Record Label: Redefinition Records
One year since releasing his Redefinition Records debut (Deja Vu), Seattle’s young beat smith is back with his latest effort entitled D-1000, his first full instrumental album in over 4 years. Much of his work has come via collaborations with artists such as Roc Marciano, One Be Lo, Blu, Oddisee, yU, Damu the Fudgemunk, The Artifacts and Black Milk. On this particular project, Def Dee is (mostly) letting the music do the talking. With praises from Oh No and cosigns from El Da Sensei, peers and listeners alike agree that Def Dee is one of the most talented and refreshing beat makers to emerge in the last five years.
Is he a man or a machine? Maybe both. Dee produces, mixes, performs all scratching and even MCs on occasion. On D-1000, he assembled a potent collection of instrumental pieces that let the unique identity of his sound expand without vocal obstructions. If you appreciate the vibes coming from Los Angeles, Detroit, the DMV and Germany, this album hosts the flag for Seattle, Washington. Fusing samples, live instrumentation, boom bap to off-beat and unquantized sequencing, experimental, atonal and melodic textures, D-1000 defines growth that many artists strive for.
Conceptually, fans of the the Terminator franchise will notice homage through title and cover art. According to Def Dee, “Terminator 1 and 2 are some of my favorite movies, Terminator 2 specifically. I know... It’s a weird concept, but in this album you will hear references to both Terminators. When coming up with the album title I felt that this album had a very “metal” sound to it. Not in the sense of rock, but moreso just metal-ish. Combine the metal tones with the smooth swing of the beats it felt more like liquid metal. The title D-1000 is based on the T-1000 which was a machine made of mimetic poly alloy (liquid metal) sent back in time to kill the leader of the human resistance. The D-1000 is a man turned machine to create beats to potentially kill the machines (software ran music industry) to save the human resistance (vinyl sampling, drum machine hardware) straight off the MPC 2000xl. D-1000 has the ability to have swing, therefore being liquid metal. It was exciting to me and I hope you can hear that through the beats. This is an idea I’d like to build on and it could potentially be the first tape in an installment.”
This album offers the complete listening experience as an instrumental project, but includes bonus tracks featuring Dee’s hometown counterparts and an appearance from Los Angeles’ Blu on an exclusive remix of “Illest in Charge.”
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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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