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Artifacts III: 1988​-​1993

by Acumen

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Nocturnia 07:08
Lizardskin 03:18
Imago Dei 06:31
Nectarine 04:40
End of Line 04:46
Tragedy 09:26


Artifacts III is the final installment of the early output collections from Chicago's ACUMEN (later Acumen Nation). These tracks were recorded by Jason Novak from 1988 - 1993 using only a Roland W30, effects pedals and a basic 4-track cassette recorder. For the digital release, original masters on 1/4 inch and DAT tape were re-mastered in Pro Tools. Some of the tracks were performed live in the early days of Acumen's tenure as an experimental performance-art driven industrial collective, but many were only distributed via a collection of cassette demos in the early 90's.

This volume contains the earliest rendition of "Candy Prowled", a live recording of Depeche Mode's "New Dress" cover, as well as a studio version of Ministry's "Every Day is Halloween", which evolved into an 8 minute opus during live shows, riffing on Carpenter's soundtrack version and the Acumen track "Feeding Time". NOTE: unlike later, more aggressive heavy-guitar "cold wave" styles, most of these tracks are clubby, electronic soundscapes with early vocals and lyrics that would serve as springboards to upcoming material once Acumen began releasing proper albums. These tracks highlight the workshop melodies that would become calling cards for Acumen and Acumen Nation, while employing some (definitely uncleared and recognizable!) sampled drum loops and rhythms from their industrial forefathers.


released August 7, 2020


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Acumen Nation Chicago, Illinois

Formed in 1988 as Acumen by Jason Novak, the band released several cassette demos in the early 90s. In 2000, Novak launched Crack Nation Records. Between 2002 and 2008 the band would release several more albums, tour and promote and play with side projects Czar, DJ? Acucrack and Fawn, but the death of long-time member Jamie Duffy in 2012 put the band on permanent hiatus. ... more

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