Championed by everybody from John Lennon to Peter Gabriel—and decried by “Establishment” critics ranging from Vincent Canby to Gene Siskel—El Topo remains one of the controversial movies ever made. Director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s bizarre, blood-soaked blend of spaghetti Western, druggy surrealism, Christian allegory, Zen Buddhist themes and avant-garde sensibilities gave rise to the entire “Midnight Movie” counterculture phenomenon of the early ‘70s and forever changed the way adventurous audiences viewed film. Or, for that matter, heard film; for no soundtrack, before or since, has embraced so many styles in its pursuit of spiritual and artistic goals. Atonal, Tibetan Buddhist thighbone trumpets clash with beautiful, even sentimental, chamber orchestra pieces alongside pan flute rhapsodies, brass bands and parlor jazz; that Jodorowsky himself composed the score—after, no doubt, intently studying the work of Morricone—is almost as impressive an artistic achievement as the film itself. Now, Real Gone Music, in partnership with ABKCO Music & Records, is issuing this oneof-a-kind soundtrack album on LP in limited edition (of 330) “Coke Bottle” clear vinyl LP. What’s more, the release replicates the gatefold packaging of the LP and includes the fourpage booklet boasting some of the film’s hallucinogenic imagery that came with the original release. Produced for reissue by ABKCO’s in-house Engineer Teri Landi and Mick Gochanour, with lacquer cutting by Carl Rowatti at Trutone Mastering from the original 16- track analog tapes, Real Gone/ABKCO’s release of El Topo on LP fully captures Jodorowsky’s singular sonic vision.
Benjamin Ball's "Flash A Flashlight" is the first preview of the next Cultures of Soul compilation, Boogie Breakdown -South African Disco 1980 to 1984. WIth the help of DJ Okapi, Cultures of Soul has tracked down many of the great synth boogie artists of the 80s in South Africa including Benjamin Ball, Don Laka, Al Etto, Neville Nash, Harari, and many others. Benjamin Ball's "Flash A Flashlight" came out just after Brenda & The Big Dudes’ massive hit "Weekend." Ball's unique reggae-tinged synth boogie was nearly as big and became the second bubble gum anthem of the era. Highly respected house DJ/producer and co-founder of the Running Back label, Gerd Janson gives us two nice edits of "Flash A Flashlight." Gerd provides two funked up rerubs of the track, one with vocals and one without. Licensed directly from the artist and housed in a custom disco sleeve these edits won't be available on the compilation.
It was the band's third album, Master of Reality, that cemented the group as blackened wizards of doom and gloom. Just listen to the echoing cough and sludgy guitar riff of the opening track "Sweet Leaf" and compare it to anything that existed at the time. Not only were Black Sabbath heavier than Deep Purple or Vanilla Fudge, they were also more experimental and controversial, exploring themes of darkness, drugs, and depravity that others dared not address. The heaviest and most influential disc of Black Sabbath's career, Master of Reality featured proto-metal sludge like "Children of the Grave" and "After Forever," which served as a blueprint for a legion of musicians including '90s Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins. -Jon Wiederhorn
Though hardly the first heavy rock album, Black Sabbath’s 1970 debut was nonetheless the record that undeniably established metal as a separate life force—the first one to envision a horror world beyond psychedelic acid boogie. Presented as sections of extended, multi-part medleys, tracks such as “Wasp” and “Warning” still rank with the band’s bluesier moments. But bruisers like the sludge-caked title track and the crushing “The Wizard” and “N.I.B.” come off like nightmares putting hippie dreams thoroughly to rest.
Black Sabbath's second album is nothing less than a blitzkrieg of in-your-face attitude. The politically charged epic "War Pigs/Luke's Wall" sparks the attack with Bill Ward's hardcore drum thrashing. Ozzy Osbourne's distinctive Brummie wail carries songs like the raw and craggy "Iron Man" to metal anthem status. And as for the high-octane title track, legend has it that the band knocked it out in less than half an hour. Not bad for the cut that essentially created the template for thrash metal.
