Addis 1988 is the document of a moment in time when mulatu astatke was not yet the global ethiojazz superstar he is today, but a change was gonna come for him, and for the whole world. in ethiopia, the derg had started to tumble and fall; europe saw the wall between east and West gain more and more holes until it came down; Southern Africa witnessed Apartheid taking its final lap before Nelson Mandela was finally set free. With Ofra Haza's Yeminite Songs and Mory Kanté's 'Yéké Yéké' high on the international charts, music of the wider world finally entered the house of Western pop, giving high hopes and deep inspirations for many musicians who were previously excluded.
Los Angeles based label Cold Busted readies the second volume of a ten part series. This series covers the best Funk and Jazz inspired tracks found only on Cold Busted. Each release is hand-picked with many of the songs available on CD for the first time including cuts by Akshin Alizadeh, Mister T, Singularis, and Bloody Tadi. If you haven’t heard of Cold Busted then this is the compilation series you should start with.
Limited to 300 copies. Alpha Pup Records announces the release of MAST’s second full length album Love and War_. Love and War_ is a highly conceptual and deeply personal new work based on jazz trained multi-instrumentalist MAST aka Tim Conley’s eventful love life over the last 2 years. Set up as a three Act Play structure (traditionally the Setup, the Confrontation and the Resolution) Love and War_ is 17 intense and unique compositions each flowing into the next with recurring musical themes or “characters.” Conley tells the story of (Act 1) finding love and the beauty and naivety that comes with exploring something new; (Act 2) losing that love due to her substance abuse, deception and Conley coping in unhealthy ways; (Act 3) learning to let go, heal and ultimately find a much deeper lasting love. The tone Conley sets is sometimes sarcastic, other times vulnerable and intimate, yet always musically intense and profoundly visual. Sonically, Love and War_ is mostly instrumental compositions consisting of rousing electronic elements perfectly intertwined with live guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. It’s performed and produced by Conley, along with some of the world’s leading Instrumentalists and vocalists. Keyboardist / producer Taylor McFerrin appears hot off the release of his latest on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label. Both LA transplants, Conley and McFerrin have been friends and musical acquaintances for over 10 years since their time in NYC and Philly during the early 2000s. Composing and creating Love and War_ was an efficacious way for Conley to heal and grow but he was very reluctant to share such a personal story so transparently. Through this vulnerability, he hopes that whatever anyone else’s Love and War_ story happens to be, to learn their own life lessons, find the humor in it and always trust in the most optimistic outcome.
The Jazz Jousters collective was formed in June 2012 by Millennium Jazz Music’s founding manager Gadget, who challenged the group to sample certain Jazz tracks while paying tribute to a different Jazz great in each session and releasing the submissions via the MJM label. This resulted in a new album consistently being released digitally every two weeks for the first two seasons, and then monthly in their third season in 2015. At this point all involved agreed that it was time to honor the listeners cries and attempt to put out some physical material in season four, The first of which was the 25 track compilation‘The Vault-Best of The Jazz Jousters ’double 12” managed by MJM & HHV.de to celebrate the past three years of tribute albums. Season four was a ten part cassette series called ‘Locations’ which focused on Jazz from various countries such as, Japan, Brazil, Italy, Germany, France, Nigeria, Poland, Canada, Cuba and concluding with England.All volumes sold out and often had to be restocked.The success of the Locations series enabled MJM to press the Jousters first official 12” vinyl album entitled ‘Endurance’, released in May 2016. After a well deserved break to focus on individual projects, the Jazz Jousters collective have returned for their fifth season to do another Locations series, but this time on vinyl. Locations: USA is the first of that series, and the saga continues!
