Tom Shear founded Assemblage 23 in 1988. It took many years of hard work and recognition from side projects to finally get signed with Gashed Records out of Canada. This didn't happen until ten years later in 1998. Even though it took that long to get signed, ever since the releases on this label, the popularity of Assemblage 23 took off, especially with the release of Failure and each subsequent release became a solid staple in the electro-pop world. At this point his fame has grown far and wide to the point of global recognition and as a template for many other young artists to look up to.
The awesome combination of industrial dance music and synthpop that Tom uses is what defines his musical style. Every album over the years has a very recognizable sound to it, so much so that you can often recognize Assemblage 23 remixes for other bands and if any random song comes on the radio or club airwaves. With that solid foundation backing each album, each release is a treat for fans and a new chapter in a long and illustrious career in music.
Endure - Review
Carrying on the tradition of creating a plethora of great dance-friendly music coupled with thoughtful lyrics and solid vocals, we have the latest in a large discography from this talented artist. This is the "Deluxe" version of the album which is presented with ten powerful original tracks on the first disc, and on the bonus disc we have several remixes as well as a couple of bonus originals.
I imagine most readers that come across this review is familiar with the work of Assemblage 23, so I won't get into too many details of the foundational sound that backs this album. As it stands, this is easily recognized as Assemblage 23 with the standard dance-friendly beats backing the various layers of synth loops all creating the intricately woven tapestry for Tom Shear to present his meaningful lyrics through his solid vocals. Like multitudes of songs before, this album comes with words and messages of hope, solace and empathy for those struggling in one way or another shown by lyrics like "some days just waking up is an act of bravery". While there are great similarities between many of the tracks as they build on that solid foundation we've grown to know and love, there is enough texture and variety thoughout on each piece to keep the listener interested.
As I've been listening to this album several times over, a few stand out a bit as great new classics from this artist. After the introductory instrumental to the album we're presented with a pair of these with "Afterglow" and "Bravery". The introspecitve lyrics are carried to the heart of the listener with a driving electro-pop style that has excellent hooks and loops to keep the listener dancing and moving while feeling the power of the message penetrating to the soul. The pulsating sounds of "Butterfly Effect" about halfway through the album shines with the slightly darker soundscapes. These emotionally charged pieces move and flow smoothly from piece to piece, tying and bringing the album together a nice cohesive collection. The last of the first disc wraps up with the cold and brooding, yet driving and melodic piece "December". This acts as a perfect finale to the first ten original tracks, providing a nice segue into the various remixes. The remixes presented are well done, not detracting too much from the originals, sometimes providing a bit more of an edge and at other times taking that edge off. Of those presented I'll mention one that stood out as a favorite for sure with the Mr. Kitty remix of "Ignorance". The original mix is a sort of minimalistic, simple analog synth piece and the remix takes this and wraps it up in an emotional blanket of pulsating synths and a bit of reverb that really brings out the depth of feeling in the introspective lyrics.
Overall, another stellar album from this talented artist. While maybe not as dark and edgy of some of the earliest works, this definitely still has that touch to it that makes it a definite required addition to anyone's collection.
Bruise - Review
Tom Shear just never seems to slow down and here we have another great album. As usual, there are several version of this album you can buy including digital-only releases for download, regular packages as well as the deluxe or limited edition 2-disc album featuring 20 total tracks, 13 brand new originals as well as another 7 various remixes.
Over the years we've definitely come to know the solid style of Assemblage 23, whenever there is an Assemblage 23 remix, you can usually tell without really looking at the credits. The solid mix of layered, electronic loops over a heavy, dance-friendly beat are really the signature sound of this project. This album builds on this foundation as one piece after another keeps the listener moving. The lyrical content is dynamic and thought-provoking as with previous albums. It all starts off with "Crosstalk" setting the stage with the driving beats and layered electronic loops all providing the backdrop and canvas for the various soundscapes and Tom's solid, well-known vocals.
