Clear smoke vinyl, packaged in silver-ink foil jacket Bass assassin dream team Alix Perez and EPROM debut Shades, a commanding new EP on Alpha Pup Records. Fresh and dynamic, the four-track release tickles the limbic system with gravity-distorting bass and inspired hooks. “The Serpent” cuts a swathe through the dance floor, underpinned by an imperious, gritty bassline, replete with head-turning percussion cuts. The back-swung “Chiron"" cloaks a devious, neck-snapping riff in warped melodic deviations. Woozy percussion sits aloft an unsettled slab of electric bassweight on ""Minotaur"". And “Into Light” juxtaposes glory-era rave power chords and arpeggios against echoes of g-funk and hyphy - culminating in a tuned-up footwork flex-out. Vivid. Searing. Groundbreaking. Shades is a gripping release by two masters of their craft.
Nicky Benedek was born and bred to funk in the City of Angels. He spent his early creative energy observing and integrating outsider dance and funk scenes in underground music culture into his own breed of production for his first full-length on the influential PPU label. His compositions carry the torch of funk into the wondrous and nebulous territories of house, boogie, hip-hop, jazz-fusion, and experimental new age. With an arsenal of analog synthesizers, drum machines, and electric guitars, he’s making moves in the L.A. underground by welcomed way of Funkmosphere, Dublab, and Leaving Records community with a strong strut.
Many musicians speak of their versatility, but few can boast an MPhil from Cambridge specialising in African history, work in human rights law (predominately in South Africa) and enviable sonic CVs among their caches. Yet such is the extraordinary makeup of London-based Throwing Shade, aka Nabihah Iqbal, a rising producer and NTS Radio host whose House of Silk EP will be released via Ninja Tune on 4th March. Having debuted on Kassem Mosse’s Ominira imprint and followed suit with releases for No Pain In Pop (Patten, Grimes, Forest Swords) and Happy Skull, Throwing Shade continues her patchwork of peripheral pop over five new tunes. Leading track “hashtag IRL” is a nod to what she calls the ironic “anti-social reality of social media,” full of digital glitter and contemporary colloquialisms but pervaded by an uncanny emptiness too. The “repetitive, robotic and melancholy vocals” to her "symbolize the relentlessness with which the internet now dictates our lives…our thoughts are watered down to a common denominator of hashtags, selfies and internet-speak acronyms.” While “hashtag IRL" exemplifies her voice, tapped by SOPHIE for breakout track “Lemonade” and most recent single “L.O.V.E.,” the rest of the EP focuses squarely on her multifaceted production skills, lightfootedly gliding on “Marble Air,” nodding to ‘80s cinema on “Ecco Echo,” compelling idle feet to dance on “Fear of Silence” and slipping through the haze of half-sleep on “Underneath My Eyelids.”
Adult Jazz first appeared back in 2013, amid a flurry of praise surrounding their joyous and addictive debut single 'Springful'. Their unanimously acclaimed debut album Gist Is followed in 2014, self-released on their label Spare Thought, with The Sunday Times calling it "utterly riveting" and the NME and The Line Of Best Fit both naming it their album of the week. Gist Is was a startling and mesmerising voyage from start to finish, taking a labyrinthian, fragmented pop-not-pop path, incorporating songs within songs, while maintaining a sense of humour through some of its complex themes surrounding religion, gender and humanity. Following the release of Gist Is, the band went on to play sell out tours around Europe as well as festivals including Latitude, End of The Road, CMJ and Iceland Airways. The latter was attended by none other than Bjork, who was moved to write about Adult Jazz as ones to watch for Art In America Magazine. David Byrne followed suit and asked them to play at last year's Meltdown festival with Young Marble Giants, while further endorsements came from diverse remixes by Oliver Coates, Happa and a very rare re-work from Shabazz Palaces. Since then the band have been busy collaborating, including producing OKAY KAYA's recent single 'Durer' / 'Keep On Pushin'. Adult Jazz return with a new record 'Earrings Off!' released on May 6 2016 via TriAngle. Comprised of seven tracks, it experiments with sound and song structure as well as its themes and narrative. Harry explains: "The record is about masculinity. Embodiment, lust, idealisation, privilege, legitimacy and limitation. It's about acknowledging the weight, with a view to liberation from its past clout. It's about picking your ideal body, and playing with body language to achieve authenticity. It's about the possibility of authenticity."
