Freedom To Spend


Limited edition of 550 LPs, hand assembled with love. First ever vinyl pressing.

"Danielle Boutet’s Pièces is a mysterious artifact of Quebecois marginalia, self-released in 1985. Moving from languid ennui to high drama, Pièces is a dreamy gestalt, an album that borders Chanson, spoken-word, jazz noir, and minimalism, conjured from the chasm between acoustic and electronic realms. Pièces allows us a window into the highly intimate songcraft and compositional skill of an artist who longed to linger not in the public eye, but in relation with others and the world around her.

Born in Quebec City, Boutet studied music at the University of Montreal, where she focused on composition and percussion, before becoming involved in Montreal’s feminist and lesbian art scene. Primarily written, performed, and recorded by Boutet, with voice, guitar work, and technical assistance by Sylvie Gagnon, Pièces was created during a paradigm shift in home recording. Originally composed for the piano, Boutet and Gagnon utilized a consumer-friendly Tascam 4-track Portastudio and versatile Yamaha DX-7, alongside guitar, bass, marimba, and the human voice, to expand and contemporize the original composition’s scope.

Inspired by prog rock and British poet and musician Anne Clark, Pièces translates Boutet’s influence by moving between sunny, wistful fairytale and dark, wintry dirge. Filled with longing marimba, vertiginous, startling synth pads, and folk guitar, each track on Pièces offers a wholly unique proposition. Some are modal and rife with the ethereal psychological tension of a sci-fi soundtrack, while others are more like entering a smoke-laced lounge, the entertainer embodying seduction.

With the sprechgesang of artists like Brigitte Fontaine, Annette Peacock, or Linda Sharrock, there is an intense intimacy to Boutet’s delivery, sometimes as if she is performing for an audience of one. As one lyric goes, translated to English from French: “Like holograms/ Images from a world/ That inhales souls/ And exudes drama.” Another song contains an excerpt from The Tao of Physics: “The eastern sages specify clearly that they do not identify an ordinary void, but rather, a void having an infinite creative potential.”

To English-language audiences, the album’s title, Pièces, might seem to simply refer to the eleven different pieces. The title can also, of course, refer to parts of a larger whole, but Boutet is keen to point out that there is also another meaning: In French, a pièce is a room. On the cover of the original cassette, Boutet is seen sitting on a chair, alone in an empty apartment, a cable snaking at her feet. Listening to Pièces is like entering eleven different rooms: whether a study encased in shadow, a greenhouse left to wither in an eternal frost, or a divine nave.

Boutet sold a few dozen copies around Montreal, a scene mostly occupied by the new wave explosion de rigueur, but the inclusion of Pièces in the 1987 issue of Ladyslipper—the North Carolina-based mail order catalog that championed women musicians of all calibers and careers—led to more exposure throughout North America. “In the catalog,” Boutet says, “they included it in the New Age section, but I was, and still am, aware that this album is relatively unclassifiable.”

Boutet would release one more album, titled Musiques Urbaines, before getting pulled in the direction of interdisciplinary art and theory. “Although I never stopped making music, I lost all interest in public diffusion or performance,” Boutet says. Despite her departure from performance and publicly releasing music, she left behind a strange and enthralling document of Montreal’s 1980s feminist fringe, an aural document of the historic moment when self-recorded music and its practical potential became a prismatic reality.

Danielle Boutet’s Pièces arrives February 16, 2024 as part of uncommon¢ (“uncommon sense”), an open-ended, serialized endeavor from Freedom to Spend that provides new meaning for rarefied recordings from music’s outermost fringe." - Freedom To Spend

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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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