As with previous works, there are a few pieces that stand out with maybe a more dynamic, or anthem-like nature. These are interlaced throughout this album, though all are really stellar pieces. "The Last Mistake" is a well done, emotional piece. The lyrics are dark and brooding and the music comes out perfectly to match with melancholy synths moving along over a heavy beat. A bit later we have a piece that's a bit more like an electro-pop anthem in the musical style, with the heavy, crashing beats providing the rhythm and back-drop to "The Noise Inside My Head". "Talk Me Down" appears later in the album with another very dance-friendly beat and melodic synthpop style while still maintaining the emotionally-charged moods through the intense electronics and somber vocals. While there is a bit of variety in tempo and intensity, it's not quite so dynamic as some historical pieces like "The Cruelest Year" or "30,000 ft". Yet I think there are a couple of pieces that this review would be incomplete without mentioning and these include the final track on the first disc "Otherness" and the first piece on the second disc, "Rain Falls Down". These mid-tempo pieces maintain their intensity despite the slower beat through throbbing bass and various electronics and the heavy percussion. With the inclusion of these pieces it really makes this a well-rounded album.
Remixed tracks include "The Last Mistake", "The Noise Inside My Head" and "Rain Falls Down". Each of the remixes are well done, all by artists that for the most part of similar electronics-based musical styles, ranging from Grendel to Cesium:137. In addition to these remixes we have a couple more original pieces, "God is a Strangely Absent Father" and to close the disc we have "Reckless". This final track is an excellent way to wrap up the album with a solid, dance-friendly piece that features all the elements we love from this project. With that another excellent album comes to a close, in my opinion very well done, staying true to the long-established styles we've grown to love while continuing to expand on the slight variety throughout each piece.
Compass - Review
To end a decade of great work from this project, Tom Shear presents us with this latest album after a great reception of the precursor single Spark. This album is packed with ten powerful electro-pop tracks that fans will love, continuing on in the same dance-friendly style we've grown to love over the years.
The album is really one club-friendly piece right after the other with few exceptions, which only add some nice variety to the overall mood and pace of the album. It starts out with a siren and builds up to the pounding piece "Smoke" which becomes the template for much of the disc. There are some great subtle differences that keep each piece new and interesting such as the slight distortion or hollow reverb effect on "Collapse", or the addition of subtle female vocals on various pieces such as "Impermanence" or the excellent single "Spark". "Impermanence" also includes some swooshy trance-laiden synths for some added depth to this piece and the album as a whole. As the album starts to wrap up, another excellent piece along these lines is "Angels & Demons" with a very melodic synthpop approach with plenty of layered synths and that solid, driving beat to carry the melodic vocals.
While the entire album is excellent and it really is hard to pick out a favorite, I have to go with the artist and label on this one as the single "Spark" is really an excellent dance-friendly piece. It has all the elements fans love, melodic and familiar vocals, heavy bass, a solid kick and layers of electronics that will keep people dancing. Those who like a little variety will enjoy "How Can You Sleep" with it's mid-tempo, moody feel, along with "Alive" which kind of breaks the synthpop mold a bit and is heavier in the percussion and pulsing synths. And then to wrap up the album we have "The Cruelest Year" which stands out as a somber, yet beautiful piece with some excellent work bringing the electronic loops to life as layer upon layer build up to a powerful climax and great finale to the album.
Once again we have another excellent work that is perfect for fans of the heavier, dance-friendly electro-pop sounds from this project.
Meta - Review
It's been a couple of years since the last release from Assemblage 23 though the music scene has been completely saturated with electronic music releases, this new work doesn't get lost, but rather stands out amongst the rubble. As with all albums from Assemblage 23 we have a lot of similarities to previous works. In fact I've heard some critics say that it's "more of the same" from Tom Sheer, but in my opinion that's what makes it great. For example, if Robert Smith and The Cure were still making "more of the same" of their music from earlier years, I would still be buying their albums. So it's great to be able to count on something solid, something steady, something dependable yet always new elements and lyrics, creative, driving and fun in many ways.
Anyone that heard the Accession Records Vol. 3 label sampler release will have heard "Decades" and here we have "Decades V2" to kick off the album with some "slight upgrades" from the original piece. This introduces us to the current direction on this album with some hard-driving beats and a lot of different synths and a little distortion hailing back to the earliest works. This edge remains strong on several pieces like "Raw" with some powerful loops and darker, deeper vocals, though the melodic, driving electro-pop sound shines throughout the entire album as well including this, one of the harshest sounding on the album. One thing is certain by the time you get to the driving beats and electronics of "Sorry", and that is that this album is written for the fans focusing on the dance-friendly music we've grown to love.
