Limited to 1000 copies! Born and ‘raised’ in the ghettos of Los Angeles, gangsta rap emerged in the late 80s with the first albums from Ice T, NWA and Eazy E. If the lyrics were the reflection of afro-american economic and social life style (drugs, unemployment, police violence...), gangster life was also largely described. The original tracks sampled & selected by the producers were essentially ‘70s Soul music.
Adrian Younge calls The Electronique Void an academic album, by which he means it is both instructional and informational. The science of love, its formulas and if-then constraints, causal relationships and observable properties, is best taught experientially, but learning it hurts so, so bad. Music, especially electronic music, reliant as it is on abstraction and unrepentant as it is about hijacking your physiological responses to tempo and rhythm and dynamics, is a way to get there without going through it. Electronic music as practiced and developed by pioneers like Dick Hyman and Raymond Scott and Wendy Carlos is precise and intentional. In making his first electronic album, Younge took his cues from them, reminding a contemporary audience what a synthesizer, deep in its heart, really could be. This study of how music crafted with synthesizers can tap into raw human emotion is sure to excite long-time fans of Younge as well as devotees of electronic music. Adrian Younge now presents what is sure to be one of his most sought after instrumental releases, The Electronique Void: Black Noise Instrumentals..
Multi-platinum hip-hop group Cypress Hill teamed up with Get On Down to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1991 debut with a limited-edition “25th Anniversary Smokey Swirl” Vinyl reissue. Cypress Hill’s self-titled debut album was hard as nails, with very few pop concessions. There was humor, but it was laced by cackling, homicidal sneering. Not well known outside of the hardcore hip-hop scene at first, faces of the three group members weren’t usually shown clearly in press photos; they preferred the shadows. As their first singles began hitting the airwaves and record racks, the press and music fans started to take notice. From the opening notes of the group’s first single, “The Phuncky Feel One,” to deeper album cuts like “Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk” and “Tres Equis,” it was clear that Cypress Hill was something different. And very, very dope. The world Cypress Hill espoused was gang-ridden and far from cheery, but they managed to laugh through the pain. Lead rapper B-Real took each fuzzed-out, rock-hard DJ Muggs beat as a challenge, jumping around it like a spark off a joint as it makes its way to the concrete. MC Sen Dog always had B-Real’s back, to bring intensity and a no-bullshit gruffness that made the group both menacing and unpredictable. When they introduced percussionist Eric Bobo to the mix in the early 90s, it brought new dimension to the band, making their live performances one of the most unique and accomplished shows in hip-hop. Journalist and author Chris Faraone highlights the group’s relationship in the reissue’s liner notes (which is included only in limited edition Skull) saying, “[By the late ‘80s] the undisputed Cypress unit finally formed. B and Sen realized that their diametric styles - the latter’s deep wrangle, the former’s inimitable high notes - complemented one another righteously. By then Muggs had bangers in the bag, as well as industry experience from a jaunt with the New York duo 7A3. B and Sen waited while Muggs messed with 7A3, and in that time began to build the blueprint for their raucous and weeded no-holds-barred style. Besides getting schooled on industry pitfalls, Muggs had also grown into hip-hop’s most formidable young producer, while straddling the bi-coastal gap.” Cypress Hill’s debut went gold by the end of 1991 and has since pushed past double platinum status, making it the first album for a Latino-American hip hop group to do so. The album received raves from the likes of Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, saw a #1 Hot Rap Single with the release of “The Phuncky One” and helped the band win Artist Of The Year at the 1992 Source Awards. After 25 years, it should come as no surprise that Cypress Hill is a cornerstone of the group’s live set to this day.
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A tribute to Kid Frost and El Chicano (featuring El Dusty, Mellow Man Ace, Niña Dioz, Mexstep, Kool AD, Amaze 88). Austin-based Grammy-nominated psychedelic latin funk band Brownout debuted their remake/tribute to Kid Frost’s 25 year old Latin pride hip-hop classic “La Raza,” digitally via NPR last year. Now, after many calls for a physical release, on Oct. 10th, 2016 or Dia De La Raza, Brownout adds to the celebration of the heritage of Latin America and cultural heritage by releasing this limited run 45. Brownout are no strangers to hip hop, having backed GZA (Wu-Tang Clan) regularly, being DJ/tastemaker favorites and veterans of the international B-Boy battle scene, performing live at many battles over the last ten years. After knocking out a live reworking of the song, which contains a famous sample of El Chicano’s “Viva Tirado,” the band called on their peers and heroes alike. Mellow Man Ace, the legendary Cuban American rapper best known for his 1989 hit “Mentirosa” was the first collaborator for the tune. “Mellow was my very first concert as a kid in Laredo, TX” says song producer Adrian Quesada, “so for him to jump on board quickly sparked the fire.” Others include DJ Dus (aka El Dusty) and Mexstep of the group Third Root representing the South Texas Chicano experience, Niña Dioz, an explosive female MC from Monterrey, Mexico, Afro-Cuban MC Kool AD (Das Racist) and his DJ, the Chicago born Amaze 88. The coming together of multiple races and cultures is more important now than ever in today’s increasingly divided political climate and Brownout’s version of “La Raza” pays homage to the past, keeping one foot firmly planted while putting their sincere and creative stamp on visioning a more united future. The flipside is an instrumental original that, as the title teases, has some Arab flare. The recipe for this cut seems to blend a dash of Cairo Jazz Band with and a pinch of desert-psych funk groove, in turn creating a full, slow-burning groove that is sure to mellow and get heads nodding.
