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The borders between London's musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat has shaped a self-taught, UK-tipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre's long-running to-and-fro with hip hop from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the bass-saturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London. Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of '70s jazz-funk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it's a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes and approach to playing are indebted to Thelonious Monk's piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham. "It's all about the drums and the keys," Williams says. "Not to take anything from anyone else, but that's where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums." Born out of a one-off live session to perform Williams' solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the stage. Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. "It's not so much about complete arrangement, it's more about flow," Dayes says. "A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously Henry will be playing two chords, I'll fill in the groove and we'll just leave the arrangement naturally." Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmically-inclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years has made waves with his solo, synth-draped house 12"s for much-fted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section.
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Mondo is excited to unveil the soundtrack for Marvel’s Luke Cage, the Netflix original series, with collectible artwork of the bulletproof hero by Matthew Woodson. Composers Adrian Younge (Something About April) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest) have combined forces to produce one of the best scores of 2016 featuring an inspired, genre-bending blend of orchestral score and 90s hip-hop beats, filtered through the sonic lens of the works of Ennio Morricone. It’s no surprise that the score hovers in the same terrain of the Spaghetti Westerns soundtracks of Morricone – the narrative of Luke Cage plays out like a modern Western, only set in Harlem. Muhammad and Younge have meticulously crafted one of the most unique sonic landscapes in the history of television. “We sought to create a score that reflects the world of Luke Cage. We see this world as a place where classic cinema meets classic Hip Hop,” said composers Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge.
Introducing: Johnny! Ghanaian Afro-Rock from German producer/composer JJ Whitefield and an international cast of top-shelf musicians. Limited to 1000. Whitefield, who in the early ‘90s revived the gritty, analogue Funk sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s with his Poets Of Rhythm, has been working with Now-Again Records for almost a decade, releasing a flock of acclaimed projects with Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Whitefield Brothers, Rodinia and the Original Raw Soul anthology. He first started exploring African rhythms with the Whitefield Brothers in the late ‘90s, continuing in the ‘00s with Karl Hector & The Malcouns. He’s been instrumental in launching Ghanaian Afro Beat/Funk legend Ebo Taylor´s international career, decades after the maestro recorded the landmark albums that have inspired thousands. Whitefield recorded two new studio albums with Taylor and toured in his band between 2009 and 2013, where he met Taylor’s son Henry and percussionist/Singer Eric Owusu. The trio now front the Johnny! band and find inspiration not only in Ghana’s hypnotic grooves, but also the full frontal fuzz guitar assault heard on the legion of 70s Zambian Zamrock albums recently reissued by Now-Again. Indeed, Whitefield credits his tours with Zamrock godfathers Rikki Ililonga and WITCH’s Jagari Chanda as instrumental in creating the Johnny’s sonic backdrop. The band is rounded out by Turkish drummer Bernd Oezsevim (Woima Collective, Rodinia) and Indonesian bassist/multi instrumentalist Tomi Simatupang (Whitefield Brothers). This is Dance Rock at the core with the possibilities to stretch out and go into psychedelic realms. The results, spread out over three 7” singles and pressed in a run of 1000 units each, speak for themselves. Every record comes with a download card for WAV files of all six tracks (vocals and instrumentals from each release) and point at a new direction for the music inspired by the Great Continent. One that takes a direction once mocked as derivative and asserts its importance on the globe’s current musical stage.
Lady Wray’s newest full-length, Queen Alone is a showcase of Nicole Wray’s inarguable vocal talent. Behind that talent is a musical force deserving of its own recognition. And that’s where the spotlight shines on this release, Queen Alone Instrumentals. The record was written and recorded in 10 days at the legendary Diamond Mine Studios, in Queens NY with Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck handling production. Michels and Brenneck are both multi-instrumentalist. Leon Michels contributes his talents on keys, guitar, sax, flute as well as drums and percussion throughout the project. Brenneck handles guitars and bass as well as percussion. Additional contributions from Nick Movshon, Homer Steinweiss, Dave Guy, Max Shrager, and more help to create a sonic landscape that’s a perfect complement to Wray’s vocal prowess...and also stand as a monumental work all its own. Almost echoing her new record, Nicole says, “You have to go through something for it to be real.” She has been living with one foot in fame and the other in real life. The result is clear: she’s feeling something real in her music again. In no small part due to the incomparable talent and musicianship assembled by Michels and Brenneck for the Queen Alone sessions.
