Welcome to my Astro-Man archive

This site is meant to be a visual archive of every variation of every Man... or Astro-Man? 7" single ever released. Most of what you'll see here comes from my personal collection. As information pours in I will post it, so please comment if you think you have something to add. I have no intention of posting MP3s here. I'm sure you can find the music elsewhere. This is just an attempt to collect information about the band's prolific creation of singles into one spot. If you can get past the fact that I rarely clean my scanner, I think you'll enjoy what you find here.

Use the Table of Contents on the sidebar if you are looking for details on a specific 7".


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Astro Analog Series: Volume 1



Astro Analog Series: Volume 1 was a 7" single released in August, 2012 by Henry Owings of Chunklet Magazine. It is currently available through the Chunklet website. The single jumpstarted a series of three 7"s that culminated in the release of a full length record in May of 2013. It was recorded in Chicago in February of 2012 with longtime Astro-cohort Steve Albini. This is the first release of new material featuring original guitarist Star Crunch (Brian Causey) in more than a decade. Crunch is joined by fellow original members Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (Rob Del Bueno) on bass and Birdstuff (Brian Teasley) on drums. Rounding out the band is Athens-based guitarist, and first full-fledged Astro-Woman, Avona Nova (Samantha Paulsen). In case you missed it, her Astro name is a palindrome.

There are three new tracks on the single. Side A features the instrumental song "Defcon 5." Side B starts with "Anti-Matter Man," a track where Starcrunch actually sings, and finishes with "Dr. Space," an instrumental tune that features the accordian stylings of one Jeremy Jacobsen. The first two will figure somehow onto next year's full-length, but "Dr. Space" is exclusive to this release. The record was cut direct to lacquer at Chicago Mastering Service and the artwork is by Aaron Draplin.

The record itself came packaged in a custom chipboard, die-cut cover with a yellow acetate window on one side (and nothing on the other). The top is sealed with a foil sticker identifying it as Chunklet Industries catalog number CHK7-002. Here is an artist spec and early concept drawing for the single:







This is what the chipboard sleeve looks like in reality, with the foil sticker broken and the record removed. Note the yellow-tinted center from the clear acetate window:





Here are a few assembly pictures from Chunklet headquarters' Facebook photo stream. The first is the roll of foil stickers used to seal individual records, and the second shows several stacks of assembled sleeves (chipboard outer sleeve with acetate windows attached) awaiting the arrival of the records from the pressing plant:


The roll of foil stickers used to seal individual records





Assembled sleeves. Note the sleeve in the foreground with the red acetate window.
This a preview detail of the third volume in the Astro-Analog series.
  

The center label on the disc is red with yellow text. Here is the artist spec used in the printing of the label:





The vinyl record itself was available in three different varieties: clear, translucent orange and opaque black. The clear variety was limited to 200 copies. The orange one was exclusively available from the Chunklet website. It is also the color that matches the foil seal sticker. The black copies were the ones distributed to record stores. Here is a tweeted photo from Henry Owings that shows all three variations:





I purchased all three varieties of the single, and I got an extra orange copy to open and play. Here is a closeup shot of the orange version of the record:




There was also a second pressing, or re-press of the single after the clear and orange variations sold out. The second pressing looks identical to the first in sleeve and center labeling. The difference is that it was done on clear red vinyl. Here is a photo of the re-press:



There is also a second repress on gold vinyl that went on sale in May of 2013. Here it is, on a shelf next to the red repress of Volume 2. It's the one on the left:



The dead wax bears the inscriptions: "so now I have a Google phonic stereo with a moon rock needle" and "It's okay for a car stereo, wouldn't want it in my house."

There was a series of 12 test pressings of this one. I managed to get my hands on number 5. Here it is a photo of the pile of tests, and a close up shot of my copy:





Check out how the rubber stamp graphic goes from sleeve to record and back to sleeve. Gorgeous.

And, though there was no official insert with the record, some shipments came with swag from Chunklet HQ. Like, for instance, this:


this is pretty close to actual size


THIS JUST LEAKED. A preview of things to come:



6 comments:

  1. That test pressing is very cool.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure how I originally came into the good graces of Chunklet Headquarters, but it has been a very beneficial relationship--both personally and for my record collection.

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    2. I wish I could get in with them. I guess it doesn't help that I have only been a real fan since the last full length in 2000.

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  2. That's great!! I can't wait to hear the new songs, and thanks for all photos.

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  3. You may want to edit in Star Crunch's correct spelling of his name.

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    Replies
    1. Okay. Following the Little Debbie theme I should probably also change Birdstuff to Fudge Round . . .

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