Duster Credit: Courtesy the Artist

You can’t talk about San Jose slowcore trio Duster in 2019 without talking about their fan base—whose numbers surged after the band broke up in 2001. During the five years the group existed, they released two albums and a few seven-inches (mostly through Seattle indie Up Records) filled with grainy, sedate rock, recorded onto stolen cassettes using half-broken gear. But their efforts went largely overlooked, and the band split up without achieving much recognition beyond a favorable Pitchfork review of their second album, 2000’s Contemporary Movement (though the site had yet to develop the clout it has now). That same year, Up Records cofounder Chris Takino died of leukemia and Duster’s catalog went out of print, which nearly cast them into oblivion. But over the next couple decades, young listeners began to find their way to the band, discovering older siblings’ copies of their albums, or learning about them on 4chan’s music board, or from emerging indie darlings who’ve claimed Duster as an influence (hello, Girlpool). The band’s inviting, enigmatic sound coupled with the mystique around them drove new demand for their recordings, and extant copies of Duster’s vinyl releases began selling for hundreds of dollars—their 1998 debut, Stratosphere, reached $391.18 on Discogs. Last year, Duster kicked off what’s become an extensive reunion by opening a New York show for one of their acolytes, (Sandy) Alex G, and they’ve also been working on new material. Earlier this year Numero Group reissued their catalog as a box set called Capsule Losing Contact, which includes a previously unreleased single, the anxious “What You’re Doing to Me.” Both the vinyl and CD versions of Capsule Losing Contact are sold out, but the set is streamable via the usual channels, allowing anyone to experience a long, uninterrupted trip through the cosmos with Duster steering the ship.   v