Australian guitarist/visionary Rob Thomsett’s collected works – two LPs – are combined into one package as the fourth release in the Now Again Reserve series. Hand numbered edition of 1000. Originally privately pressed in tiny numbers in Canberra in the mid-‘70s, Yaraandoo & Hara have become sought after examples of the best in progressive jazz/rock. “Taking in impressionistic hazy instrumental jazz … muscular fusion moves, solo Mellotron pieces as heavenly as anything Beethoven or Handel ever concocted, extremely loose-limbed ethno-fusion soundscapes of the Don Cherry/Pharoah Sanders variety, film soundtracks … and electronic experimentalism … hair-raising, soul-searching beauty – with an overall dreamy, hazy quality that perhaps could only be written by an Australian fully conversant with the “Dreamtime” cultural feel for the myths and legends of the Outback.” – Julian Cope’s Head Heritage
Pias present a reissue of Black Earth by the German doom jazz cult band, Bohren & der Club of Gore, originally released in 2002. Black Earth is a masterpiece and the perfect soundtrack for an imaginary movie experiencing the nights in a dangerous city. For fans of SunnO, OM, Max Richter, Fennesz. "The substance we are seeking here lies beyond the bare bones of fact, the when and the where (founded in 1988, Mülheim an der Ruhr) or personnel and instruments. Mysteries may very well lurk here or there along the way. What keeps the final two founder members going after all this time? Do Morten Gass and Robin Rodenberg have skeletons locked in their closets? How dearly we would we love to know the answer to that one, alas the most beautiful puzzles tend to remain unsolved. Including their debut Gore Motel (1994), Bohren & der Club of Gore have amassed an impressive eight long players... Strange as it may seem, there is a uniform consistency to their reception. Whatever the band does, critiques are unfailingly positive, yet repetitious. Consider the arrival of Christoph Clöser in 1997, by way of illustration. When he joined the group, his saxophone replaced the departing Reiner Henseleit's guitar as one of the defining instruments in the band. This was arguably the sharpest break in their sound to this day and a significant marker in terms of the band's reverence for Dutch instrumentalists Gore (the clue is in the name), whose repetitive riffs paved the way for how the guitar would be deployed in a post-everything future... Similarly conspicuous by their absence in the Bohren chronicles are the numerous instruments which they added to the mix. The introduction of choirs at least had a clear visual impact. Since Thorsten Benning left at the end of 2015, the band has continued as a trio, sharing shifts on the drums. A decrease in personnel was conversely accompanied by quantum leaps forward in the group's musical development - or more precisely, minor adjustments triggered major effects. The music of Bohren & der Club of Gore opens up remarkable rooms of association, from a warm burrow to a pristine secret lodge, from a dusky woodland tavern to a smoky quayside dive... These sinister crackling songs are invitations to secrete oneself in darkness." -Lars Brinkman.
Pias present a reissue of the 2005 album from Germany's doom jazz cult band Bohren & der Club of Gore, Geisterfaust. Geisterfaust, featuring the slowest band on earth in an even more reduced and slow motion style, is back in full glory, with 58 minutes of playtime over five astonishing tracks. "Geisterfaust" might be translated as "the fist of a ghost" and the individual tracks are "trigger finger", "ring finger", "middle finger", "thumb" and "little finger". The group, who are much loved by musicians like Mike Patton (of Faith No More and who releases their albums on the Ipecac label) or Stephen O'Malley (SunnO), deliver outstanding music. For fans of SunnO, OM, Max Richter, Fennesz and David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti. This is instrumental music of the highest caliber.
3 is the third album by the French covers band Nouvelle Vague, initially released 16 June 2009. As with their previous release, the album consists entirely of cover versions, mostly of post-punk and new wave songs from the 1970s and 1980s. Four of the tracks are performed as duets, featuring the song's original vocalist performing alongside one of Nouvelle Vague's female singers. Repress comes in 180gr white vinyl and includes MP3 download of the album.
Bande à Part is Nouvelle Vague's second album, initially released in 2006. Like their eponymous first album, it is a collection of bossa nova cover versions of 1980s new wave tracks. The music video for "Dance with Me" references the famous dance sequence from Jean-Luc Godard's film Bande à part (1964). Repress comes in 180gr pink vinyl and includes MP3 download of the album.
