Alsarah & The Nubatones are back! After the release of their first album, Silt, the band embarked on an an intense travel schedule that saw the band tour Australia, play a headline slot at WOMAD, sell out their London debut as well as a marquee slot at NYC’s world famous Apollo theatre. After an extended sabbatical in Morroco, their sophmore album Manara was given birth, showcasing a new intimacy in the creative process for the group. Having suffered the loss of former Oud player Haig Manoukian to a long battle with cancer shortly after the release of the debut Alsarah & The Nubatones spent the past 2 years touring, growing closer and shaping their sound with the two new members - Brandon Terzic (Oud) and Nahid (additional vocals). Banded together with stories of movement and migration in the face of the current anti-immigrant global atmosphere, they delved deeper into defining the sound they have coined as “East African Retropop”, rooted in the silt of Sudan and Nubia, and further inspired by the eastern coast of Africa and the diversity of its sounds and migration patterns. The questions, “What is home?” and “What does it sound like?” lie at the crux of the creation of Manara. As Alsarah explains “Sometimes we leave home willingly, sometimes we are forced out, sometimes we plan to go back, and sometimes we don’t know if we will ever see our loved ones again. But one thing we always know is that we don’t want to forget, or be forgotten. As the sea takes us, Manara is the lighthouse anchoring our journey, and the keeper of our secrets. Not a destination, but rather a marker along the way.” This album represents leap forward and a deeper maturation of the Nubatones' sound. In the digital age of the single mp3 download, Menara was made to be listened to from beginning to end, as it weaves through various interludes and songs in the vein of classic albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, and Musicology.
After 20 years behind the decks and 10 years making music with friends and family, Wonderwheel Recordings labelhead DJ Nickodemus presents Wonderworld: 10 Years of Painting Outside The Lines, a special musical retrospective and mix put together by Nickodemus himself reflecting the best of his own original material and remixes from his three albums Endangered Species, Sun People, and Moon People.The music is a perfect reflection of Nickodemus' globetrotting, culture-bending style...sunny Latin beats get mixed up with Dub, House, AfroBeat, Deeper Electronic sounds, and Funk.
The next volume of Wonderwheel's long running Turntables on the Hudson series, curated by Nickodemus, heads down to the Caribbean encompassing diverse music made for the dancefloor. TOTC touches on the culturally rich shores of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, Belize, Mexico, Colombia and the USA and beyond with Island inspired vibes. This double 7" taken with our favorite cuts from the compilation features tracks from DJ Jigoe, Captain Planet feat Chico Mann, Corrado Bucci, and Poirier. On the A side, Afro Cuban artist and recent US & UK Press Darling DJ Jigue gives us the stripped down, Cuban house stomper that is "RIVE", while on the B side Italian producer Corrado Bucci teams up with the classic Columbian group Los Corraleros de Majaguel for a brand new modern take on their Cumbia classic "La Cuidad De Eterna Primavera". On the C side, Captain Planet & Chico Mann's tropical AfroLatin dancefloor smash "Aguacero" finally sees vinyl release, while on the D side, Montreal producer Poirier delivers a jumping Haitian/Creole tune "Pale Mal" with Fwonte on vocals to round out the compilation.
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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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