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath is the fifth studio album by English heavy metal band Black Sabbath, originally released in December 1973. It was produced by the band and Tom Allom and recorded at Morgan Studios in London in September 1973. For the first time in their career, the band began to receive favourable reviews in the mainstream press, with Rolling Stone calling the album "an extraordinarily gripping affair," and "nothing less than a complete success." Later reviewers such as AllMusic's Eduardo Rivadavia cite the album as "a masterpiece, essential to any heavy metal collection," while also displaying "a newfound sense of finesse and maturity". The album marked the band's fifth consecutive platinum selling album in the United States.
Sabotage is the sixth studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, originally released in July 1975. It was recorded in the midst of litigation with their former manager Patrick Meehan and the stress that resulted from the band's ongoing legal woes infiltrated the recording process, inspiring the album's title. It was co-produced by guitarist Tony Iommi and Mike Butcher. This album will be released on 180 gram limited translucent purple vinyl.
For their fourth studio album, Black Sabbath expanded their sound to include the unlikely ballad “Changes,” which featured guitarist Tony Iommi on piano and the Mellotron he had taught himself to play while partying in the Bel Air mansion that the entire band lived in during the making of the album in Los Angeles. Such craziness was standard-issue for the era, and the trippy-indulgent instrumental “FX,” the warped time signatures of “Cornucopia,” and the cocaine-praising “Snowblind” further exposed and reflected the tenor of the times. Though this album took longer than usual to make, it features some of the band's best music. The opening “Wheels of Confusion/The Straightener” includes both the standard heavy Sabbath riffs and a complex instrumental jam over its eight minutes. The churning “Tomorrow’s Dream” didn’t chart as a single, but bands of Sabbath’s unusual heaviness were clearly album artists without pop-chart concerns. Other key tracks like “Supernaut,” “St. Vitus Dance," and “Under the Sun/Every Day Comes and Goes” further cemented their reputation as the band writing the rules of heavy metal as they went along.
Everybody Dance... A bonafide dancefloor invitation, this classic cut by Chain Reaction was originally released in 1980 on the P&P affiliate label, Sound Of New York. A project between keyboardist Dwight Brewster (of The Imperials) and percussionist Harold Sargent (of Wood, Brass & Steel fame) Dance Freak provides one finest moments in the entire catalog. A funky disco track with all the elements of a party anthem, it’s no surprise it’s been a favorite of veteran Deejays like Kenny Dope and Danny Krivit. There are many reasons why this track is a must-have for Disco DJs. Outstanding percussions; check. Funky Guitar & Bass lines; check. Catchy chorus; check. Brass accents; very welcomed. Using a synth as a percussive instrument; incredible and most likely lifted from the Patrick Adams Handbook “How to make a hit record”. There really isn’t much more we can say here. We “just wanna Dance with you...”
Limited Edition, clear double LP version that includes download code. Channeled madness -- the sound Dawn of Midi spent years shaping culminates in their most mesmerizing work yet. With Dysnomia, the Brooklyn-based group abandons improvisation in favor of composition, utilizing sophisticated rhythmic structures from North- and West-African folk traditions to weave a sonic tapestry of trance-inducing grooves. "We didn't want to create anything cerebral," says pianist Amino Belyamani, "we wanted something visceral, something that would awaken our instinctive dance impulses." The manner by which a trio of solely acoustic instruments ends up sounding like electronic music has to do with the unconventional ways the group play their instruments on Dysnomia. The record comes to life in the trio's critically acclaimed live shows, a test of endurance and trust that involves performing their hand-looped acoustic minimalism note for note, just as the compositions were recorded. Dawn of Midi's sets are as energetic and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ set, mesmerizing fans in the same way the group's favorite experimental and electronic acts have for decades. The album was recorded to two-inch tape at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, a former church that was purchased and transformed into an analog recording playground by the great engineer Henry Hirsch. Rusty Santos then mixed the album to make sure it would hit as hard as the group's favorite electronic albums do in spite of being entirely acoustic. "We wanted to make a record that sounded both musically futuristic and sonically vintage," explains bassist Aakaash Israni, "and since the album never saw a proper international release, it is very exciting to see what might happen when more people are exposed to it. And to be aligned with Erased Tapes, whose enthusiasm for the music they release has done a lot for exposing unique instrumental and electronic music, makes it that much more interesting." Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created the cover image by placing paint on a spinning drill bit and firing it at a canvas, then capturing it with high-speed photography. Formed in 2007, the band happened upon their name after drummer Qasim Naqvi casually uttered the phrase in reference to the improvised music the trio was making at the time; they had no idea that years later they would make an album like Dysnomia that would make their name appear fateful.