Hot on the heels of his #DontFreakOut mixtape, South London producer Darq E Freaker further blazes his trademark trail through classic dance music, contemporary hip-hop and peripheral grime in the new instrumental ADHD EP for Big Dada. Having first burst into international underground consciousness with Danny Brown's ubiquitous "Blueberry (Pills & Cocaine)," the borderless, hybridized music he's known for sounds no less fresh; other production credits (Tempa T, London Grammar, D Double E) and single releases (for Numbers. among others) are testament to a genre collagist at his technical prime. Speaking on the release, Darq says: "The timeliness of this music isn't so important, the main thing is that it's RAVE music. I'm trying to fuse RAVE... with grime/hiphop groovers, drops, drum patterns & basslines. I've always been listening to music, but this is actually stuff that I watched on ‘Top Of The Pops.' Fusing genres into something technicolorful is something I've always been passionate about and pursued, both in this project and beyond. This project isn't solely me, its me pushing some of the musical influence of my adolescence into my adulthood. It's nostalgic in the most progressive way."
Following up from Roots Manuva’s critically acclaimed 2015 album Bleeds, Record Store Day 2016 will see the release of Switching Sides, a five track EP with production by With You, (Switch), Coldcut and Crookers. Side A includes three brand new unreleased tracks, "Iron Shirt'', "Body Hot", and "Watch" as well as two of Bleed's album favorites "Crying" and "One Thing." Instrumentals of all five tracks are featured on Side B. The 12" comes in the form of a heavy GSM card-printed outer sleeve with obi-strip, on 180g vinyl.
Interscope/Polydor present the debut exended play release from the fast-rising 20-year-old Harlem rapper/singer Azealia Banks. Entitled 1991 in honor of the year of her birth, the 4-track effort features the preceding hit lead single "212," its follow-up "Liquorice" and is rounded out by the new cuts "1991" and "Van Vogue." “What’s fresh about Banks is how she combines audacious charisma with lyrical naughtiness and genre hopscotching,” said Interview while V Magazine observed: “Her rapid-fire, crystalline raps are astounding in their elasticity, punctuated with clever puns, one-liners, and taunting, confrontational raunch.” Spin called “212” a “dizzyingly addictive throwdown” while W noted: “When she’s not spewing taunts, she’s singing with all the depth and prowess of an R&B star.” “‘212’ works because its popcraft and its shock tactics are each other's Trojan horses, concentrate on one and the other sneaks up on you,” exclaimed Pitchfork. “But the more you dig into the song, the more you can hear details and decisions that suggest a scary degree of pop talent."
Brighton-based Fujiya & Miyagi have now been making expansive, experimental and multifaceted electronic-driven music for over fifteen years. As an outfit they have been as successful in their investigations into bleep as they have elongated Krautrock wig outs, and creating breathy electro pop as fiercely as they do post-punkindebted scratchy dance. EP1 feels like an amalgamation of all of these factors, condensed succinctly into four tracks, the first of three planned EPs which will accumulate in a new album in early 2017.
Over the course of the past decade, Antwon has made a name for himself with rowdy live shows and making music that’s sometimes brooding, often hilarious, and always rooted in human relationships. His latest effort, the Double Ecstasy EP, touches on all of the San Jose native's favorite topics: sex, successfully navigating clubs, the dri-fit shirt you can’t quite fit into, and more sex. But just when you think you’ve stood in line outside this venue before, he turns on a dime—these aren't the same characters you’ve seen before.
Sudanese-American hip-hop artist Oddisee's new EP, “AlWasta,” takes its title from the Arabic colloquial term used to mean (to use colloquial English) “the plug.” The term “wasta” comes from the Arabic word “wasat,” meaning “middle” or “middleman,” and describes a member of the community who acts as a connector using their wealth of social currency. Understanding the value of social currency & how to use it (for better or worse) is what Amir Elkhalifa aka Oddisee focused on as the primary inspiration for his writings.
Hot off his collaboration with Madlib and MED (Bad Neighbor), SoCal ambassador Blu has teamed up with the Paris-based production team UNION to present “LA COUNTING”, the lead single off their forthcoming album Cheetah in the City. Featuring remixes by Exile, Dibiase, and Yann Kesz, this limited edition picture disc 10” delivers Blu’s lyrical love letter to Los Angeles while UNION’S synth-soaked production marks a stylistic sea change for the Below the Heavens MC. Rippling with 808s and cinematic strings, LA COUNTING is an organic evolution from the signature keyboard-driven sound that put UNION on the map in 2012 with Analogtronics, their debut album featuring Talib Kweli, MF DOOM, Elzhi, Guilty Simpson, and more. Cheetah in the City will be released later this year on Fat Beats Records, but until then the world will have to keep LA COUNTING.