The shift to newer stuff on this album starts to show and shine through on "Ghosts" with the addition of some backing female vocals on the chorus. Other innovations lie in the heavy hitting "Raw" though some of that has been done before on earlier albums with the dark and distorted sound. Though each album usually includes a mid-tempo piece of some sort, each one of these is a shift away from the normal danceable beats of the rest of the album. So "Damaged" and "Old" with their slow-moving beat come as no surprise, though they do lack a little bit in style and innovation from other slower tracks previously released and comparable mid-tempo electronic ballads, but I guess you can't be new and innovative forever, at some point you just have to fall back on good, old-fashioned music. Another slight shift in styles is "Madman's Dream" with the vocal styles and range. We usually count on deep and moody, sometimes dark vocals, but on this piece we're treated with a look at how high on the scale he can reach, though they're still angst-ridden and fit perfectly within the Assemblage 23 style we love.
We can't leave this review without touching what are sure to be the floor filler tracks in the popular single "Binary" along with "Decades V2", "Madmans Dream" and half of the rest of the album. It really is the driving dance-friendly beats that creates the center of the music that fans love from this band, along with innovative and well written music and uplifting lyrics that people can enjoy. So with that said, we have another great release that should not disappoint fans at all.
Binary - Review
Here we have the first single from the latest album Meta from Assemblage 23 and it has already shown it's power and popularity by hitting the #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart and #4 on the Hot Dance Singles chart. Like all of the recent singles from this project we're presented with five tracks including 3 mixes of the title track and two b-side extras. In my mind if the remixes are done well then this is a perfect way to present a single rather than having all five tracks be remixes of the title piece, it's nice to have a little bit of extra material on the disc to enjoy.
The title track itself is presented in the "Album Mix" which you'll be able to catch on the album which is nice to have with it's solid, moving dance beat, melodic synths and vocals done in pure Assemblage 23 style. Next we're presented with.. (surprise).. the "Club Mix" of "Binary" which modifies a few elements which make it perfect for mixing live into a driving electronic set at a dance club. This mix is nice in many ways, stripping down a few elements but keeping all the essential bits in tact for people to enjoy on the dance floor. The final mix is the "Nerve Filter Dub" which gives people a taste of Tom's side-project Nerve Filter and it's style. This mix replaces the percussion and driving loops with a real mish-mash of repeating and cut vocal loops, something of a break-beat and complex mix of electronics for a unique approach to this track.
The first b-side track is "Dirt" which includes a heavy swing bassline and beat that fans are really going to love. This piece is heavy-hitting with a slower tempo and tons of great electronics providing the backdrop for the deep, steady vocals. "Flourescent Skies" is the second bonus piece on the disc which features some trancey loops and a slow moving beat that at first I thought would be an instrumental with all the ambient trance elements. However it wasn't too long before the vocals come in and it becomes another great, yet unique ballad-like piece from this artist.
There you have it, somewhat simple, but as fulfilling as just about any single can be with five tracks. This is definitely a disc that any self-respecting DJ will have in their collection, as well as any die-hard fans that want to have the bonus tracks and remixes because they're well worth it.
Ground - Review
Presented in much the same format and layout as the first single, this single includes five excellent tracks, including three different mixes of the title track. This single comes on the heals of the well-received album Storm and is definitely one of the best selections on the album. I can't seem to get enough of this track and so to hear it remixed exclusively by Tom Shear is a real treat.
The first and original album mix still remains my favorite of the three. The dance-friendly beats, excellent and meaningful lyrics and wonderful melodic tune create a true masterpiece. The "Darker Version" takes all of this and throws on dark, distorted vocals and harsher sounding music, just making it a, well, darker version of the song. And the finale to the single is the "Acoustic Version" of this track. This was completely surprising and a true novelty and extremely enjoyable. The acoustic guitar becomes the instrument of choice as it makes the entire mood subdued and melancholy.
The two exclusive tracks "Consequence" and "Lament" are true Assemblage 23 gems. "Consquence" stands out for me a bit more as a solid dance track with the quick-paced rhythms and smart layered synths. "Lament" is a somber instrumental piece, that has a nice moving rhythm at a slight mid-tempo pace. While it has danceable elements, the piano creates the somber moods that permeates this track.
Once again this is another very enjoyable single stemming from a solid album. This is definitely a treat and a must-have for fans.