Back In Print For The First Time In Over 20 Years! Some have made the claim that Get On Down may love James Brown just a little too much. To which the label replies, it’s not possible to love James Brown too much. The label’s welcome obsession with Mr. Brown and the incredible line-up of talent found on his People Record imprint continues with the reissue of Funky People Part 1. Long out of print on vinyl, Funky People Part 1 features the top tier of artists from Brown’s People Records label, including The J.B.’s, Lyn Collins, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Some of the James Brown organizations all-time best material is collected here, including The J.B.’s “Pass The Peas” and “Hot Pants Road”, Fred Wesley’s in your face politics through funk statement “Damn Right, I Am Somebody”, Lyn Collins smash hit “Think (About It)” and many more. Newcomers and diehard fans alike continue to dig into the James Brown and People Records vaults, and the more they do so, the more they realize that it’s a nearly never ending source of truly next-level funk and soul music. And you can be sure this aural goodness will keep flowing to the public, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Get On Down.
Get On Down is very proud to announce an LP reissue of one of the West Coast’s most revered, yet underrated, hip-hop classics: The D.O.C.’s No One Can Do It Better. Produced entirely by Dr. Dre and out of print on vinyl in the U.S. for 25 years, this limited edition on black vinyl features original album artwork and thirteen tracks of rap heaven. When his debut album hit in mid-1989, The D.O.C. was in the vortex of the biggest hip-hop happening on the planet: the rise and rule of N.W.A. The group’s breakout album Straight Outta Compton had hit one year prior and had created both controversy and worldwide critical acclaim. As rap history buffs and industry insiders know, the D.O.C. was a crucial behind-the-scenes member of the N.W.A. inner circle – his most important role in the early days of the group, besides his close working relationship with Dr. Dre, was writing many of Eazy-E’s rhymes, including his hit 1988 single “We Want Eazy.” But The D.O.C. wasn’t in N.W.A. and never wanted to be – he was his own man, with his own vision. And after Compton proceeded to blow up (much like Eazy’s 1988 LP, Eazy-Duz-It), the next crew album was No One Can Do It Better. Significantly, it was the first album where Dr. Dre showed his greatness as a solo producer for one MC. And the Dallas-born D.O.C. lived up to the challenge of Dre’s funky, expertly-produced tracks by bringing his A-game on the mic. Boasting four singles – “The D.O.C. and the Doctor”; “Mind Blowin’”; the smash “It’s Funky Enough”; and “The Formula” – the album is flawless from beginning to end. Of particular note beyond the singles is “The Grand Finale,” which was the last time that Ice Cube, M.C. Ren and Eazy-E would rhyme on a track together. Skillfully rhyming over both fast and slow tracks, The D.O.C. showed on this amazing record that he was one of hip-hop’s most talented MCs, especially on the West Coast scene. He nearly died in a horrific car crash as the album was catching fire in the late summer of 1989, but he survived and continues to make new music and act as a sounding board for Dr. Dre to this day.