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Mark de Clive-Lowe delivers an outstanding 4 track EP recorded live at Los Angeles’ Blue Whale jazz club. The EP finds MdCL revisiting the grand piano, putting his first instrument front and center with his technological world of keyboards and electronics. It’s his signature amalgamation of acoustic sound sparring with new technology, joined by a world-class crew: Josh Johnson (Miguel Atwood-Ferguson / Wayne Shorter) on sax and flute, Brandon Eugene Owens (Robert Glasper/Terrace Martin) on bass and Gene Coye (Thundercat/Flying Lotus) on drums. The instrumental EP opens with an original composition, ‘Evergreen’. Solo piano sets the mood as the composition evolves into a head-nodding, beat-driven journey of improvisational conversation. As the music progresses, we hear MdCL programming beats and electronics live and on the spot – manipulating and sampling his own piano, keyboards and Johnson’s sax – creating a musical palimpsest inspired by hip hop’s sampling aesthetic. Only here, the samples are all organic - performed, captured and manipulated completely on the fly. The following tracks pay homage to three of MdCL’s heroes – Yusef Lateef firstly on the loping ‘L+H’ – inspired by Yusef’s ‘Love + Humor’ with Owens and Coye underpinning the groove while MdCL and Johnson play and become live samples themselves. Sun Ra gets honored the EP’s centerpiece – an 11 minute exploration of his composition ‘The Golden Lady’ – once again, MdCL’s piano is the central focus here, leading the way through a mystically evocative soundscape that reimagines the great master. Johnson switches to flute here bringing his playfulness and musical guile to the mix with the piece culminating in an intoxicating blend of beats, live samples and acoustic band. We close out with an interlude of Ahmad Jamal’s ‘Swahililand’ – most famously sampled for De La Soul’s ‘Stakes is High’ by iconic producer J Dilla. It’s a real treat to hear MdCL and band in full-flight live show mode with none of the safety nets of studio production. Live at the Blue Whale hints at what’s more to come from a truly individual musician.
Bing & Ruth have announced their third studio album No Home of the Mind. Continuing with the deft minimalism that has marked them out in critical circles in recent years, the New York ensemble’s new record will be released on February 17th, 2017. Established in 2006, Bing & Ruth is an ever-evolving collective steered by composer David Moore. A pianist from Kansas and graduate of New York’s school of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School, Moore’s work follows in the great tradition of fellow alumni John Cage and Steve Reich, albeit looking past the more studied repetition of the style’s forerunners toward a meditative form built on feeling. With Moore at its nucleus, Bing & Ruth’s line-up has transmuted from the eleven-strong line-up that created debut album City Lake (“A stunning, humble record built on traditions we all understand, yet, somehow feels dizzyingly new.” – The Quietus) to a cast of seven for 2014’s Tomorrow Was The Golden Age (“One of the finest leftfield releases of the year.” – Pitchfork). With No Home of the Mind, the ensemble has been streamlined to a five-person unit, exploring the piano’s percussive qualities alongside running woodwinds, warbling tape delays and splattered upright bass lines that stare out with a wide-eyed transcendence, taking so-called “classical” music to new limits.
Two Time Grammy winning producer Terrace Martin (Snoop, Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock) started his own label - Sounds Of Crenshaw - under the Ropeadope umbrella with the release of Velvet Portraits. The core band is Terrace Martin, Curly Martin, Robert 'Sput' Searight (Snarky Puppy), and Brandon Eugene Owens. Guests include vocalists Rose Gold, Tone Treasure, Uncle Chucc & The Emotions, and Lalah Hathaway. Featured guests are Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Thundercat, and Tiffany Gouche. Velvet Portraits is nominated for Best R & B album in the 59th Grammy awards, set to air on February 12, 2017.