Storm - Review
Over the years Tom Shear has presented us with so many captivating albums as Assemblage 23 and with his other side projects, remixes and other work. This new album released on Metropolis Record in North America and Accession Records in Europe continues to build on a very solid career and musical style. If the previous albums were enjoyable to any degree, this new work has built on that and adds new and unique songs, structures and experimental elements to create something that any fan can enjoy.
For those already familiar with this popular artist, relating the great music on this album is very simple to do. I could just say that he has taken everything that has cast him into the electronic music spotlight and made it greater, funner, darker and just plain great to listen to. All new tracks with various themes, powerful beats and intelligent lyrics comprise each piece. With 10 songs total and not quite spanning an hour, it leaves you wanting more, but the music is gratifying and so at the same time you are satisfied by the time you finish the last mid-tempo beats of "30,000 ft".
For those newcomers that are just first reading or hearing about this band, then describing this music and specifically this album becomes a little more challenging. Through all 10 tracks there is a solid and powerful beat, with tempos ranging from final slow, sad ballad at 89 bpm of "30,000 ft." to the fast-paced slightly techno-influenced work of "Infinite" at 147 bpm. The combination of catchy synthpop hooks with the darker moods and edginess of industrial beats and distortions create something majestic and powerful that comes together perfectly.
I've quickly become attached to a few songs in particular. The first single "Let The Wind Erase Me" may possibly already be familiar to many fans with it's solid fast-paced rhythm and danceable beats. The just-announced second single that will be released in the near future is another favorite titled "Ground" with excellent lyrics to match the wonderful dance-friendly music. The emotional power in these masterpieces is something that is really captivating and what creates long-time fans.
I just wanted to mention briefly the excellent lyrics that are in this album and each album by this artist. I think that Tom Shear has met my challenge directly of writing great, upbeat and positive music that makes a point without being degrading in any way. I think listeners can take this to heart and really listen to each song and be a better person just from the great message presented. The music provides a perfect backdrop that helps to drive this message right into your soul.
I could go on about most of the album this way, but I'll leave it up to the reader to check out the album and form their own opinion. Suffice it to say, for me this is another perfect work in electronic dance music that forms the better part of the career for Assemblage 23. This is something we have been able to count on in the past and continues to be true today with this album.
Let the Wind Erase Me - Review
Even though it hasn't been that long since Defiance was released, many fans have been anxiously awaiting for something new from this awesome project. Tom Shear has pulled it off again with this new single from the upcoming album Storm. This first single is another in a long line of perfectly powerful, wonderfully mixed and a nice blend of hard dance-beats with melodic synthesizers and strong, clear vocals.
On this disc we have three versions of the title track, the "album version", the "club version" and the "hard version". Each of these is quite unique and remixed by Tom himself. The album version presents that crisp, clear and powerful dance-driven music that we've grown to love in past albums building on the success and evolution of these previous works. The club version is a bit faster with pounding beats throughout that add a bit of an edge and more tempo to really move you on the dance floor. The hard version speeds up even more (or slows down, depending on your take of 80 or 160 bpm). But what you hear is harsh industrial rhythms with distorted vocals true to the Industrial genre.
So there you have something for every fan just in the three mixes of the title track. But the fun doesn't end there as this 5-track single presents us with two stellar exclusive songs. "Darker" has quickly become a favorite for me on this album with it's dark and moody nature. The melodic synths and moving beats provide a backdrop for the solid vocals that bring to life the thought-provoking lyrics. And finally, "Tragic Figure" is the other remaining track with a downbeat tempo and styles similar to legends Depeche Mode, but done in the way that only Assemblage 23 can do.
This is an exciting time for fans of this project. This single provides something great to look forward to as a teaser for the new album. But in itself defeats the "single dilemna" that I've often complained about with the excellent remixes and inclusion of exclusive tracks. Well done!
Assemblage 23 and Noxious Emotion Interview
On April 13th, 2002 I had the great opportunity to sit down with Tom Shear of Assemblage 23 and Mike Wimer of Noxious Emotion before their show in Salt Lake City. This was the last show on their tour that started out horribly with a robbery of a lot of equipment and merchandise. But they were in good spirits and were happy to sit down with me for a few minutes.
How has the tour turned out after the horrible events of April 5th?