Limited edition Ivory vinyl plus download card. Maya Postepski never stops. An active member of the Toronto music scene, she has been making music for over 10 years, currently as part of electronic group Austra (Paper Bag, Domino). She is a prolific remix artist, DJ and she co-wrote and produced TRST with Robert Alfons as Trust (Arts & Crafts). This project is the outlet for her genre-crossing experiments that take us on a journey through minimalist cosmic disco psychedelia, crossing through glacial poly-rhythmic territories soaked in dark dripping goo. Shooting stars and icicles glimmering weave a reflective thread through each track while mechanical pulses ground soaring delicious keyboards that could melt the heart of a cobra. "Rendezvous is an EP comprised of tracks that are a departure from what I normally do," says Postepski. "The tracks didn't quite work on the album (Progress) but I felt they shared a weird Krauty EDM vibe. The artwork was done by Faye and Gina in Paris. I love the concept they tied in with the single, Rendezvous: a meeting with someone that is arranged for a particular time and place and that is often secret."
Norvis Junior is an artist of multiple disciplines born and raised in Dallas, currently living in Las Vegas. He's doing his best to get to know himself through the various things he makes. Over the last several years, he’s released 7 EPs digitally and been featured on multiple online publications including Brownswood, Pigeons and Planes and Wax Poetics. Here is his debut seven track vinyl EP "Pyrrhic Victory Disc 3" which is also the first release on the new label, New Math Records.
Mikael Seifu's Zelalem is an ode to - and a fearless break from - the storied lineage of Ethiopian music.The literal Amharic translation of Zelalem is "eternity," and through Seifu's conceptual frame it becomes a "vector of light." Seifu shines this light on the music of his home country while guiding us through an uncharted "Ethiopiyawi Electronic" - a coinage Seifu uses to describe the music he and his peers are producing in Ethiopia's capital city of Addis-Ababa. Zelalem spotlights the music of Ethiopia's past as well its future. Mikael Seifu illustrates the potential for reinterpreting sacred and proud sources through energized palettes. His latest effort heralds the future of this new music and signals the genesis of Ethiopian Electronic, where the known and unknown commune.
Amnesia Scanner's Young Turks debut, the 12" EP AS, is also the duo's commercial physical release.
Jeremy Malvin aka Chrome Sparks presents his third EP on Future Classic, expanding upon his affinity for synthesizers, unusual sound combinations, and sample manipulation. Lead single "Moonraker" is a constantly progressing track with a subtle groove and intricate percussion. "Give It Up" demonstrates Malvin's ability to heighten intensity and produce mind-bending music by layering synths and luscious percussion atop a solid bass groove. Finally, "Ride the White Lightning" is an intricate club weapon, taking listeners on an epic nine-minute journey that effortlessly glides through builds and breakdowns.
Ben Frost's remix EP V A R I A N T features remixes from Frost's most recent album, A U R O R A, which has been named 'Album of the Year' by Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Stereogum, and Drowned in Sound. Remixes include British producer, Evian Christ, Downward label boss and techno producer, Regis, and HTRK to name a few.
"Champion Music for the Heartbroken" is how Bryndon Cook, who records as Starchild, describes Crucial, his first EP for Ghostly. It's easy to hear what he means: Starchild creates songs that draw equally on electro and R&B, and at the center of every one of them is an undeniable twinge of sadness. Which makes sense -- Starchild was the first member of his family to leave their home for New York and, though he was technically pursuing a BFA in acting, eventually his interest in music took over. "I was leaving for New York with a head full of Prince bootlegs and Sade records, basically." He gradually made connections that would inspire him. His college roommate was Ghostly artist Lord RAJA, and the two formed a fast friendship. A longtime fan of Lightspeed Champion, he received encouragement from Dev Hynes, with whom he'd eventually collaborate. He received similar encouragement from Patrick Wimberly of Chairlift. Wimberly introduced Starchild to Solange, who recruited him for her touring band. "It's been nothing short of life changing," he says. "Having the opportunity to travel the world and play festivals like Glastonbury, Bonnaroo and Pitchfork was huge. She taught me that if you stay true to yourself, you can take all the time in the world to do one special thing, the right way."
We are thrilled to announce the first new music from Hendrik Weber – a.k.a Pantha Du Prince - since his 2013 collaboration with The Bell Laboratory, and the first proper Pantha Du Prince release in six years. Pantha Du Prince’s 2010 masterpiece, long-player Black Noise, is well acknowledged to have expanded both the sonic and emotional possibilities of minimal techno; the songs’ warmth, intricacy, and creative boundary-pushing, have earned him a seat in the Pantheon of modern electronic music, alongside contemporaries like Burial, Four Tet, or The Field. With his wildly-anticipated new music, Weber expands his scope: the crystalline delicacy of “The Winter Hymn” is deeply evocative of the track’s namesake season; “Post human palisades” finds him merging electronic and organic instrumentation into a delicate narrative of alienation and other, bolstered by a pulsing dance floor heartbeat; and “Dream Yourself Awake” is filmic and transfixing.