New Band Name, new LP; The former Max Graef Band toured and worked on new music all year. Musical progress, and the impression of not enough edge and rawness in a lot of recent music, inspired and motivated a majority of the recording. The band has grown as a unit and wrote a lot of material together this year in late night sessions. During 2 weeks of recording the new songs in the studio the goal was to try all sorts of instruments, amps and effects and be open to any combination of sounds. Furthermore, they and engineer Lutz Fahrenkrog-Petersen tried to capture and maintain the raw feeling of the live recordings using almost exclusively analog pedals and racks as well as keeping the editing of the recordings to a minimum. Although Bands like Et Cetera (Wolfgang Dauner), Embryo or Xhol have heavily infuenced Max Graef and his band, the result turned out very original ranging from Distorted Jazz-Rock to Experimental Soul, Electronic Percussion Workouts to Free Sound Experiments and Psychedelic Rock. With some tracks being around 14 minutes long, it is better to let the music speak for itself though.
Ideologic Organ present Unfold, brand-new recordings from The Necks, the legendary Australian trio who excel in bypassing musical cliche whilst exploring and extending the practices embedded within improvisation, jazz, post rock, ambient, minimal, and textural, "sound based" music. The latest document from this long-running ensemble presents itself as a double LP, with four side-length tracks. A deliberate absence of numbered sides hands a substantial swatch of participation over to the listener, allowing her to navigate his own path through the soundscape at hand.
MILES MOSLEY stepped into the light with magnetic force this year following the release of his new single ‘ABRAHAM’, garnishing critical acclaim from worldwide press such as NPR, The Guardian, BBC Radio, The FADER, and Bass Player Magazine. The Los Angeles-based upright bass virtuoso and composer has reached impressive professional heights in recent years, and his full length album has been eagerly anticipated. Now the moment audiences across the globe have been waiting for is finally here: Miles Mosley announces the release of his album UPRISING, scheduled to be released worldwide on digital and vinyl formats on January 27, 2017. Ahead of the album release in January, Miles Mosley is offering the second single in the powerful track “Young Lion.” As the opening floodgates to UPRISING, “Young Lion” bursts with energy from every seam. Scorching horn lines, slick keys and a propulsive rhythm section unlike any other in modern music, the end of the track is supplanted with a mind-bending effects laced bass solo from Miles that shows why he’s one of the most respected bassists alive. Scheduled to hit digital outlets September 16th, “Young Lion” is filled with gusto in lyric and music form. A perfect beginning to the story of UPRISING. It encapsulates the dynamic range of genres and expression that traces the rest of the album. UPRISING serves as his most personal and defining climb throughout his long-time career in the music industry. For Miles, it combines a deep love of songwriting with an innovative, truly one-of-a-kind ability on the Upright Bass. A balance he has worked decades to execute with precision, quality and taste. UPRISING will release on the Alpha Pup Records sub-imprint World Galaxy, and features the collective Miles co-founded, the West Coast Get Down, a family of musicians he helped bring together during their formative years. The group have imprinted their stamp on the world unlike any other musical collective in recent times. Long-time manager and music collaborator Barbara Sealy, who has worked with the collective since they were in high school, co-produced the album with Tony Austin, shaping the content through the infamous KSL Sessions that produced over 150 finished compositions including those found on Kamasi Washington's "The Epic." As Miles describes, “I was the organizer, Tony Austin was the technical guru, Kamasi Washington was the wrangler, Ryan Porter was the heart, and our long-time manager Barbara Sealy was the safety net that made sure we were able to be in a safe, creative space. I began my record at Tony's studio and transitioned to KSL to do Strings and Choir, yet once we were all in the groove more songs started crossing the finish line.” Miles and company blend into a unified system of brilliant luminance through UPRISING. Kamasi Washington, Ryan Porter, Zane Musa, Dontae Winslow and the other L.A. horn players shout from the mountain tops; Brandon Coleman brings unrelenting funk on vintage keys; Cameron Graves displays his ethereal piano virtuosity, and Tony Austin holds it down with equal measure on drums and the production/engineering chair. UPRISING is Miles’ personalized take on the musical journey of his life, and that of his West Coast Get Down family. It stands as an impressive record of deep conviction and technical prowess, following the influences he has gained from legends such as Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix. Every lyric, rhythm, melody and harmony from UPRISING comes from the deepest reserves of Miles’ soul and the experiences he has endured over the last two decades in the music industry: “I wanted to create a work that was natural and intimate, but still maintained a sense of grandeur.” Miles explains. “As if you were best friends with a giant. The West Coast Get Down, the Strings, the Choir; I sought to utilize all of these elements together to create something with memorable melodies and a message to the people that we are here for them. We are and want to be the loudspeaker for their