YES LAWD! As temping as it may be to just let that exclamation suffice as your sole introduction to NxWorries, we should go a little deeper. The men at the heart of this LP — soul styler Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge — make an exceedingly clean pair, even as they deal almost entirely in the gritty: vocals that sound lived in for a couple of lifetimes; beats that kick up dust as they bump; and an 18-track set that plays like a mixtape merging skits, songs, and snippets into a package of fluid groove and rough-cut rap ‘n’ soul gems. You may have heard these two out in the world, on their own or sprinkling some of their musical gold dust on someone else’s songs, but this is what happens when .Paak and Knx get home, lay back, light up, and let it go. If there’s a Blaxploitation vibe to Yes Lawd!, that’s just the depth of NxWorries’ funk and strut showing. If there’s gospel in the grits, that’s the history of the cooks. Each grew up with religion. It was Knxwledge’s job to tidy up the family church in Jersey as a kid, and when he was done, he got to play on the instruments. Better still, when those instruments went bad, he kept them. Similarly, he’d soon find sounds in his growing vinyl cache, and when he moved to Los Angeles in 2008 as a beat maker, his compositions ensured he’d be home at Stones Throw. His hypnotically dank 2015 LP Hud Dreems was the tip of an iceberg—75 Bandcamp collections, and counting. Paak was neck deep in those songs when Knxwledge reached out. The singer grew up in Oxnard drumming in his own family’s church. His folks got locked up when he was a teen, and while he’d eke by on odd jobs (grocer, trimmer, personal assistant), he was homeless for a spell with a newborn son. But .Paak pushed forward, building a career via imaginative albums (2016’s Malibu), and collaborations that always seem to make him the star, even when he’s just there to sing the hook. On Yes Lawd!, .Paak – who calls the album “my best work” – plays theatrically brash version of himself who sings like a ‘70s superstar and talks shit like a stone cold player. But the perfor-mance is seeded with details from his life, which has seen a fair share of struggle and hardwon triumph. Meanwhile, Knx weaves a tapestry of sampled bits and live fragments—bass, brass and violin—that smooths everything over, reminding us that despite whatever struggle it took to get here... well, you already know the name: NxWorries.
San Diego's own The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is back with their sophomore LP on Colemine Records! Cinematic soul is the order of the day from this west coast group. Covering a lot of soulful territory here: deep funk, soul jazz, breakbeats, and more!
The third volume in the ROAD KILL compilation series from Hit & Run. A curated selection of exclusive beats featuring some of the most notable names in electronic, hip hop and experimental music (Madlib, Kutmah, Teebs & more!). Pressed on a slab of red vinyl with black haze - limited to just 300 copies!
Bayou-born soul sensation, Durand Jones, is bringing his raw energy to Colemine Records with his debut LP. Jones brings you two fiery original soul music, pairing soaring vocal work with dusty drums, slinking guitars and screaming organs. With a stellar background in gospel, Jones got his start in the church, singing in the choir of his hometown in rural Louisiana. When his music career took him to Bloomington, Indiana, he was selected to join the legendary Indiana University Soul Revue, and it was through his involvement that he met writer/producer duo Aaron Frazer and Blake Rhein. The three began writing original soul music, recording themselves straight to tape in the basements of Bloomington- a process which brings you the gritty sounds available on Ohio-based Colemine Records. Sure to satisfy fans of Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, Aloe Blacc, and Leon Bridges.
Hailed as the world’s best club DJ, J Rocc continues to capture music enthusiasts around the globe. In 1992, Jason Jackson, internationally known as J Rocc, launched his vision of forming a DJ crew comprised of talented musicians, by introducing to the world Southern California’s first turntable band - the Beat Junkies. A prized accomplishment enthusiastically received by worldwide audiences, J.Rocc continues to invent musical styles that display his creative expertise. Highly recognized for his funky showcases and original arrangements, J Rocc has clearly distinguished his place in music history.
S.F. Bay Area rap legend Mac Dre presents one more of his alter ego rap voices. ''The Genie of the Lamp'' is the doppelganger of Ronald Dregan, yet they share the same voice and interests, food, fame, females, phat fu, and 'fetti - not necessarily in that order. 14 tracks make up this counterpart to Mac Dre's other election year October release, ''Ronald Dregan - Dreganomics.'' Production by Tone Capone, Mac Dre, Gennessee, Shouman, One Drop Scott, Traxx, Harm, Johah Whale, Syko, Rob-Lo, and others. In a gatefold sleeve with one purple and one clear vinyl in polylined sleeves.
You know him as Al Boo Boo, Mac Drevious, Thizzelle Washington and more. Now he busts out with Ronald Dregan. Running for top office in this election year, the big POTUS (pimp of the U.S.) chants ''Follow me now let me lead the way believe in Dre the American way'' on the Dreganomics track as he rapsodizes the virtues of 22 inch rims, cash and pimpin', campaign and game. 12 solid raps with production by Sean T, Gennessee, Sweet Geez, Lev, Swampkat, THE G.O.V., and Johan Whale. This is just half of a special two album release for October of this election year. It is the complement to ''The Genie of the Lamp.'' In a gatefold sleeve on red & white, blue & white starburst vinyl in polylined sleeves.
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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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