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Chapter Music

PRIMITIVE CALCULATORS - Primitive Calculators

Melbournes Primitive Calculators met as teenagers in the early 70s, growing up in the grim outer suburb of Springvale. An older friend who lived in a bungalow behind his parents house provided an oasis of culture, and there they were introduced to music of a kind rarely heard in their neighbourhood. The Velvet Underground and The MC5 were obvious heroes, but they were also inspired by lesser known bands like The Fugs, The 13th Floor Elevators, and The Godz (they went on to dedicate their album to Godz singer Jim McCarthy) as well as the writing of obsessive rock journalist Lester Bangs.By 1977, they had deserted Springvale for the more musically liberated environs of St. Kilda, sharing a house in Park St and forming a band called The Moths. But they were a couple of years older than most of the punk bands starting up around them, and their uncultured accents clashed with the inner city, private school values of their so-called peers. Well-known figures like Nick Cave (The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party) and Ollie Olsen (Whirlywirld) would often come by to listen to borrow records, but the Primitive Calculators were always outsiders in Melbournes punk scene.A move to Fitzroy in 1978 helped Primitive Calculators cement their own identity and develop a network of likeminded friends. The band set up a series of gigs called Little Band nights, where up to ten hastily-formed bands, with names like Too Fat To Fit Through The Door and Thrush & The Cunts, would play sets of fifteen minutes each. Their own debut single was also released that year, featuring the songs -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It-جø¬-?-جø¬- and -جø¬-??Do That Dance-جø¬-?-جø¬-. Pressed with plain black labels and stark monochrome sleeve, the single introduced many to the impassioned, atonal, electronic chaos that was the Primitive Calculators trademark, and it has gone on to become a highly collectable classic of Australian post-punk.The following year the band attempted to relocate to London, but seeing how difficult life was for fellow expats the Birthday Party and Whirlywirld, hey decided instead to take an indefinite break. A 1979 live recording of a gig supporting The Boys Next Door turned out to be the Primitive Calculators swansong. Released by friend and supporter Alan Bamford in the early 1980s, Primitive Calculators is a crucial document of a band whose originality, power and humorously belligerent Australian mindset has never since been duplicated.But the story didnt end there, as the Primitive Calculators had an unexpected renaissance in 1986, when filmmaker Richard Lowenstein included them in his feature Dogs In Space (starring a young Michael Hutchence). The Primitive Calculators reformed to appear in the movie and recorded their song -جø¬-??Pumping Ugly Muscle-جø¬-?-جø¬- for the soundtrack (the song was also released as a 12-جø¬-?-جø¬- with some original late 70s recordings on the B-side).The Primitive Calculators revival continued a good fifteen years later when Chapter Music released the pioneering Cant Stop It! compilation CD of Australian late 70s/early 80s post-punk. The CD took its name from the Primitive Calculators track -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It!-جø¬-?-جø¬- and included an original 1979 recording of -جø¬-??Pumping Ugly Muscle-جø¬-?-جø¬-.Chapter Musics reissue of the Primitive Calculators album, twenty-five years after its original release, includes six bonus tracks (four by the Primitive Calculators, one by the Moths and one by a nameless Primitive Calculators/Whirlywirld hybrid band, recorded in the UK) plus a rarely seen video made for the -جø¬-??I Cant Stop It-جø¬-?-جø¬- single by band friend Janis Lesinskis. - Chapter Music. Highly recommended!

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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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