The record is the second in a series of 7" singles that culminated in the release of a full length record in May of 2013. Like the first in the series, it was recorded in Chicago in February of 2012 with longtime Astro-cohort Steve Albini. It also features original members Star Crunch (Brian Causey), Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard (Rob Del Bueno) and Birdstuff (Brian Teasley). Rounding out the band is Athens-based guitarist and space nurse in training Avona Nova (Samantha Paulsen).
There are three new tracks on the single. The first two, "Communication Breakdown Pt II" and "All Systems To Go," will appear on the upcoming full length. A third track, "Chemical Cats," is exclusive to this release. Both sides spin at 45 RPM.
The record itself came packaged in a custom chipboard, die-cut cover. It was the same sleeve used for the first one in the series. This time it featured a blue-colored acetate window on one side of the sleeve. When the yellow center label is seen through the blue window, the color blend effect seems meant to mimic the color of the foil seal--the same color as one of the vinyl colors. Here is a scan of the empty sleeve:
The top was sealed with a green and silver foil sticker identifying it as Chunklet Industries catalog number CHK7-003. Here is a large image of the sticker that will seal the finished single:
And here was an early mock-up drawing for the single. Note that the catalog number is listed as CHK7-002 on the center label, an error that was fixed for the actual pressing:
Later, as the single became available for pre-order, the colors of the center label were reversed in the mock up. Here's what the single looked like on the pre-order page of the Chunklet website:
|the center label--a yellow field with light blue lettering|
The record was repressed on red vinyl in May of 2013. Here is a copy of the red repress, on a shelf next to the 2nd repress of Volume 1:
There was also a final pressing of 100 on purplish "space Junk" vinyl, which came out in May of 2016. At this point Owings recycled the rest of the unused sleeves and vowed to never repress it again. There were also FOUR copies of the record pressed on Coke bottle clear green vinyl. Here's a photo of these two variations (I promise to eventually snap a better picture):
The dead wax near the center label bears the following transcription:
A side -- "My goal now? I want to be the all being, master of time
space and dimension."
B side -- " . . . then I wanna go to Europe . . ."
When the disc was still in pre-production, several testers were sent out to be listened to and approved or reworked. If you've ever wondered why I keep this blog, it is mostly because at this stage of the game I will occasionally get one of these tests to listen to and give my opinion. This morning's mail greeted me with this package:
It looks like Henry at Chunklet has designed his own 7" record shipping envelope. I love that it sports a warning to the letter carrier to not bend it, but to also keep it out of the sun. Classy. Inside was the most recent test press. This test is limited to 15 copies and was done by a company in Columbus, Ohio called MUS I COL. It was a true test press, with bits of junk vinyl on the outer edge and a center hole so small I had to widen it with the small blade of a pair of scissors so it would fit on the spindle. It was pressed on what I can only describe as "not exactly black" vinyl.
As had become de rigueur with Chunklet test press records, the test singles were placed in plain white sleeves that were then stamped over with the name "Chunklet" and any pertinent details (like catalog number, number in series, etc.). Some of the stamp ended up on the paper sleeve and part of it ended up on the center label. Where this one is a little different is that the center label didn't offer a completely blank slate--there were markings from the pressing plant already there. Here is a picture Owings posted of the pile of test pressings:
Here is a scan of the one he sent me, number 9 in the series of 15:
And as I mentioned above, the record is not exactly black. When I first looked at it, it looked like a severely dusty thrift store record. As I went to blow the excess dust away I realized that it was just the color of the vinyl, an opaque, mottled black with traces of grey or white mixed throughout. Here is a scan of both sides of the vinyl record itself. Note how rough the record looks, and how the Chunklet HQ stamp is only on one side (and only on the spaces that the paper sleeve didn't cover):