Super Tight…is the second album from Hip-Hop legends UGK, originally released in 1994. The title of the album is taken from its stand out single “Front, Back & Side to Side”. Bun B and Pimp C (R.I.P.) were already on fire from their debut album a few years prior but they perfected the Southern Playa sound with this record. At the time of its release Super Tight...was only issued on Cassette and CD so it’s a must for fans and collectors to grab the vinyl now that it’s available for the very first time. The album kicks off with “Return”, which after a few snare hits and the bluster of Pimp C’s voice it is clear to the world - the underground kings are back. Countless tracks like “Three Sixteens” (featuring DJ DMD), “Stoned Junkee”, “It’s Supposed to Bubble”, “I Left It Wet for You” and the previously mentioned “Front, Back, & Side To Side” all perfectly showcase the chemistry between Bun B & Pimp C over deep southern funk grooves. The production on this album is stellar, all bass heavy and features Meters lead guitarist Leo Nocentelli. Like their debut album Too Hard to Swallow Bun B and Pimp C were ahead of the game, and with Super Tight...they perfected it.
Black Milk and Nat Turner return with Sunday Outtakes, a 7" vinyl release consisting of 5 tracks created during a week-long jam session - the same jam session that produced the acclaimed instrumental album The Rebellion Sessions.
Limited to 1000 on blue vinyl! Over two decades later, KRS One’s debut solo album Return of the Boom Bap finally gets the reissue it deserves. Pressed for the first time on color vinyl, this double LP not only includes a bonus 7” of Kenny Parker remixes, but also features the first-ever color sleeve on a U.S. pressing. Stripping away the intricate production of the final Boogie Down Productions album, Sex and Violence, Return of the Boom Bap saw the already iconoclastic rapper return to the bare bones, gritty territory of his landmark masterpiece Criminal Minded. KRS-One’s delivery, burned with a reinvigorated fury, spits out his rhymes with pummeling cadences and world-wise intelligence. Although the record isn't as focused on social activism and political protest as the latter Boogie Down albums, KRS-One never made his lyrics simplistic, nor did he turn his back on what could now be called prescient social commentary. The combination of raw beats and emotion-driven rhymes made Return of the Boom Bap a genuine comeback for KRS-One, one of the founding figures of modern hip-hop.
Finally back in print, this time as a picture disc. For newcomers, Public Assembly is the full course introduction into Damu's unique catalog of expertly composed instrumental music. For those who have been on board over the years, this special collection connects the dots in one sitting.
7" release featuring the previously unreleased "Can't Nobody" featuring K-Maxx on vocals and a remix of "Gotta Get Out" not released on The Pendletons "Gotta Get Out" EP.
Following the release of his limited-edition "Boomerang" EP and his cassette-only album "Special Request," Diamond Ortiz brings you his first full-length LP, "Loveline." His heavy, bounce-laden style carries the album from start to finish, cementing him as California's heir apparent to the gutter synth funk sound which originated from Ohio and found an adopted home out west, where it fit perfectly with the cultures of lowriding and popping/locking. Diamond Ortiz proves on "Loveline," as he has with all of his past efforts, that the sound he is a proponent of is not simply "retro" or "old school" - it has a place in the modern day pantheon of electronic music.
Los Angeles hip hop group The Kleenrz (Self Jupiter of Freestyle Fellowship and Kenny Segal of TeamSupreme) are back with their sophomore release Season Two. The Kleenrzs have put together another record that falls in the dark film noir setting of their debut, constructed with an uncompromising lens over Los Angeles culture. The Kleenrz will release Season Two on vinyl and digital formats June 10th with The Order Label and there’s a lot in store. Season Two picks up right where their debut ended, splashing fresh paint on the canvas and heating things up through raw lyricism and organic production. 12 new episodes full of blood, mystery, and mayhem, served with the freshest of hip hop styles you can find from this era. Described by The Kleenrz themselves, “Season Two is left coast, Southern, dark, messy, beautiful, inventive, cool, fun and frothy. However, as always with our music, there’s always nuggets of truths wrapped in with horror that reflects what we see and hear everyday.” The lyrical storylines on Season Two were solely written under the guise of Self Jupiter. Kenny Segal lays down creatively disturbing sample interludes, dynamic multi-instrumentalism and head nodding snare and kick drum. It’s all formulated under a lush scheme of cohesion between the two that touches every corner of hip hop and builds on the creative luminance of their first venture. Features on Season Two bring together many roots of LA music culture, including Busdriver, Myka 9, Penthouse Penthouse, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, D-Styles, Sach, Abstract Rude, AWOL One, Grouch, and Eligh. Everyone featured brought their uniqueness to the LP, adding to The Kleenrz legacy in the most proper of ways. Season Two is absolute heat from Self Jupiter and Kenny Segal, imaginatively weaving some of the darkest corridors of society together and giving it a new world to thrive in.
