Anxiety is the full-length follow up to Autre Ne Veut's 2010 s/t debut. The influences range from David Byrne to Lee Scratch Perry, Laurie Anderson & Annie Lennox to Katy Perry & Rihanna. ANV's primary influence is karaoke- the solitary person singing along with their favorite song. In karaoke we get to be someone bigger than who we usually are. There are club bangers on Anxiety, for sure; "Counting" a cybernetic sea shanty tips its hat to Timbaland, and opening track "Play By Play" rolls out like a slowly evolving Top 40 operetta with nods to Dr. Luke and Patti LaBelle in equal measure.
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Onehotrix Point Never is Daniel Lopatin, a U.S. native whose work has brought him to the forefront of the modern electronic composition scene. Though Lopatin's rise felt meteoric following his 2009 double album anthology Rifts and its 2010 follow-up Returnal, his love of polyphonic synthesizers dates back to childhood jam sessions with his father's Roland Juno-60. Replica is an electronic song cycle based around audio procured from TV ad compilations. These sample-based meditations are as lyrical as they are ecological, featuring re-purposed "ghost vocals" which serve as narration for Lopatin's signature amorphous, ambient passages. Lopatin's Juno-60 is still prominent, but Returnal's placid, synthetic surroundings are accelerated through darker, more unpredictable terrains via Lopatin's use of samplers, analog filtering, tape-op, piano, plate reverb and sub-bass. The result is a heightened sense of music as part and parcel of an overall sonic terrain.
A narrative of an imagined alien colony existing between the fabric of known / unknown worlds, Thug Entrancer’s Arcology explores high tech / low life society, mechanical structures, and data-driven humanity. Though Arcology was conceived in a similar improvisational womb as Ryan McRyhew’s debut, the new album moves subtly from the free-form footworkouts of Death After Life with an expanded palette vibrating brightly with melodic deployment. “Curaga” and “Exo-Memory” triumph over established 303 / 808 interplay with uplifting melodies – ear-worms from outer space; “Bronze” pumps dub-tectonics within a minimalist reduction of Death After Life’s modus operandi. Lighter than most of McRyhew’s output, album interludes “Low-Life”, “VR-Urge” and the finale, “Xeno”, beam satellite ballads through alien atmospheres. McRyhew did not sculpt Arcology’s universe alone. Oliver Chapoy (Certain Creatures, Black Rain) worked on the final mixes to elevate Arcology’s mix out of the isolation inherent to the home recording processes. Another crucial partner in creating the Arcology universe is Milton Melvin Croissant III. MMCIII designed Arcology’s artwork, live visuals and forthcoming video pieces, the offspring of an expansive collaboration and a lifelong friendship between the two Coloradans. At the outset of recording, McRyhew and MMCIII spoke at length on the theme of world building: “What interests us the most in science fiction, or what we find makes the genre successful, is the ability to construct a new universe, culture, and environment,” notes Croissant III. “World-building is something we strive for individually in each of our creative practices. The ultimate goal of this collaboration is to use the music of Arcology as a framework to create a universe.”“The album title stems from the idea of a structure or object that is entirely self-sufficient and life-generating with little to no outside influence,” notes McRyhew. Disrupting this notion by said collaborations, McRyhew, “…was aware that the record was created in isolation… but I really wanted Arcology to have a universal reach.”Thug Entrancer’s new odyssey expands on DAL’s themes of isolation and displacement by envisioning how similar emotions would play out in a fantastical environment. Arcology scores a VR addict’s routine or a sleepless night in a still-suit, a suite of anthems for the sci-fi lover and dystopian dreamer.
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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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