Chapter Music presents a vinyl reissue of Melbourne, Australia post-punk icon David Chesworth’s pioneering 1979 debut 50 Synthesizer Greats. The naively misspelled 50 Synthesizer Greats is actually 37 tracks of minimal synth investigations, full of inquisitive humour and experimental spirit. The album was recorded in late 1978 in David’s parents’ lounge room, on a Mini Korg 700 borrowed from post-punk icons Tch Tch Tch. David was only 21 in 1979, but his energy and accomplishments were prodigious. That year he formed the much-loved Essendon Airport with Robert Goodge, coordinated experimental music venue the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, and founded the Innocent Records label with Tch Tch Tch leader Philip Brophy. Chesworth’s late 70s/early 80s records and productions have become sought after collectors’ items and DJ holy grails, across projects such as Essendon Airport, Whadya Want, Chocolate Grinders and others. He has since become a renowned contemporary classical composer and sound artist, represented in the 2015 Venice Biennale. 50 Synthesizer Greats is where it all began for David Chesworth, and remains one of his most engaging and remarkable works. The remastered album is reissued with liner new notes and photos, plus two digital bonus tracks.
After the success of their second album Activity, Sydney wonky house trio Holy Balm return with a remix EP, featuring Activity tracks reworked by Moon B, Andras and Zanzibar Chanel. Melbourne house monsters Zanzibar Chanel contribute possibly their recorded swan-song, with a squelching, grunting, irresistible take on Circumstance. US boogie funk magician Moon B, known for releases on Peoples Potential Unlimited and 1080P, draws out the brittle dreaminess of All Night Long. The album’s undeniable single Fashion (recently spotted in an episode of UK reality series Made In Chelsea) is disassembled twice by Melbourne celeb Andras, whose 2016 releases under the names House Of Dad and Wilson/Tanner have populated endless DJ best of lists. Andras also tackles Hot Cold, taking it even further into club minimalism. Holy Balm’s second album Activity was released by Chapter in August 2016, earning raves from the likes of Thump, KEXP, All Music, Brooklyn Vegan, I-D and Rolling Stone Australia. The Activity Mixes 12” is limited to a one-off vinyl pressing of 500 copies.
"Danceable, charmingly off kilter and refreshingly not tied to any era" - Brooklyn Vegan
"Evocative of something smooth and blissful, while coercing out of you that restless desire to dance" - Thump
Melbourne’s Unstoppable heat-beat pioneers NO ZU unleash a remix 12” of tracks from 2016 album Afterlife, reworked by 80s punk-funk icons A Certain Ratio and Jonny Sender of Konk, as well as the band themselves. The Body2Body2Body EP sees NO ZU’s dark, mutant punk funk reworked by two of the masters of the genre. Manchester heroes A Certain Ratio, who are about to have their entire back catalogue reissued by Mute Records, ventured into the studio for the first time in eight years to record a wholly reconfigured version of NO ZU track Body2Body, incorporating elements of their own Do The Du to create the Do The Du ZU Mix. Jonny Sender from New York 80s legends Konk did his own club-centric take on key Afterlife single Spirit Beat. NO ZU themselves have remixed both Body2Body and Spirit Beat to complete the four track EP. In 2015 NO ZU had the lead track on Cut Copy’s compilation of Australian dance music, Oceans Apart. In 2016 second album Afterlife was released to rave reviews from Pitchfork, The Vinyl Factory and Test Pressing. The vinyl edition will be a one-off pressing of 500 12”s.
Devotion is a stunning artistic about-face from revered Melbourne songwriter Laura Jean. Loved for her piercing, intimate, folk-based albums, Laura has worked with producer John Lee (Beaches, Lost Animal) to create an enveloping, deep pop album like nothing she has done before. Laura's last self-titled album, recorded in the UK with John Parish (Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding) and featuring Jenny Hval on backing vocals, was a critical smash in Australia, short-listed for the Australian Music Prize. The album lead to tours with Aldous Harding and Marlon Williams, plus shows at the National Gallery of Victoria and various Australian festivals. But soon Laura found herself tinkering with a 90s Kawai keyboard, enjoying its built-in drum rhythms and moody synth sounds. Laura began a series of shows performing with nothing but the keyboard, as the idea for her next album grew and developed.Devotion is an album about teenage obsession, coastal childhood and vivid memory - universal themes filtered through Laura's razor sharp lyrical focus. Initial influences for the record took in R'n'B, 80s adult contemporary pop and 70s disco, but the end result is transformed into something wholly other, full of depth, resonance and mystery. Devotion is both contemporary and timeless.
