A brief history by Guy Blackman.
In 1990 I was sixteen. I lived in Perth, Western Australia. I was in the last year of high school. I put out a fanzine called Chapter 24, named after a song written by Syd Barrett, who I was totally obsessed by at the time. I did three issues between October 1990 and November 1991, ten photocopied pages each with little reviews, articles and interviews etc. The fourth issue was meant to come out with a compilation cassette of Perth bands I knew. I ended up putting out the tape but not the fanzine. The tape was called "Bright Lights, Small City", and it came out in July 1992. It wasn't on Chapter Music, it was just "A Chapter 24 Compilation".
There is not much on that first tape that I still like, I was very young and my tastes were different, and I wasn't confident enough to say no to people whose songs I didn't like. But I liked putting out the tape and everyone in Perth seemed to appreciate it. No-one else was putting out local music in Perth, there was nothing going on. So I wanted to put out more tapes. It was beyond my abilities to put out a CD or a record at that time. And no-one in Perth ever did it, at the time things were so small that everyone just put out tapes. That was what you did if you were in a band in Perth in the late 80's/early 90's, you put out a tape.
After doing "Bright Lights Small City" I made friends with Richard Forster, who had just arrived in town after his parents bought him a one way bus ticket to Perth from Brisbane. We started to do the label together (our next project was a Sonic Youth tribute tape called "Kill You Idols"!), and put out a new fanzine called "Salty & Delicious". Richard moved back to Brisbane mid-1994, but we decided to keep on doing the label and zine together. We put out 8 cassettes (mostly more compilations) one CD (getting a CD made was becoming easier in the mid 90's), and four issues of S&D.
Then in mid 1995 I moved to live in Melbourne. Richard had moved there a few months earlier. Since the start of the year we had been trying to get a seven inch pressed at Corduroy Records, a new pressing plant in Australia. Corduroy was the first pressing plant in the country to open after a couple of years of no vinyl pressing facilities in Australia at all. To an extent we had moved to be closer to the pressing plant and make sure things were going smoothly. That first single eventually came out in September 1995, the Molasses/Minimum Chips split single.
That was the beginning of the vinyl era of Chapter Music. Shortly after the split single came out, Richard decided to stop being involved with the label and the fanzine, so I started doing it on my own again. I put out one more issue of Salty & Delicious, and that was the end of that. But the label was going strong. I put out another seven inch by my old band in Perth called Sulk, and in the process I was talking to Nick Phillips, the man who ran the pressing plant, quite a lot. When I rang up to organise the third vinyl single for Chapter, the Sleepy Township/Cannanes split single, he asked me if I needed a job. I had pestered him a few times to let me come work at the record factory, not thinking there was any chance he'd ever agree. So in August 1996 I became Corduroy Records' first employee, operating these beautiful mid-60's manual pressing machines, and eventually promoting myself to an office position as Corduroy expanded. Chapter has been putting out vinyl steadily ever since, and grudgingly started releasing CDs a couple of years ago.