Lost Classics: Duster “Stratosphere”

tapem200bThey’re nobody’s buzz bands anymore. But since 1993, MAGNET has discovered and documented more great music than memory will allow. The groups may have broken up or the albums may be out of print, but this time, history is written by the losers. Here are some of the finest albums that time forgot but we remembered in issue #75, plus all-new additions to our list of Lost Classics.

duster550:: DUSTER
Stratosphere // Up, 1998

There was no shortage of psychedelic listening options for the late-’90s space cadet; you simply had to navigate the substrata of drone-friendly bands such as Spiritualized, Flying Saucer Attack and Bardo Pond. San Jose, Calif.’s Duster flew closer to Earth, offering more structured guitar-rock compositions and the kind of muffled-yet-melodic vocals that hadn’t been heard since the (original) shoegaze era. For debut album Stratosphere, the songwriting duo of Clay Parton and Dove Amber recruited drummer Jason Albertini (an original member of Queens Of The Stone Age) and created a sound akin to Yo La Tengo playing beneath a heavy winter blanket. For an exploration of the pop side of the space-rock moon, Stratosphere is one place to start.

Catching Up: Duster managed one more album, 2000’s Contemporary Movement. Albertini and Amber formed the trippy Helvetia, while Parton makes four-track psych/pop as Eiafuawn.

“Reed To Hillsborough”:

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