Justice’s new album “Woman” is a journey that catapults you from the elastic R&B pop of “Pleasure” straight into the rush of “Alakazam!”. Twirls through a dazzling bout of thumping electronic piano and clavinet sparring during “Fire”’s dancefloor peacocking, barely pausing for breath before it lands at “Stop” - a sparkling, bittersweet slice of disco pop that boasts one of the best chorus the pair have ever had on a track. “Randy” has a melody Michael McDonald would have killed a fellow Doobie Brother for (if Michael McDonald was into gut-shuddering electro that is). “Love S.O.S”, meanwhile, sounds like the greatest disco anthem you’ve never heard.
The labels Vinyl Digital & WSP (Wortsport) are proud to present the German Hip Hop live band of the year - Tribes of Jizu! After touring through Germany with the Loop Sessions & also by playing at the biggest Hip Hop Festival, the Splash, it was just about time to release their music on Vinyl. Features come from Juju Rogers & Teknical Development (Man of Booom), Dexter & Brenk (Betty Ford Boys), Maniac and many more...
Two Modern Soul Masterpieces faithfully restored from the Master Tapes. Family Groove pairs these solid dancers by The Pretenders back to back on 7” vinyl. Whether it be the roaring Funk Bass intro of 'It’s Everything About You' or the Sultry Jazz vocals of Madam Pat Tandy on 'Just Be Yourself’' that suits you; it’s no wonder the original Carnival label pressings of both tunes are in big demand.
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Musical polymath Mark de Clive-Lowe seems an impossibility at first sight -juggling piano, synths, live sampling and beat making on-the-fly, all brought to lifewith a casual ease that’s mind-boggling. The half-Japanese New Zealander hascalled LA home for almost 8 years now and his acclaimed club night CHURCH hastaken his brand of electronic and beat-infused jazz from coast to coast and aroundthe globe. Equal parts jazz musician, DJ and production wizard, MdCL’s sets are atreat for the dancers, the listeners, the progressives and the purists alike, as hecasually erases the lines between genres and eras. Armed with a crateful of classics from Blue Note Records’ genre-defining years,Mark de Clive-Lowe has created a live-remix mixtape weaving from jazz to hip hopclassics, to underground house and broken beat. Recorded and improvised live inone take, MdCL deploys his drum machine, sample pads, rhodes and keyboardson-the-fly bringing unique perspective to moments created decades earlier by thelikes of Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, and Donald Byrd. From reminiscingsamples that we fell in love with through A Tribe Called Quest and J Dilla, toreimagining sax great Joe Henderson riding a broken-afro electronic frenzy, MdCLpaints his own vision of what Blue Note means to him.
The Content Label, Los Angeles’s ‘experiential’ hip hop imprint, rarely signs an artist based on a demo, but an impressive delivery from Japan recently broke the trend. Recorded by Salty – AKA Tokyo-based producer / videographer Naoya Ninomiya – the demo arrived as a nearly complete object, ready for dissemination to the global hip-hop headz-space. The songs have been mastered by legendary Japanese hip-hop studio engineer ‘The Anticipation Illicit’ Tsuboi and, with Dday One acting as executive producer it is now ready to be unveiled as the thirteen track album Camera. It’s a fantastic audio journey that gives a glimpse into Japanese beat-making prowess while sitting proudly within the instrumental hip hop echelon. With Camera, Salty showcases a diverse set of styles and an acumen for rhythmic patterns and tone, developed through his years of crate-digging and experimentation. And there are many moments to claim as highlights … “Remonoganac” with its gentle piano, atmospheric textures, and tough beats; the laid-back hip hop funk and scratches of “ADSL”; the smoky downtempo vibe of “The Sea Came At Midnight” is reminiscent of sounds of classic Dj Krush; and “Melting In The Dark” with its cinematic layers and haunting vocal. These all qualify for honors, among other possible choices. With Camera, a compelling portrait of Salty as a rising star on the beat-making scene has emerged and The Content Label is on the case.
