NICOLS, MAGGIE - Are You Ready?

" First physical solo release from legendary vocal improvisor, dancer, and performer Maggie Nicols, and the follow-up to her brilliant Creative Contradiction (Takuroku, 2020). While she might be best known as an improviser (Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Feminist Improvising Group, Les Diaboliques), Maggie Nicols's talents stretch into song, dance, poetry, performance, and composition. When Cafe OTO was shut over lockdown, they invited her to follow-up the brilliant solo Creative Contradiction. "Songs" -- seemingly contradictory to the practices of free improvisation -- have been a vital part in Nicols's relationship to music. It was singing bebop with pianist Dennis Rose which nurtured and challenged Nicols, allowing her to develop her own skills and sound amongst a repertoire of standards swung in clubs and pubs. Singing alongside Julie Tippetts in Centipede showed her how heady experimentation could be woven into composition, and a more recent recording with pianist Steve Lodder is simply titled The Maggie Nicols Songbook. Are You Ready? recalls Nicols's own compositions from memory, working out tunes and turning them over. New routes down old paths form in moments of improvisation and all wrong turns are played out with joyous discovery. What John Stevens dubbed Maggie's "ability to find the 'rhythmelodic'" meets a willingness to be understood and to understand. Solo at the piano, Nicols is still firmly rooted in the collective however -- "Are You Ready / Sans Papiers" sets the words of poet Vicky Scrivener to tune; a tale of migration and struggle which is as important to Nicols as the songs her mother wrote. "Whatever Arises" - a companion disk to the 'Songs', is a meditation of sorts, a process of 'following the energy' which has its roots in John Stevens' work. "Improvisation gives the confidence to compose," Nicols told us in an interview about some of her archival tapes, and here the two are as important as each other. Beginning with breath and repetition, "Whatever Arises" allows Nicols to find new voices, accompanied by the piano and over dubbings of her tap shoes on the concrete floor. Brilliantly she is able to share her moments of discovery with the listener, finding comfort in vulnerability. Whilst rooted in Stevens' work, Nicols' improvisational techniques is also reminiscent of Pauline Oliveros's Sonic Meditations. Recorded at Cafe OTO July 15-17 2021 by Shaun Crook. Mixed by Shaun Crook. Mastered by Sean McCann. Artwork by Annalisa Colombara. Lettering by Rosella Garavaglia. Layout by Maja Larrson." - Otoroku .
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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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