Our second vinyl-only release from Godspeed contains two long songs, and sets the bar for the sprawling compositions that would characterise the group in the years to follow. Side A is cut at 45rpm and features “Moya”, a broiling cascade of upward scales that repeatedly explodes beyond its own threshold. “BBF3” on Side B clocks in at 18 minutes, and was the band’s most lyrical, multi-movement music to date — more elaborated melodic figures wind around an angry spoken-word field recording (infamously culminating in the recital of the speaker’s poem — verses lifted straight from Iron Maiden). Both songs were recorded with Dale Morningstar at the old Gas Station studio in Toronto.
The future of music is emerging as neither entirely dystopian, nor entirely optimistic - the new avant-garde are collapsing these divergent outlooks into something that hopes to bridge the opposite poles of the organic and the fabricated, the physical and the mental, the vague past and the aggressive future. As if to speak directly to this duality, there are elements of Lafawndah's ritual club music that are both inherently trance-like and intuitively tangible. It is rhythm as melody and voice as rhythm and it surfs a broken 4G signal from the meditative fusion of Geinoh Yamashirogumi and Jon Hassell's 'Fourth World' music to the ballistic battle cries of dancehall and devotional musics.Lafawndah exists at a unique crossroads between vocalist and producer, conceptualist and performer - a disciple of hyperlinked global sonics and steadfastly urban attitude. Like her acclaimed 2014 debut EP, the recording of Tan began on an island with the same minimal studio set-up. This time, with collaborators Nick Weiss and Tamer Fahri, it was Fire Island off the South Shore of New York rather than the Caribbean island of Guadalupe. Soon enough proceedings hopped to the totemic island of Manhattan, where she embodied the role of executive producer by folding the like-minded ADR and L-Vis 1990 into her process to help realize a warped vision of esoteric industrial rhythms fused to an aggressive palate of nomadic atmospherics that brings to mind Muslimgauze and the twisted pop orchestrations of Leila without sounding remotely like either. Friends first and collaborators second, the unique group operated more as an orchestrated band - not 'producing', but working cohesively to accelerate Lafawndah's momentum.The songs on Tan are married to the sound and vice-versa, they are confrontationally playful, determined compositions and each track exists as a kind of suite with such a degree of narrative and musical morphing that Lafawndah seems to channel fragments of Grace Jones, Lady Saw, Psychic TV, Kate Bush and Missy Elliot into a theatrical soundclash that arrives at something entirely her own.In the now, everything exists as a fusion. It is the meaningfulness within these myriad connections that proves so difficult to find. Lafawndah presents an alternative, a metallic idea of sensuality and defiance that is fluid, unsentimental and assertive. Just in time.
Taken from the Drive original motion picture soundtrack. Since the film's release, the YouTube video for "Nightcall" has climbed to over 11 million views, and has been on repeat across an expanse of playlists, always fueling the after-after party with the slow burn of glossed synth echoes. Now Kavinksy emerges from this late-night haze with the helping of friends, bearing a collection of covers, remixes, and second takes for yet another drive through the midnight hours. Remixes from Dustin N'Guyen and Jackson. The song was features Lovefoxxx from CSS on vocals, and was produced by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Justice and mixed by SebastiAn.
Boy 8-Bit returns with an exclusive four track, limited edition vinyl release of new and previously unreleased material. The straight up dance floor oriented house shuffle of ‘Jungle Gym’ sits on the A-Side, with its modulated FM bass, descending harps and the repeated call to “Move”. On the B side he returns to his more melodic and progressive side with ‘Timeworks’. The arpeggiator is left to run, providing both the bass and the top line, over a bed of vintage synth strings and a 120bpm groove.
Inside of the bay area’s sweater funk crew is k-maxx, one of modern funk’s most prolific voices and producers to emerge over the last half dozen years. K-maxx lets it be known on ‘For The Record’ that he is in a lane of his own. As soon as you hear the game within the sexy dialog and his infectious voice that hypnotizes you over his masterful arrangements, there is no doubt he’ll have you coming back for more. Only someone who baptizes his whole city every week with the gospel of the funk can write like he does, let alone transcend the vibe of every dude in the city moving through ladies they can’t let go. That’s real life transcended on ‘For The Record’, K-Maxx has walked through the darkness with the torch of his music, lifting the experience of his record to a plateau where we doubt he’ll be a underground secret for much longer. K-Maxx’s production wizardry is just as masterful as the wind through the pipes, as he clowns the lyrical boundaries of love songs with stuffin for your muffin, then lights it up on the one with masterful 808 breakdowns just for fun, forever cementing his place in modern funk for the record.
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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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