The Tapeworm

WRENCH, NIGEL - ZA87

"The dusty streets of apartheid-era Soweto, July 27, 1987. The politically charged funeral of a young activist who fled South Africa to became a commander in the military wing of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. Police await in armored cars. The funeral is restricted by specific government decree. The man being buried is Peter Motau, assassinated in neighboring Swaziland on the orders of South Africa's most notorious government-sanctioned killer, Eugene de Kock, orders carried out by his secret police unit in a bloody ambush. For De Kock and the apartheid government, Peter Motau was a terrorist. For the singing, chanting mourners at his funeral, he was a freedom fighter, a hero from the streets of Soweto itself. ZA87 is a raw audio document of one extraordinary day under apartheid. A father mourns, himself breaking the regulations declaring any political statements at the funeral illegal. Young activists, the "Comrades", sing in praise of the banned ANC's military wing, sirens blare, helicopters hover overhead, a police officer orders all television and photojournalists to leave. Nigel Wrench's microphone remains. Also there is Winnie Mandela, on behalf of the ANC's exiled leadership. Banned from speaking at the funeral, she speaks instead into Wrench's microphone and stages a remarkable intervention as the police seek to detain activists. The authorities sought to keep the events of that day away from the eyes and ears of anyone who wasn't there. ZA87 breaks that silence. Nigel Wrench is an award-winning journalist whose career began in South Africa under apartheid. He is the winner of a Sony Award for "Out This Week", BBC Radio's first national lesbian and gay news program, and a New York Radio Award for BBC Radio 4's "Aids and Me", chronicling his experience of living with HIV. "Few journalists have quite so intimately captured the essence of their era's great moral panics as Nigel Wrench" --The Quietus. ZA87 is the follow-up to Wrench's acclaimed first cassette on The Tapeworm, ZA86, "a remarkable documentation of South Africa under apartheid in 1986" (Boomkat), "chilling and at times stunningly beautiful" (The Quietus), "stylistically not dissimilar to Adam Curtis's 2015 documentary Bitter Lake, its hypnagogic float through the rushes feels curiously vivid, free of the dating or distancing effect further media packaging might bring" (The Wire)." - The Tapeworm .
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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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