Mike: It has turned out extremely well actually. We've had a great time even though that stuff has happened, we've kept a very level head. We've actually gotten a little wild which, I think is even better.
Tom: Yeah, overall the shows have been great, but we've had all the mishaps in between, we've had the break-ins, Mike and myself and another person almost got mugged in San Francisco, we had a flat tire in Albuquerque and in Denver, and now it's just like, we're so jaded by the whole thing that we don't even care anymore, what happens is going to happen.
Great Attitude! I hope the fans will appreciate it, how did the actual concerts go?
Mike: The fans have been so cool.
Tom: Not only is that great, but we've had good turnouts and enthusiastic crowds. A lot of the people have just been very supportive in terms of, everybody seems to know what's happened and come up to say something about it and that in itself means a lot and makes it a lot easier to forge ahead and get on to the next show.
I imagine the fans give you a big boost to keep you going.
It seems that in just a really short while, Assemblage 23 has gained a lot of fame here and in Europe. How has that changed your life?
Tom: More than anything I think it's opened up a lot of doors for us to be able to go to Europe and tour, we have a lot more opportunities to play live shows in the U.S. and stuff like that. But that's the biggest difference. Obviously, we're getting bigger crowds when we play then we used to and stuff like that. But I think we still approach everything the same we did when we were first going out which was just to go out and put on as good of a show as we can.
Speaking of Europe, you recently toured Europe with cut.rate.box and Diary of Dreams, how was that experience?
Tom:It was good. It was really gruelling though, we did 21 shows in 23 days going everywhere from London to Spain to France to Germany, Belgium. So, it was a lot of fun, but it was also about the hardest thing I've done physically. It seems like at the end of a tour, I always end up sick just because of lack of sleep. The problem was this was 3 Â½ weeks so at the end of the first week I was already getting sick and I thought, we still have to do this for 2 Â½ more weeks. It was really fun, it was my first time in Europe ever, and to get to see the country in that way and meet the people in that way, it was a really cool way to see a country for the first time.
What do you think has brought you this far?
Tom: I think whoever it was that said 'Perseverence pays' was definitely onto something. Because people assume that bands that reach a certain level of success do so over night, simply because they're not aware of the band until they're famous. The fact is that I've been doing this for ten years before I could even get a label to send me a rejection letter and have any kind of interest. I think your motivation has to be that you like doing music, because otherwise when people are not interested in you, then you're just going to be discouraged. If you're just concerned with being a 'rock star', then you just give up. But if you really enjoy doing music, don't pay any attention to what anybody else says and sooner or later, you're going to gain more interest. I think that there is an audience for just about any band out there that just need the exposure.
Where do you expect to go from here, from this pretty ideal point that you're at?
Tom: I try not to have any expectations for that sort of thing, because I think if you don't have any specific expectations, then you can't be disappointed. I certainly never would have expected things to come this far. And I don't even want to speculate about the future, because the music industry is so fickle that you can literally be on top of the world one minute and a month later nobody remembers who you are. So I just try to enjoy what's going on at the moment and try and take advantage of the opportunity that we have to go different places and meet different people, so I'm not sitting there when I'm 60 years old regretting that I should have done that while I had the chance.
Tell me a little bit about what inspired you to start making music and what inspires you today to continue?
Tom: I don't really know what got me interested in music, because as long as I can remember, even as a kid while other kids were asking for action figures and toy guns, I was always asking for instruments. And nobody in my family has any kind of music ability whatsoever, so it just sort of sprang out of nowhere. But it's something I've been interested in as a kid. For me, the first time I really got interested in electronic music was when I first heard Gary Numan's 'Cars'. I thought it was a really cool song, but when those strings came in, I thought, 'whoa, what's making that sound, I have to get one of those'. It wasn't until many years later that I physically started doing that kind of music, but that was the turning point.
Mike: I think that a lot of electronic musicians nowadays have always come from looking for different types of music especially the electronic sounding music.
Do any particular artists inspire you today?
Tom: For me, probably the biggest band would have to be Depeche Mode. I think they're probably a shadow of their former selves now. To me they get everything right, the lyrics are great the music is good, the sounds are incredible and they're great live. It was also at one of their concerts that I first heard industrial music that a dj was spinning in between sets. So I also have to credit them for exposing me in that way too.