Do With Me What U Will is the second album by Melbourne noir pop artist Jessica Says.Jessica's debut album We Need To Talk was released in 2009, but the following year Jessica fractured her spine and pelvis falling from a first-floor hotel window. Do With Me What U Will is Jessica's first new album after her long recovery. Inspired by her treatment in hospital, Jessica also spent the last years studying to become a nurse, and now works in a Melbourne hospital.The album was recorded with longtime collaborator Geoffrey O'Connor (Crayon Fields Summer Flake, Sarah Mary Chadwick) and features production on key tracks from Travis Cook of Collar-bones and Melbourne electronic auteur Darcy Baylis. A classically trained cellist, Jessica moves seamlessly between hi-sheen pop and dark, string-driven confessionals."The songs are about girlhood, mental illness and desire, mostly at the same time," Jessica says.Do With Me What U Will is a vivid account of the progression from fiery pubescent longing, through adolescent anxiety/self loathing and emotional numbness, before discovering the possibility of a sexuality driven by desire rather than low self opinion."The music is inspired by the women who guided me through the strange passage of adolescence," says Jessica. "The sublime candy pop of Britney Spears and the emotional intensity of Dory Previn."Languorous first single Fairest Of Them All, produced by Baylis, was released in late 2016 and premiered on I-D. The video, channeling Picnic At Hanging Rock and Lolita, was premiered by US site CLRVYNT.
Melbourne scratchy pop favourites the Stevens return with their second album Good. 18 short songs, alternately frenetic or laconic, packed with twists and hooks that merge lo-fi outsider songcraft with 70s prog wizardry and classic rock swagger. The Stevens formed in 2011 around guitarists Alex Macfarlane (Twerps, Tyrannamen) and Travis MacDonald, and were soon joined by bassist Gus Lord (Twerps, Boomgates, Tyrannamen) and drummer Matt Harkin. Chapter released their debut album A History Of Hygiene in late 2014. The album was written up by Pitchfork and The Guardian, reviewed by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts and played on BBC6. The Stevens toured the US in 2015, playing Gonerfest on the back of killer single Thirsty Eye. In Australia they have played with Wire, Parquet Courts, Real Estate and others. The Stevens recorded Good in Melbourne bedrooms/jam rooms throughout 2016, and once again employed the services of New Zealand mastering engineer Tex Houston, veteran of a thousand Flying Nun releases. Alex and Gus from The Stevens have spent the last couple of years as the newest members of Twerps, with Alex drumming on their 2015 album Range Anxiety, and Gus joining on bass a short time later.
Her is the second album by Melbourne lush pop quartet Totally Mild. Following on from their acclaimed 2015 debut Down Time, Her is a shining jewel of an album. Elizabeth Mitchell's voice soars and swoops in shiver-inducing ways, while her songs address desires and dreams with affecting frankness. "Her is a record of failure and victory, new desire, stale romance, queer domesticity and what comes when the party is over," says Mitchell. First single Today Tonight is kinetic, dynamic guitar pop at its finest, while Lucky Stars showcases Mitchell's love for piano balladry, and From One Another is an eulogy for a toxic relationship given the most graceful pop setting. Totally Mild toured UK/Europe in 2015 and the US in 2017, playing SXSW and a string of LA/NYC shows. In Australia they have shared stages with the likes of Real Estate, Kurt Vile, Best Coast, DIIV and The Chills.Across their powerful, delicate, luminous second album Her, Totally Mild move through light and shade with silky finesse."A shining talisman for the heartbroken" - Pitchfork"Engorged, engaged, empowered bedroom sulk music" - The Guardian
Legendary Australian punk band Little Ugly Girls formed in Hobart, Tasmania in the very early 90s, but have never released a record until now. This new self-titled set is officially their debut album, and features recordings spanning more than 20 years.