When Ryan Gosling Available January 26, 2010 and Zach Shields met in Toronto in 2005, they discovered their mutual obsession with the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Once they realized their shared affinity for the eerie, it was only natural for them to start work on a theatrical- monster-ghost-love story for the stage. They decided that this story should have music, so they began learning how to play various instruments. Eventually, they decided to continue with the music and put the play aside. Their band, Dead Man’s Bones, began recording, and quickly decided that the songs needed the special creepiness and longing of massed children’s voices to complete the sound –L.A.’s Silverlake Conservatory Childrens Choir was brought in to the studio, and Dead Man’s Bones, the album, was born. Some of their songs reflect the music they listened to – a little bit of doo-wop, and artists such as the Shangri-Las, The Shags, Company Flow, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Bobby Vinton, Joy Division, The Andrew Sisters and Daniel Johnston, to name a few. In addition, the artistic aesthetic of old Universal horror films, vaudeville music-hall numbers, and silent-screen melodramas infest the music. Zach and Ryan wrote all the music and played all the instruments. The result is a striking collection of doo-wop songs about werewolves, haunting melodies telling tales of zombies with broken hearts, and children singing the joys and pains of being alive, or being dead.
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Let's face facts - in 2016 it is remarkable that there's a new Dinosaur Jr album to go ape over. After all, the original line-up of the band (J Mascis, Lou Barlow & Murph) only recorded three full albums during their initial run in the 1980s. Everyone was gob-smacked when they reunited in 2005. Even more so when they opted to stay together, as they have for 11 years now (on and off). And with the release of Give a Glimpse Of What Yer Not, this trio redivisus has released more albums in the 21st Century than they did in the 20th. It's enough to make a man take a long, thoughtful slug of maple-flavored bourbon and count some lucky stars.
Floating Points – also known as Sam Shepherd – has announced Kuiper, which comes after last year’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Elaenia’. Out July 22nd on Luaka Bop, Kuiper features two tracks but over 30 minutes of music. Speaking about the new release, Shepherd says: “Since starting a band to realize the music from my LP, it has sparked a deep interest in the band itself, and so Kuiper is the result of playing with Leo, Alex and Susumu. Each time we play it, it's completely different. We set the scene with electronics, and some drum machines that form the foundation to allow the unfurling of the rest of the track. The version on this EP – believe it or not – was recorded at 8am! The other side – ‘For Marmish Part II’ – is carbon dated by my singing voice. I can’t get that high anymore! It was recorded way before ‘ For Marmish’ on the album but the two tracks happened to be written around the same time. I want to share them because both sides reflect in two tracks where I was right at the start of the Elaenia project, right up to now post-LP release, playing live and going on the road with a band. I hope, like I feel, people will find a common strand in the hypnotic nature of both tracks.“
The new EP Crime Cutz is the first new original Holy Ghost! music since the NYC-based duo of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel released their sophomore album 2013’s Dynamics. As with most of their catalog, “Crime Cutz” benefits from Holy Ghost!’s insistence on tactile instrumentation with live drums recorded over the track to accelerate its tempo. The duo are quite methodical in their output—shimmering bursts of disco, synth-pop, and lingering grooves—but that doesn’t mean Holy Ghost! is not prodigious. Over nearly a decade, they have gone from being DFA’s rising sons to triple threats: indefatigable DJs, producers remixing new life into the work of Cut Copy and Katy Perry alike, and inventive musicians who’ve released countless original singles. They’re again adding to their thinking-man’s dance repertoire with the vibrant Crime Cutz EP out on DFA Records.