Mike: It would probably have to be New Order and the second would be Depeche Mode.
It seems like I remember your music described as "Depeche Mode with a bad attitude."
Mike: I came up with that because I wanted to tell my mom a different way to describe my music to her friends instead of calling it "Cyberpunk". This was back 10 or 12 years ago when that name was still actually a cool name. So I just used that description of Depeche Mode with a bad attitude.
In the Addendum insert, you mention that the tracks included aren't really an indication of future A23 music, can you tell us now what we can expect?
Tom: For me I can never really say until the album is done. Because especially the way that I'm doing this album has been a lot different from before, in that I've been recording very basic stripped down demos and then going back and editing, rearranging and adding parts in. Just something I really haven't done too much of in the past. The songs I have in the form they're in now, might not necessarily reflect where they'll be when the album's done. But it's my hope, and I don't think I'm being presumptuous when I'm saying this, that I think it more defines what the A23 sound is, versus the fact that we're always being plagued with the VNV Nation comparison, I don't honestly think they'll be able to make that comparision with the next album.
Failure really expresses a lot of thoughtful and emotional feelings, do you think that some people may take that lightly and not really gather or understand the entire message in that album? I doubt that I do, but does that concern you at all?
Tom: Well, I think if you are to do something like release records, you can't take too personally what people are going to say about it, even if something is very personal to you, someone who hasn't shared that experience, it could essentially be meaningless to, even if to you, it's something very intensely personal. If people are saying various things, like trying to comercialize my father's suicide and profit off it, it's a completely ignorant thing to say. But I can't let that affect what I'm going to write about. So I have to write about what I feel I need to get off my chest and if people get it, they get it.
It's a great outlet then?
Tom: Yes, absolutely. It's one of the the things that I remember one of the last things my dad said to me when he was alive was that I'm so lucky to have this incredible outlet so I can get rid of all those things instead of carrying them around with you.
What are some of your hobbies besides making excellent music?
Tom: That takes up a lot of time and so it's a job in itself plus it's a hobby that I really do for fun. Besides that, I'm really a movie buff, especially Independent films and stuff like that.
Mike: Actually, me and my wife are big wine buffs, we've done all the Eastern Washington, Oregon and Northern California wine tours.
Thank you for your time, is there anything else you would like to tell your fans in closing?
Tom: Just a big THANKS to all the people. You know, I always want to thank people for their support, that's especially been important the past week and a half.
Mike: The fans have been very, very helpful and we've met some really, really nice people that have done some very cool things for us. Thank you!
Concert Review - Salt Lake City, April 13, 2002
This concert was one of the best that I've seen in a long while. The club was packed more than I've ever seen it for any other show and with these performers, it was no wonder why.
The night opened with local act Symbiont that put on a good performance of their industrial/noise music. It's a little hard to give a good objective review of their performance and music because of various technical problems that occurred during several of their songs. However, they handled it well and continued with their performance and looked like they had a great time.
Noxious Emotion came on next and put on an absoluetly stellar performance. With everything from fireworks going off on the drumset in the back to a barrel of fire and the drummers taking turns beating on the barrel on the floor during different tracks. Everything came together well and their high-energy performance was great!
For those familiar with the tracks, it was even more enjoyable as you could sing along and understand a bit more about the effects relating to the tracks. But even for those that weren't familiar with this group beforehand, it was still a very fun and energetic show to watch!
Assemblage 23 soon came on stage as the headlining act for the night. Despite what must have been a very frustrating tour for these guys, the performance was not lacking anything. A few sound problems were worked out at the beginning as the night started off with the beginning track from Failure with "Naked". The entire night was full of energy as they performed one hit after another, mostly from Failure but included "Pergatory" and "Coward" from Contempt. They also performed a new song to be included on the next album, titled "Document". This was a great preview of work to come, which I'm sure will change a bit. It seemed to me like the track carried the same bassline as "House on Fire".
After an excellent set, including the very popular tracks "Disappoint" from Failure and "Let Me Be Your Armour" from Addendum they put on an excellent encore performance. The encore included my favorite A23 track "Anthem", sounding like it was the "Stronghold" remix appearing on the Accession Records compilation. Then they closed the night with their cover of "Love My Way".
An excellent concert that will long be remembered around here!
Label (USA): Metropolis Records
Label (Europe): Accession Records