings since they were first pressed to 78 rpm discs in 1929, the only commercially released recordings of music made in Bali before World War II. Originally recorded by a team from the German labels Odeon and Beka on a 1928-29 expedition to Bali and intended for a Balinese public that lacked any discs of its own music, many of these records have been reduced to single remaining copies by the ravages of time -- when the labels' (European) merchant in Bali destroyed the original discs in a fit of rage due to a complete lack of sales. Now, after a decade of global sleuthing, World Arbiter has located a surviving copy of every known vocal disc that escaped destruction, even one slumbering under a pile at an east Balinese raja's palace. The unaccompanied singing has been restored to the point that the listener is practically sitting inside the masters' throats to experience their microtonal miracles. The lyrics, fully translated, some from the archaic Old Javanese language and included in the liner notes, reveal intensely urgent erotic, mystical and romantic meanings. These extensive notes are supplemented with a 110-page PDF including an in-depth essay by Edward Herbst, contained on the disc and available online. Arbiter will continue to release its complete recovery of 111 three-minute sides, with five discs planned for the series, and a complete anthology to follow. Fully funded by a grant from The Andrew Mellon Foundation. Includes performances by Ida Bagus Oka Kerebuak, Ida Boda, Ni Dayu Madé Rai, Ida Bagus Ngurah, Ni Lemon, and the duo of Idu Bagus Wayan Buruan & Ida Madé Tianyar."- World Arbiter.

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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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