Jay Dee a.k.a. J Dilla is widely regarded as one of the greatest producers in hip hop history. The E-Mu Systems SP-1200 drum machine and sampler was the first electronic instrument Jay Dee worked with while crafting the incomparable styles and sounds which defined the early stages of his legendary production. The SP-1200 was his primary tool of choice at the inception of his career as he created classics for early Slum Village, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and many others. However, as his career moved forward Dilla began to work on an Akai MPC. And that’s the focus of this collection. The 15 cuts featured on this vinyl edition are from the groundbreaking “Batches” collection, but were crafted by Dilla using the MPC. The MPC Dilla utilized to create the material heard here was recently donated to the Smithsonian for their National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open to the public in 2016. This release is more than a collection of Dilla’s unheard works, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of a creative genius, a view into Dilla’s artistic process and a must have for any who call themselves a fan of his musical legacy.
Jay Dee a.k.a. J Dilla is widely regarded as one of the greatest producers in hip hop history. The E-Mu Systems SP-1200 drum machine and sampler was the first electronic instrument Jay Dee worked with while crafting the incomparable styles and sounds which defined the early stages of his legendary production. The SP-1200 was his primary tool of choice at the inception of his career. During this period, he created classics for early Slum Village, The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes, among many others. After careful study and curation this one of a kind collection compiles the well-deserved documentation of Jay Dee's early musical masterpieces. Ma Dukes assembled a team of industry family who spent nine months working daily to bring this project to J Dilla fans everywhere. ''The King Of Beats'' feature's 40 tracks from Jay Dee's groundbreaking 'Batches' created using his SP-1200. In addition the CD release contains “The Lost Scrolls” and an additional 15 cuts created by Dilla on his MPC which was recently donated to the Smithsonian for their National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open to the public in 2016. “The King Of Beats” is more than a collection of Dilla’s unheard works, it’s a glimpse inside the mind of a creative genius, a view into Dilla’s artistic process and a must have for any who call themselves a fan of his musical legacy
Written and recorded at the same time as their recent full-length Split Stones, the New Varieties EP continues Lymbyc Systym’s exploration of the power of disparate halves coming together to form a unique whole. The idea serves as an analogy for brothers Jared and Mike Bell's long-distance relationship, as well as their compositions—a unique synthesis of live emotion and electronic precision. Picking up where their last album left o, the EP’s upbeat opening track “Opposing Bodies” features the same melody found on “Scientic Romance”, the nal song on Split Stones. Exploring darker and more introspective territory, “Dierential” features big reverberating snare hits, emulating the crack of a whip often heard in old Spaghetti Westerns. On the album’s anthemic title track “New Varieties,” the band brings back their powerful Clavinet sound paired against Brazilian influenced rhythms and cascading piano lines. Interestingly, to create the lead melodies on all three tracks, they initially wrote and recorded one melody, and then chopped and rearranged each one to create a new melody. As Jared explains, “The lead lines emphasize a strong vocal quality, but with a bit too much diverse movement. If you tried to sing it, it would come out feeling chaotic—in essence, somewhere halfway between something human and machine.” Throughout New Varieties, Lymbyc Systym's unique balance of organic and synthetic elements has led them to create some of the most emotional and mature material of their career. The EP closes with Austin-based producer Botany's remix of "Opposing Bodies," turning Lymbyc's clean, head-bobbing rhythms and infectious arpeggios into a gauzy, mindbending soundscape of smeared textures and chaotic rhythms.