The band formed around fiery vocalist Linda Johnston, whose high-kicking stage antics make her one of Australia's most electrifying frontpeople, and her guitar demon brother Dannie "Bean" Johnston. After moving to Melbourne in the mid 90s, the band settled on their classic lineup of Brent "Sloth" Punshon on drums, and rock-solid bassist Mindy Mapp (previously of another cult 90s band, Brisbane's much-loved Fur).
Little Ugly Girls played with the likes of Bikini Kill, Fugazi, and once memorably headlined over the White Stripes in Melbourne. But their only recordings released to date include a handful of 90s cassettes.
Now nearly 30 years since they formed, the debut album by Little Ugly Girls shows them at their towering best - fierce and inspiring, with Linda's scarifying lyrics and impassioned delivery set to a huge wall of taut punk noise. It has been a long time coming, but it's as good as you could have dreamed.
Montero is Australian musician and artist Ben Montero. New album Performer was recorded at Mark Ronson's Tileyard studios in London. It is co-produced by Ben, Tame Impala/Pond/Gum's Jay Watson, and Grammy Award winning engineer Riccardo Damian. Performer glories in the widescreen soft rock tradition, updating the romantic classicism of golden era love songs with a psychedelic pop brush. With an emphasis on clear vocals, soaring melodies, lush instrumentation and dreamy glam pomp, Performer ventures into gently surreal realms of romance, yearning, and wonder. As a visual artist, Ben's much-loved comic-based style highlights the universality of small human moments via a cast of furry (or sometimes slimy) friends. His art has graced album covers, t-shirts and posters for Mac Demarco, Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile, Pond and others. Ben has lost count of the number of fans who have had his drawings tattooed on their body. His Facebook page Ben Montero Sketchbook has more than 70,000 fans. Ben currently lives in Athens, Greece and his live band are made up of members of Greek psych heads Acid Baby Jesus, plus other Athens friends. The Montero band tour UK/Europe in November 2017 supporting Mac Demarco.
The extraordinary creative partnership of New Haven, CT duo Kath Bloom and Loren Connors, has haunted psych-folk fans ever since the early 80s.Kath taught herself guitar during shifts as a janitor at a New Haven cemetery, while Loren's free-form idiosyncratic style had been developing since the late 60s. Between 1981 and 1984, the duo recorded two live and four studio albums, mostly self-released in tiny quantities. Early on, their music mixed folk and blues traditionals with a handful of Kath's vulnerable, moving originals. By the later albums the songs were all Kath's - her fragile voice and subdued finger-picking set against Loren’s abstract but always supportive playing. Together the duo created a sound almost impossibly emotional and haunting. Restless Faithful Desperate emerged in 1984, in an edition of 200-300 copies. As her creativity accelerated, Kath's songs became looser and more intuitive, but Restless contains one of her most gorgeously realised compositions Look at Me. Loren's long-term collaborator Robert Crotty contributes extra guitar on a couple of tracks.After reissuing four of Kath & Loren's albums on CD in the late 2000s, Chapter now embarks on the first ever vinyl reissues for these remarkable records. Expect more volumes in early 2019.
Chapter is excited to release the self-titled debut album by Melbourne, Australia wobbly pop foursome School Damage. Formed by Carolyn Hawkins (Chook Race) and Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, Hierophants) whose other projects have had releases on Goner Records, HoZac and Trouble In Mind. They were soon joined by Jeff Raty on drums and and Dani Damage on bass.School Damage's sound is defined by wonky keyboards, weaving bass lines, and lyrics focused on the anxieties of modern life and love. They take cues from 80s DIY pop outfits such as The Vaselines, Young Marble Giants and The Particles."A lot of the songs reflect a sense of self-doubt in relation to the world around me," says Carolyn. "I think the internet calls it a quarter life crisis." Jake says his School Damage songs are "about acting adult, having to have stressful small-talk conversations with people, not having fun in the rain etc."The album was recorded in Melbourne and Geelong by Billy Gardner (Ausmuteants, Living Eyes) and mixed/mas-tered by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring).School Damage's previous releases have been cassettes and 7"s on local labels Moontown and Detonic Records. They played King Gizzard's Gizzfest in 2016 and have shared stages with the likes of The Bats, Twerps and The Cannanes.
