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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.