hearts.” The album demonstrates Miles’ vision and scope, traversing through stunning vocal cadences and complex music arrangements with scorching horn lines, innovative bass solos, thought-provoking lyricism and an overall dynamic that bleeds with the lineage of the West Coast Get Down. It showcases tracks reminiscent of the best that pop, jazz, blues, funk and soul have to offer. As a connecting factor from the beginning to the end, UPRISING walks the listener through the trials, tribulations and successes that Miles has experienced in the music industry, in a way that holds a mirror to the broader human experience of living in the modern age. It culminates in the triumphs that he and the West Coast Get Down gained in that process, honing their craft to perfection while uplifting a generation. Every song becomes a piece to the whole, highlighting Miles’ strengths as a composer, musician and lyrical seeker of truth. The power of the West Coast Get Down’s voice has manifested in numerous ways, and Miles Mosley continues that journey for audiences in an entirely new way with UPRISING, the sound of this generation: “I have always loved the power of words, and what they make us feel. The word "UPRISING" is often used in moments in which a group of people witness their strength in numbers and band together to seize an opportunity. Not only are we living in a time where people all over the world in art and politics are recognizing their own power in numbers, but as a member of the West Coast Get Down it seems fitting that this new attention to our sound, and the impact we are capable of making across genres feels like our own UPRISING. This is my piece of our story.” - Miles Mosley
This fall, trumpeter and composer Josef Leimberg will launch his debut full-length Astral Progressions. Hitting vinyl prints and digital formats with the Alpha Pup Records jazz imprint World Galaxy, Astral Progressions is a powerful record in the canon of 21st century music. It also continues the momentum Leimberg achieved on the Kendrick Lamar Grammy Award-winning album To Pimp A Butterfly. A hybrid state of jazz fusion, world music, R&B and golden era hip hop instrumentalism. Josef Leimberg has created a rich tapestry of sound that fits right in with the resurgence of progressive music in the 2010’s, launching out on his own terms after an impressive career of guest work. Leimberg gained a unique level of traction with his work on the multiple Grammy Award-winning Kendrick Lamar LP To Pimp A Butterfly. Credited under the LoveDragon moniker with Terrace Martin, his time with To Pimp A Butterfly only represents a small fragment of his accomplishments. His collaborative resume over the decades is astounding, consisting of production, writing and feature credits with Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Robin Thicke, Shafiq Husayn, Funkadelic, Freestyle Fellowship, Dr. Dre, Murs, King Tee, Suga Free, Saafir and Busdriver. These connections have undoubtedly spread life all over Astral Progressions. Leimberg’s debut album features an array of innovators and game changers in modern progressive music. Kamasi Washington, Bilal, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Kurupt, Terrace Martin and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson are just a small list of the brilliant minds that make the Astral Progressions outing special. Many of the featured artists became with the LP through world renowned creator Shafiq Husayn. Leimberg would connect with various musicians associated to his camp through studio recordings, gigging and rehearsals, building on his compositions in a very organic and social way. Kurupt connects with Astral Progression’s cosmic message unlike anything else he’s done before, lending his verbal talents over a cosmic west coast flavor. Georgia Anne Muldrow and Bilal add considerable weight as well, taking direction into spiritually tinged fusions of R&B and soul. The ending track pays special homage to Leimberg’s mother, including a recording of her speaking about the complexities of life and where we all fit into the bigger picture of this universe. To describe this record in full would take volumes of thought, bridged under the vision of Leimberg in every note and measure. Leimberg takes the sonic power of Astral Progressions back to the origins of the ‘70s jazz fusion movement. Included is a superb Miles Davis cover of ‘Lonely Fire.’ Originally recorded and featured on the 1970s Miles Davis studio album Big Fun, Leimberg revamps the spiritually tinged piece with uptempo pocket driven drum work, flaring solo’s and a sense of heightened energy that transforms the chord arrangements of the original into something entirely new. Paul Livingston adds lush sitar, tambura and sarod, bringing the Indian influences shed on the original composition into the 21st century state of Leimberg’s vision. It’s a perfect summation of how organic, fluid and exotic the record is as a whole. The artwork and design packaging pulls back to the narrative of prolific album cover work that enhanced many of the world’s most celebrated jazz fusion albums. Artwork created by Tokio Aoyama, the vibrant color schemes intertwine into deeply interwoven symbols, coalescing to form a powerful story before a single note is even heard. Taking the influence his father, mother and communities of musicians around him, Astral Progressions is a record that summarizes the long lasting power of love through sound. Josef Leimberg is a part of the movement that’s creating new standards in the exploration of jazz and fusion. He is defining himself as a worthy composer and purveyor of the deep musical arts and Astral Progressions is just the beginning.
