Breakthrough is the debut full-length album from the Gaslamp Killer, a manic and mystic trip through the mind of a madman. Resident DJ and co-founder of the mythic Low End Theory club night in Los Angeles, the Gaslamp Killer is known across the globe for his impeccable turntable skills and high-energy performances. He delivers the same fire to Breakthrough, a project pulled from within his soul that is his strongest musical statement yet. Blending California-inspired psych with widespread global influences, Breakthrough is a musical anachronism, an unconstrained compilation from a wandering spirit. Finding new clarity through human connections after years on the road, the Gaslamp Killer’s evolution as an artist continues with Breakthrough. Overcast with ominous tones, loose drums and contorted sounds, Breakthrough is much more than a collection of beats; it is a musical project that reflects the culmination of almost a decade’s worth touring and performing around the world. Laying his hands on production and live drums, the Gaslamp Killer brings together a potent cast of friends to contribute to the album. Featuring guest appearances by Gonjasufi, Adrian Younge, Dimlite, Daedelus, Samiyam, Computer Jay and more, Breakthrough is a journey of creative connection, a tribal ceremony loaded with a sense of fellowship that reflects the Gaslamp Killer’s devotion to the collective experience. Lacing the album with ancient dust, Gonjasufi lends his gritty voice to instantly grasping “Veins” and the easy, grainy groove of “Apparitions.” Finding a frequency of high-strung horror, “Flange Face (with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)” drops with a feeling of impending doom, a heaving monster with cinematic strings and meteors falling from the stars. “Impulse (with Daedelus)” immediately descends into madness, spinning out of control amidst wicked sound contraptions and a blurry, bass-driven melody. Named after the Gaslamp Killer’s grandfather, “Nissim (with Amir Yaghmai)” travels through a host of emotions, evolving from the solemn strums of a yiali tambur into a sunny tune that instantly transports you to Istanbul. “Seven Years of Bad Luck for Fun (with Dimlite)” slices the spine down the middle with chills, a cold-blooded tremor that congeals as it crawls through the shadows. Grabbing your breath through your guts and flinging off into the ether, “In the Dark”, is an encompassing track whose twisted strings and heavy horns overtake the album’s denouement with a shuddering glimpse of the end of the world. To his ever-expanding fanbase, the Gaslamp Killer is much more than a DJ or producer; he is a master crafter of the collective experience, a shaman of spiritual escape found by following the beats. The journey continues; turning 30 this year, the Gaslamp Killer has only scratched the surface of himself as an artist and a person. Resonating on a deeper level, Breakthrough is the Gaslamp Killer’s spirit shining through the haze, breaking through the foggy veil of singularity to find the human connection.
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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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