Having recently partnered with Bill Kouligas to relaunch his Lost Codes imprint as Codes, Visionist takes a defining step forward with the release of his PAN debut album, ‘Safe’. The South London artist born Louis Carnell broke during a period of experimentation in UK music when, with the disintegration of the dubstep scene, emerging producers began looking to juke and Chicago house for inspiration. A pair of EPs on Lit City Trax (and a collaboration with Fatima Al Qadiri) in 2013 and ’14 introduced Visionist’s minimalist take on fractured R&B and liquid grime, establishing him as a leading voice in new-wave UK soundsystem culture. On ‘Safe’, Visionist sculpts and extends that signature into new terrain and makes his most personal statement yet. Distilling his influences down to a sparse palette of manipulated folk, pop and R&B acapellas, icy synths, and metallic drum samples, he plays off ever-present anxiety and his own battle not to let it overwhelm him. “Comfort, protection, salvation—this is what we search for,” he says. “We are taught that a life of no worries is better for us, and therefore we try to create one that is ‘Safe.'” But while safe as a musical concept implies conformity, ‘Safe’ as an artistic statement is anything but. At a moment when the UK scene, once known for innovation, has settled into rehashing old tropes, Visionist continues to propel his sound into more experimental territory. The album traces the arc of an anxiety attack, from its onset through to recovery. Following the stately discord of brief opener “You Stayed,” the grimy, ballistic assault of “Victim” sends its targets diving into mirrored corners. “I’ve Said” is a brutal, almost militant advance, its sound cutting in and out as though transmitted via shortwave radio. “Too Careful To Care” trades in skittering paranoia, with the soporific “Sleep Luxury” closing out affairs. Since 2012, Visionist has toured extensively throughout Europe, Unites States and Asia, appearing at industry standard clubs and festivals like Fabric, Berghain, Sonar and Unsound and as well as various underground venues. He has scored music for Kenzo, Liam Hodges and Roxanne Farahmand in the world of fashion, and remixed Kelis, Ghostpoet and Glasser. In 2014, he supported FKA Twigs on her first-ever UK tour.
Reagan VanMatre aka Reaganometry has lived in Texas his whole life. Growing up in Temple, then moving to Austin, he has played in the groups: Attack Formation, BANGAAR and most recently, BOSS EYE as well has honing his own solo production work. He is one of our closest family members and has a ridiculous amount of knowledge when it comes to vinyl. Last time we released a podcast with him, we had Recspec make a video for it. This time we thought we’d make a cassette to go along with this one for those long road trips that you can throw on for hours on repeat. This is the last catalog number from the iNsect Records camp. For IRS-050, Reaganometry has put together an incredible mix on cassette with some of his favorites from the massive vinyl library at his place. His house, an east side dwelling once lived in by a local BBQ kingpin. “Thee Perfect High” is also available as part of our on-going podcast series ‘iNSect Radio”. It is up for free DL with tracklist at insectrecords.org/podcast. This mix on cassette is for promotional use only. Play at a loud volume in a crowded place, to ensure maximum enjoyment. Artwork was made by one of our longtime friends, Kenneth Holland aka Caioneach of Oakland, CA. more info on him atdutchslavetrade.com
It's the highly anticipated return of the legendary hip-hop producer, rapper, actor and songwriter from Long Island. The Green Eyed Bandit will change the culture and image of hip hop again with his new album called E.S.P. or Erick Sermon's Perception. This instant classic is sure to shake the game to its core. Erick produced this album in its entirety and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business to make this album as legendary as he is.
Common's "Resurrection" (with 2 Large Professor Remixes) is the 5th Single from Get On Down’s Jukebox Series. The A-side is the “Extra P” remix of the song and the B-side is the “Large Professor remix”; both produced, of course, by the legendary Large Professor. The song was the title track to Common’s sophomore album, which hit in late 1994 and these two songs have never been released together in this configuration before, on 12-inch or 7-inch. Common (then known as Common Sense) and producer NO I.D. (who produced the album version of the song) had this to say about the song “Resurrection” (taken from Brian Coleman’s book Check the Technique): COMMON: That was one of two singles off the album. I really felt like I was being born again, to people who weren’t familiar with me. I felt like I was coming up from the dead, the dead of not being heard. NO I.D.: That was the second single. We didn’t know that would be the album title at the time we recorded it. We never thought that far ahead. The video for that one was black-and-white, with some projects in there and gang signs. It was definitely the first time that some of the grittier parts of Chicago culture were put into visuals like that. The Jukebox Series features classic hip-hop 12-Inches from the ‘80s and ‘90s, shrunk down to 7-inch size (“big hole” format) and complete with the original 12-inch artwork. None of the releases in the series have ever been officially issued in 7-inch configuration before.