Vinylmania: As classic disco came bounding through the late ’70s and into the electronically orientated sounds of the ’80s, New York was one of the undisputed frontiers for the latest developments in dance music culture, nightclubs and the art of DJing. At the center of this seminal time for vinyl culture was a store called Vinylmania, set up by Charlie Grappone in the heart of Greenwich Village, Manhattan, just as the culture of 12-inch singles and promo copies was taking hold. From supplying Levan, Tony Humphries and many more with the latest imports to championing the emergence of house music in the mid-’80s, Grappone and his staff played a significant role in New York’s own dance music story. Through the ’90s and up until closing in 2007, Vinylmania was a store that catered to DJs from across the complex mixture of racial, social and sexual demographics that made up New York and its legendary nightlife. Man Friday: As the NYC Peech Boys came to an end, Man Friday became Larry Levan’s newest production project. Fronted by Kofi Morny and Brodie Williams, their dubut single ‘Love Honey, Love heartache’ was released by Vinyl Mania in 1986 with Larry Levan at the helm of the mix. Love Money: In the spirit of most dance music borrowing elements from other sources, ‘Love Honey’ was heaviliy inpired by another Paradise Garage & Loft classic from 1980 and its remix in 1981 by UK Outfit Funk Masters / TW Funkmasters. A dubbed out track big in the Jazz-Funk scene in the UK, it became a hit among underground Deejays in Both NYC & Chicago. Love Honey: No matter what list you look at. ‘Love Honey’ is always attached to Larry Levan’s tenure at the Paradise Garage. All the elements of a Garage Track are here; Dub Echoes, Synth Basslines, Percussions that linger, FX -that one can only dream of hearing on a Richard Long System- and an Organ, because after all, they say the Garage was like going to Church.
Records don't come more influential or stunning than 1999. Originally released in 1982, 1999 signified Prince's fifth full-length album and first to feature The Revolution as his backing band. The breakthrough set gave him his Top Ten album and paved the way for what would be an unrivaled pop run for the next decade, culminating in an international stardom and literally revolutionary creativity. Moreover, the synth- and drum-machine-dominant arrangements on 1999, as well as its surfeit of dance grooves, rock anthems, and insanely catchy hooks wrote the script for nearly every artist that followed, as well as what transpired in the house, electronic, and techno fields Rolling Stone nailed the record's appeal when the magazine named it #163 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The second half of 1999 is just exceptional sex-obsessed dance music; the first half is the best fusion of rock and funk achieved to that date, and it lays out the blueprint for Prince's next decade. Except for a few background hand claps and vocals, Prince plays most every instrument himself and creates a relentless, irresistible musical sequence of apocalypse ("1999") and raunchy sex that he proposes as the only possible response — "Little Red Corvette," "Let's Pretend We're Married," "Delirious" and, well, just about every other song on the album. --Rolling Stone, "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time," November 2003 If any more evidence was needed of the double-LP's greatness, just take a look at the track listing. Yet, in addition to the hits, Prince also provides worthwhile sonic experimentation and ventures into areas he'd previously bypassed. It's no wonder that no artist of his generation--and arguably, no musician from any generation--has covered so much ground. Such breadth is what helps make 1999 so distinctive.
The contributions of the late Detroit producer James DeWitt Yancey -better known to the world as J Dilla- to the world of hip-hop can't be overstated, and nowhere is his legacy more apparent than his work as a member of Slum Village. A founding member of the trio, (Alongside rappers T3 and Baatin) Dilla provided the group's distinctly esoteric, free-wheeling sound, built around winding basslines, quirky drumbeats, subtle low-end frequencies, and classic jazz & soul samples. Against the backdrop of Dilla's rich production, T3 and Baatin's free-flowing style of rhyming would also earn wide critical praise, leading to comparisons as the successors to A Tribe Called Quest. (A label they themselves have rejected.) It's on Slum Village's 1997 studio debut, Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1, that all these elements come together in the most proficient manner. An instant hit among Detroit's underground hip-hop scene, the album seemed to combine all the best elements of the reigning alternative and gangsta styles of hip-hop into one cohesive style that was a hit among critics. Fan-Tas-Tic's influence extended far beyond Detroit, as its sound heavily influenced the sounds of D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, and The Roots just to name a few. (Roots drummer ?uestlove has even declared that: "Hands down this album birthed the neo-soul movement.") Ne'Astra Media Group now presents the album reissued on vinyl, for the first time in several years. Every wobbling bass note of J Dilla's production has been preserved and every freestyle line of T3 and Baatin has been re-created, to maintain the legacy of a late-90s rap classic, and the legend of one of hip-hop's greatest beatsmiths.
Available on purple and gold vinyl for the first time is the soundtrack to the legendary Sun Ra film, Space Is The Place. Featuring some of Sun Ra's most adventurous and uncompromising compositions ever, the soundtrack incorporates vocal chants.