Iconic Australian psych rock quintet Beaches return with epic double LP Second Of Spring - Chapter Music's first double album by a single artist. Beaches' much-loved second album She Beats brought the band international acclaim in 2013. Featuring guitar by German motorik hero Michael Rother (Neu, Harmonia), the album earned raves from Pitchfork, Stereogum, Gorilla Vs Bear, Spin and elsewhere. Second Of Spring takes Beaches even further out, to where the pyramid meets the eye - an enveloping sonic landscape filled with extended instrumentals, overdriven psych-outs and propulsive pop nuggets. The album was recorded in Melbourne with engineer/producer John Lee (Totally Mild, Lost Animal). Artwork is by the band‘s Ali McCann, with design by renowned artist Darren Sylvester. Beaches' self-titled 2008 debut was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize, and included in glossy coffee table book 100 Best Australian Albums. The band released a standalone 12" on New York label Mexican Summer in 2010. They have toured the US twice, playing SXSW and Austin Psych Fest, and shared stages with Roky Erickson, Deerhunter, The Cult, Thee Oh Sees, Lightning Bolt, Mogwai, Best Coast and more. Already revered as sprawling, swirling psych overlords, Second Of Spring is Beaches’ undeniable magnum opus.
Silver Drop is the debut album by young Melbourne pop eccentric Gregor. Gregor was first heard via 2016 cassette Thoughts & Faults on Chapter Music, which Stereogum described as "Talking Heads meets Trolls."Playful and idiosyncratic, the tape was the work of an artist still learning how to open up. Silver Drop takes the rest- less, inquisitive spirit of his music and applies it to his own interior emotional world. The artist himself says "Silver Drop is the result of a yearning to free myself from lyrical inhibitions that, in the past, saw me disguise my thoughts behind timid metaphors and hide my voice behind poor mixing, obnoxious effects and low volumes."So alongside propulsive pop moments like This Heat or Fishing Net there are also deep, unsparing reflections like Revise Me, I'll Prove It To You and the album's stunning title track. Silver Drop is a remarkable record, about as touching as anything you've heard, and similarly striking for its musical adventurousness. Spacious and delicate, but peppered with acerbic pop moments and extended, loping grooves, the album draws together elements of the Durutti Column, Arthur Russell and, The The, all filtered through Gregor's increasingly personal vision.
Brisbane, Australia trio The Goon Sax were still in high school when they made their first album Up To Anything in 2016. Their transcendent teenage guitar pop took them into end of year lists for Billboard, BBC6 and Rough Trade, and earned raves from Pitchfork, Spin and Rolling Stone. The Goon Sax toured UK and Europe twice, playing shows with Whitney, US Girls and Teenage Fanclub, then turned their focus to album number two.We're Not Talking shows how much can change between the ages of 17 and 19. It takes the enthusiasms of youth and twists them into darker, more sophisticated shapes. Relationships are now laced with hesitation, remorse, misunderstanding and ultimately compassion. Strings, horns and castanets sneak onto the album, but We're Not Talking isn't glossy throwaway pop. Sounds stick out at surprising angles and home-recorded fragments appear unexpectedly. Drummer Riley Jones also comes to the fore, singing lead and writing songs for the first time. This is a record made by restless artists, and its complexity makes We're Not Talking even more of a marvel. Since recording the album, the band have played shows with Angel Olsen, Perfume Genius and Protomartyr, and toured UK/Europe with Frankie Cosmos.
Chapter is excited to announce the first ever reissue of "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?", a landmark Australian post-punk artefact originally released in 1981 as an LP with accompanying 12" single. One of the first records from the Australian underground to incorporate disco elements into the reigning post-punk asethetic, "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?" sits alongside records by international counterparts like Flying Lizards or Yellow Magic Orchestra in its combination of art school formalism and dancefloor hedonism. Melbourne artist Philip Brophy is best known for his work with 70s/80s art-punk provocateurs Tsk Tsk Tsk (pronounced with three clicks of the tongue). Asked to stage an exhibition in Melbourne in 1980, Brophy decided to put disco into an art gallery context. He created 'fake' band Asphixiation to mime on stage along to tape, and recorded "What Is This Thing Called 'Disco'?" as the backing tracks.In 1981, iconic Melbourne label Missing Link released a two song 12", and later that year the band released the album themselves, repressing the 12" and including it in the package. 36 years later, Chapter has lovingly remastered and reissued the album + single package, with new liner notes and photos.