By the time that M.O.P.’s 4th full-length hit in August of 2000, they were true vets in the rap game, with battle scars to prove it. Debuting seven years previous with “How About Some Hardcore?,” the Brownsville, Brooklyn duo of Lil’ Fame and Billy Danze had blazed a heavy path through the underground for the remainder of the decade, never faltering with an aggressive, brassknuckled vocal style, frequently bolstered by DJ Premier’s top-tier backing. Warriorz was a true game-changer for M.O.P., as the album catapulted the pair onto the upper echelons of the rap charts, where they shared real estate with softer and cornier stars of the day. One major reason for the album’s success was the runaway hit “Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory),” produced by D/R Period, who broke them into the game with “Hardcore.” The song – fueled by triumphant horn stabs and a diesel, four-to-the-floor beat – was the perfect mix of hard and catchy, and Fame and Danze flexed over it with finesse. To this day it is used everywhere from movie soundtracks to Sesame Street YouTube videos. “Ante Up” had plenty of high-caliber friends, starting with the album’s two other singles: the strutting, funky “G-Building” and the tense and hardrocked “Cold As Ice” (both produced by the group). Going back, the album lurches into full gear with a hometown anthem, “Welcome To Brownsville,” working down to the Premier-finessed groover, “Follow Instructions.” Further down in the sequence we have features like the piano-freaked “Home Sweet Home” (with Lord Have Mercy) and the mid-tempo, jazzy “Foundation,” which caps the group’s fourth masterpiece. Staying true to their essence, the album flaunts hardest-of-hard Brooklyn bangers from start to finish. In an era where hip-hop was getting more syrupy than Nyquil, M.O.P. proved that they could hit the charts while staying raw. And the album still shines to this day.
In 1989, Hip-Hop was truly bona fide. It had shed the “just a gimmick” tag years before, as it showed not only artistic growth, but serious sales numbers. In short, it was here to stay. After the explosion of Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy in New York and the rise of the West Coast seen in multiplatinum successes by N.W.A. and Ice-T, the music started to truly expand, letting new voices and approaches join the party and make their own waves. One of those was a young man from Brooklyn who went by the name Special Ed. Only 16 when his debut hit shelves (and then quickly flew off them), his age was indeed just a number. Beyond any gimmicks, Ed had serious skills. Fortunately, Ed found his way into the recording studio with fellow Brooklynite, Hitman Howie Tee. Howie had seen some success as part of the group CD III earlier in the 80s, and also did uncredited production on the worldwide smash “Roxanne, Roxanne” by UTFO in 1984. With skills and experience under his belt, he was waiting for his true “big moment.” Ed was the MC that Howie had been waiting for, and together they made history. Once it hit, Howie’s instincts were proved correct – Youngest In Charge was a smash, rocked on radio, in clubs and on boomboxes around the world. It shot up the Billboard 100 and Rap / R&B album charts with ease, and hit Gold status by the late ‘90s, proving the album’s staying power. Even considering the novelty of Ed’s youth, the Youngest In Charge album stands very firmly on its own as a hip-hop classic, the ultimate in late ‘80s New York brag swagger, with hit singles “I Got It Made” and “Think About It,” both which showed off Ed’s battle stances and Howie Tee’s masterful, never-endingly catchy productions. Add to it deeper album cuts that still resonate like “Taxing,” “Fly M.C.” and “I’m The Magnificent” (a later single, in 1990), and it brings you back to a time when hip-hop was all about skills and chemistry. Special Ed and Howie Tee certainly had both, with dopeness to spare.
"Butch Webster aka Butcher Bear aka Sampler & Son aka (iN) label boss, was born in Austin, TX descended from Cajuns. He’s one of the co-founders of the collective, Exploded Drawing, books the club, The North Door and he owns and operates (iN)Sect Records. For his second LP under the Butcher Bear moniker, he has assemble a massive group of guest features, handles vocal duties on a couple songs and assembled a live group to record a few of his songs, as well as producing everything on the record, save for one song produced by Big Legs. The roster for “This is How the Game gets you Played” includes: SelfSays, Muamin Collective, Sir Froderick, Lo Phi, Marc Bianchi (Her Space Holiday), Reaganometry, Graham Reynolds (Golden Arm Trio), Chief & The Doomsday Device, BoomBaptist, AADM OUR HATLEY, Strong Silent Type, Sampler & Son, and Ethan Kennedy (Mother Falcon). Butch goes from boom-bap to new wave to nightmarish house to new territories of sound altogether. His production is steeped in live instrumentation, having played drums/gtr/vox/keys in bands for 20 years, his bastardized sounds and production weave samples and snatched up sounds into a masterpiece of a storyline. The MC’s featured on the album are all people he considers family, each adding their own flavors, while the main theme stays in tact. ‘What are you saving it for? Let the music air out. Breathe Deep. Stay Original.’ ‘Don’t forget, there’s a drought goin’ on, be generous with your creativity.’ – Rich Jacobs For fans of: Polvo, Michael Scheel, Ras G, The Cure, Kutmah, Sonic Youth Artwork by Aaron Guadamuz Heat by Butcher Bear
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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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Fat Beats offers internship opportunities. You must be enrolled in college and reside in the Los Angeles area to be eligible for our programs. If you meet these requirements, please paste your cover letter below and we will contact you if there are open positions available.
We are currently offering an internship program that offers an educational experience in all facets of our distribution operation. The intern would have the ability to assist in each of the following departments:
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