Shlohmo fans have been aching for new material from the Bad Vibes era since the seminal albums release and while he has since diversified his approach theres no denying the transcendent magic of the Los Angeles-based artists early work. Bad Vibes 5th Anniversary Edition is a celebration of one of our generations most adored producers, extrapolating on the twisted warmth of his seminal works in remarkable fashion. The 3xLP anniversary package include the original gatefold Bad Vibes 2xLP, plus a brand new 12 comprised of b-sides, demos and outtakes from the albums progenitive sessions, bound together by a custom Bad Vibes O-card. Having collaborated with the likes of Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Lil Yachty, How To Dress Well and Banks in the years since Bad Vibes, these unreleased tracks recall a simpler, more intimate time in Shlohmos career and whether its the live mix of Seriously or the temporally defined 11_9_10 Asleep On The 22 that bridges the gap for you, these tracks will surely make waves for fans past, present and future.
Shlohmo fans have been aching for new material from the Bad Vibes era since the seminal albums release and while he has since diversified his approach theres no denying the transcendent magic of the Los Angeles-based artists early work. Comprised of b-sides, demos and outtakes from the albums progenitive sessions, Bad Vibes: Rarities + Extras is a nine track journey into the mind of one of our generations most adored producers, extrapolating on the twisted warmth of his seminal works in remarkable fashion. Having collaborated with the likes of Jeremih, Tory Lanez, Lil Yachty, How To Dress Well and Banks in the years since Bad Vibes, these tracks recall a simpler, more intimate time in Shlohmos career and whether its the live mix of Seriously or the temporally defined 11_9_10 Asleep On The 22 that bridges the gap for you, these tracks will surely make waves for fans past, present and future.
All time best selling instrumental album, back in print as a high quality 2LP collection. A lot of music enthusiasts consider How It Should Sound to be one of the greatest instrumental albums ever. Originally released in April 2010, ""HISS"" is the perfect introduction to the timeless music of Washington DC's uber talented composer/arranger, Damu The Fugemunk. “I just want to do hip-hop the way I hear it in my head. It’s about a mood and what records I find: I love digging and finding things that I want people to hear. That’s the beauty of this art form to me. I have a bit of every great producer rolled into me and it’s their approach to manipulating drum breaks and samples that really opened up my ear. I really don’t consider my sound a throwback; I consider it a method of production, a distinct approach to making music.” - Damu The Fudgemunk (2010) Redefinition Records is proud to present these timeless instrumentals from Washington D.C.’s finest, Damu The Fudgemunk. Produced mostly between 2004 and 2007, ""How It Should Sound"" brings together archived material that as yet has only existed on floppy disks stacked in between an oft-frequented MPC and an ever-expanding library of vintage vinyl. Don’t get it twisted though: What you now have in your possession is far more than a collection of sketches. HISS represent a body of lovingly crafted material that bears all the hallmarks of Damu’s signature aesthetic. Crunchy drums bolster intricately woven narratives of soul-infused samples in compositions that thump and groove all at the same time. Horns appear from nowhere before dissolving sumptuously into the mix. Layers are steadily unveiled only to gradually fold back in on themselves. But hey, you knew that already, right? Welcome. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is how it should sound.
Syrupy Instrumental Electro-Funk full-length from Devonwho on Leaving Records featuing vocal contributions from Zackey Force Funk, I, CED, andn Pink Siifu.
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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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