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Santiago Durango played guitar in Big Black until they broke up in 1987. At that time Santiago started attending law school but he wasn’t ready to give up playing music. He quickly formed Arsenal and, with bass player Malachi Richter, recorded the Manipulator EP, released on Touch and Go in 1988. In 1990, he teamed up with Pierre Kedzy of Naked Raygun on bass to record and release a second EP entitled Factory Smog Is A Sign Of Progress.