Welcome to the psychedelic strip club. Demon Queen aren't just the architects, they're the clients too. Their Exorcise Tape is sleazy, filthy, and violently funky. The liquor is cold, the entertainment gets low, the Pioneer speakers are broken, and the light is dim but somehow blinding. Demon Queen is the union of Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow and Zackey Force Funk. Trading files between Pittsburgh and Tucson, the pair hatched a fittingly demonic and willfully fresh sound. Every new group tries to claim they belong to no genre, but it's impossible to neatly categorize Exorcise Tape in your iTunes library. It's part hip-hop, part aerobic neon funk, part f****d up experimental fusion, and part Prince. "I just had a major breakup with an ex and the strip club near me was taken over by a graffiti writer friend of mine, so I was spending a lot of time there. It's famous in Tucson. People were shot there. Police busted it for prostitution. It's cleaned up a little," Zackey Force Funk explains the origins of the project.''The record is really about satanic stripper s*#$, prisons, and the strip on 29th street in Tucson." Titles are vivid and tawdry. "Lamborghini Meltdown" sounds like it was recorded to soundtrack a rack city ritual following a sports car being stripped for parts and sold to finance a forgotten weekend. "El Camino" flips some bars from N.W.A and transplants them on an old school chassis, cruising the strip with hydraulics and cheap hemp. "I got a lot of people pushing me to work with rappers, but you can imagine what that's gonna sound like before it happens and that makes me A.D.D out. Zackey was the cure for my ADD," says Tobacco, who produced the entirety of the record. "It was the first time I forced myself to step back a little, but it was maybe the easiest album I've been a part of. It just flowed." If you've listened to his solo work or Black Moth Super Rainbow's scarred pop, you know that Tobacco could never make a straight forward rap record. Demon Queen has more in common with Beck of Mellow Gold and Midnite Vultures or Gonjasufi and the Gasiamp Killer's guillotine croons. Zackey Force Funk alternates between eerie falsettos and murmured come-ons. It could be the permanent soundtrack for Suicide Girls or OGs raised on Zapp and Roger. Other rappers come up for nose bone-cracking backup, including Zackey's Machina Muerte crew mates, Isaiah Toothtaker, Chuck Steaks, and N8NOFACE. The drums are gritty, the synthesizers glow like spiked punch, and the raps are rugged. Best listened to while sweating out evil spirits or sins. Remember to tip.
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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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