2LP version boils the Scientists catalog down to 22 essentials, plus unpublished photographs, discography, and fold out Perth Punk family tree. The Scientists went through many incarnations in their 9 year history but are remembered mostly for the lineup that existed from 1981 to 1985. Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Brett Rixon together had the peculiar chemistry that produced the classics, Swampland, Happy Hour, the Blood Red River mini LP and We had Love. With a sound that was swampy, primal and modern-urban all at once - as much in the tradition of rock and roll and punk rock as it was a rejection of those things, the Scientists' formula was as universal as it was specific to their own experience. They were about what it was like to be young and living in modern times in an Australian urban/suburban environment. The themes of getting wasted on alcohol and drugs, driving round in hotted up cars, being trapped in crap jobs and paranoia were their subject matter. Machine throb bass and drums with jagged car wreck guitars were their modus operandi. Fitting into no place or time they spurned all but the most rudimentary and elemental of rock structures along with other peoples modes of embellishment. They rejected the contemporary sound and look and so consequently were never able to carry around baggage that would allow them to date. "The Scientists turned my head around and made a man out of me! They grew hair on my palms and made my socks stink!"—Jon Spencer "They wrote fantastic singles and looked like they just crawled out of the ooze. What more could you ask for?"—Warren Ellis "The Scientists proved to me that rock n roll could be played by gentlemen in fine silk shirts half unbuttoned and still be dirty, cool and real."—Thurston Moore
FatCat Records’ 130701 imprint has played a pioneering role in the development of today’s vibrant post-classical scene. It has introduced the likes of Max Richter, Haus- chka, and Set Fire To Flames, and has been home to Sylvain Chauveau, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Dustin O’Halloran. With its fifteenth anniversary approaching on 13th July 2016, 130701 is celebrating with the release of a compilation featuring eleven exclusive tracks - one from each of the artists to have graced the roster over the past fifteen years, plus three new signings - Ian William Craig, Olivier Alary and Resina - whose first 130701 albums are each set to appear this year. Curated and compiled by 130701’s David Howell, none of these tracks has previously seen a physi- cal release. Opening with the sumptuous textural shimmer of Olivier Alary’s ‘Yangtze’, the album moves through the poignant, prepared-piano and string sweep of Dustin O’Halloran’s ‘Constreaux No. 2’ and the wobbly solo piano lyricism of Dmitry Evgrafov’s ‘Anthem’ before taking a somewhat darker, more intense turn on Set Fire To Flames epic ‘Barn Levitate’. A ten-minute track featuring members of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Fly Pan Am, and others from the hyper-creative Montreal community of the early ‘00s, it is the first new SFTF material to appear since their sophomore album ‘Telegraphs In Negative’ came out way back in 2003. Another new signing, Polish cellist/ composer Resina’s track ‘June’ follows organically on from here, her solo cello swelling and slowly flowering through the frost. Hauschka’s ‘Quiet’ dates from the Ferndorf’ album period (2008) and sees the German artist paring down to just his trademark prepared piano on this beautifully lyrical little track. French artists Sylvain Chauveau and Emile Levienaise-Farrouch are paired beside one another - the former’s ‘NB’ follows on in a shimmer of suspended guitar delay before Levienaise-Farrouch’s ‘Alethia’ dances through an echoing web of piano. Max Richter, who released five albums with 130701 between 2004 and 2012, contrib- utes the wonderfully unravelling ‘Bach Study’, whose decay-shroud is echoed in Canadian Ian William Craig’s too-brief gem, ‘Tender Fire’ – Craig’s classically trained vocal layered and processed through his customised tape to tape decks. The album ends on a stellar live recording of Jóhann Jóhannsson’s ‘They Being Dead Yet Spea- keth’ (from ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ project), recorded with the Wordless Music Orches- tra, conducted by Gudni Franzson for New York Public Radio at the World Financial Center Wintergarden, NYC, 31st January 2012. A glowering, stunningly executed 12-minute piece, it feels like a suitably epic way to bring down the curtain on acompi- lation celabrating a wonderful first 15 years for the label. 2016 marks an invigorating injection of fresh blood for 130701, and the 15th anniver- sary celebrations planned for this year will be marked by further new signings / releases, and live activity.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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