Strut present the definitive collection of singles released by Sun Ra across his illustrious career, spanning 1952 to 1991. Released prolifically during the 1950s and more sporadically thereafter, primarily on the Saturn label, the 45s offer one-off meteorites from Ras prolific cosmic journey, tracing the development of his forwardthinking Space-Bop and his unique take on jazz and blues traditions. The collection is hugely varied, ranging from Ras spoken word recitations and his early work with Chicago vocal groups to the different phases of his Arkestra, small group and duet recordings. The singles are also unpredictable vehicles for Ras music, combining different tracks from different sessions and occasionally making available music which was recorded many years beforehand. As with his LPs, most 45s were only pressed in small runs and have since become extremely rare and sought after. Only a small handful of copies of Love In Outer Space b/w Mayan Temple and The Blue One b/w Orbitration In Blue have ever been seen; some have only been discovered in physical form in recent years; some were planned and pencilled but allegedly never made it to vinyl (including Saturn and Velvet from the Jazz In Silhouette LP) and some appeared as limited one-off magazine singles and posthumous releases, including Hell #1 aka Out There A Minute. The set is the most comprehensive collection of Ras singles to date. Sleeve note writers Francis Gooding and Paul Griffiths brilliantly illustrate the role of the single within Ras career and break down each release with detailed track by track notes. Working with Sun Ra LLC and Sun Ra archivist Michael D. Anderson, Strut has also assembled the best possible master sources for each track. Singles will be released in various formats across two release dates. All formats feature fully remastered tracks, rare photos, original 45 artwork, Francis Goodings extensive sleeve notes, an interview with Saturn Records founder Alton Abraham by John Corbett and detailed track by track and session notes by Paul Griffiths.
Doxy present a picture disc reissue of Sun Ra & The Blues Project's Batman And Robin, originally released in 1966. This novelty album, released during the height of the Batman And Robin craze, was initially credited to the "The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale" and featured an album full of tracks based on the popular TV show like "The Batman Theme Song", "The Penguin Chase", and "The Batcave". The album is entirely instrumental, except for someone singing "Batmaaaan!" in the theme song. But the interesting thing about this album, and what makes it an absolute cult gem, are the musicians who are behind it all: basically a joint collaboration between Sun Ra's Arkestra and Danny Kalb's Blues Project (one of the first psychedelic rock bands as well as one of the world's first jam bands). "Dan and Dale" were actually blues guitarist Danny Kalb and Steve Katz (later of Blood, Sweat And Tears) on dueling guitars, while Sun Ra and Al Kooper take over organ duties (a Hammond B-3) and members of Ra's Arkestra play sax.
Doxy present a picture disc reissue of John Coltrane's Blue Train, originally released in 1957. Blue Train is Coltrane's third session as a leader and one of the most iconic jazz albums of all-time. Featuring Curtis Fuller, Lee Morgan, Paul Chambers, Kenny Drew, and Philly "Joe" Jones, this is an absolutely essential jazz album and the title track is one of the most celebrated in jazz history, maybe matched only in recognition by Miles Davis's "So What" or Dave Brubeck's "Take Five".
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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.
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