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Since forming at Leeds University in 2007, admiration and favorable comparisons have come thick and fast for Alt-J. Even before the release of their debut single on Loud And Quiet Recording in October of 2011, the band was likened to Wild Beasts, In Rainbows-era Radiohead, The xx and Antony & The Johnsons, four acclaimed acts noticeable by their ability to create the kind of patient, sophisticated, intricate music that Alt-J hangs their hat on. However, so much of the band’s sound is their own, perhaps because, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury puts it, “we never had any ambitions at all.” From Joe Newman's (guitar/vocals) high soul cry and Thom Green's (drums) refusal to drum with cymbals, to the sparse guitars and Gus Unger-Hamilton's (keyboards) delicate key clunks, a neat sound-bite for Alt-J’s music is yet to be coined, and perhaps never will be. And by challenging what constitutes folk, hip hop, indie and pop music, the band quickly found themselves in the studio at the beginning of 2012, recording their debut album for Infectious Music with long-time producer Charlie Andrew (Micachu & The Shapes, Eugene McGuinness). The result is An Awesome Wave, a debut album which further explores Alt-J's varied soundscapes and percussive, experimental grooves, but it’s also a record that isn’t as stringently leftfield as some might be expecting. Veering wildly from psychedelic avant pop to skeletal folktronica, the album promises to trade in understated beauty one minute and epic oddities the next, just as you’d expect from a debut album that tackles everything from love to bullfighting to the heroic life of 1930s war photographer Gerda Taro, crushed by a tank on the frontline. Other tracks are inspired by cinema, including "Matilda" (about Natalie Portman’s character in Luc Besson’s Leon) and the Good The Bad And The Ugly referencing "Tessellate"; others seem to have come to the band as unexpectedly as they come to us, sounding like great experimental pop acts we already know.
High Quality Dolby Digital Audio Transfers, Audio Pro Low Noise / High Output Tab In Cassette Tapes. Deluxe packaging with a 6 panel J card. Black Shell with a White Sticker Full Color Print (Limited to 500 Copies), Pink Shell with white Ink (Limited to 1,000 copies) and White Shell with Teal Green Ink (Limited to 1,000 Copies). There comes a time in every punk's life where he or she has to grow up, or at least acknowledge that maturity is just around the corner. blink-182 put it off for as long as they could, but ten years into their career and two albums after their big breakthrough, 1999's Enema of the State, they decided to make a stab at being grown-ups for their eponymous sixth studio album. As with many self-titled albums, the trio uses this as an attempt to redefine itself, and they have considerably expanded both their sonic template and lyrical outlook on blink-182. They're still rooted in punk-pop, but even songs that stretch no further than that sound are a little darker, a little restless, reflecting the overall mood of the record. In shorthand, this is the record where blink-182 delve into post-punk, opting for some appealingly sullen moodiness, off-kilter hooks, lots of sonic textures, and even a duet with the Cure's Robert Smith.erpol or even the dynamically hooky Hot Hot Heat, but there is a greater variety of sounds on blink-182 than on any of the trio's other albums, and the songwriting is similarly adventurous, alternating punchy, impassioned punk-pop with weirder, atmospheric pieces like ''Down'' and ''I'm Lost Without You.'' If nothing on the album has the immediate impact of ''All the Small Things'' -- though the opener, ''Feeling This,'' comes close -- and if, on the whole, blink-182 isn't as bracing or visceral as Dude Ranch or Enema, so be it: there's more to explore on this album than any of their other records. It's an unexpected and welcome maturation from a band that just an album ago seemed permanently stuck in juvenilia. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
High Quality Dolby Digital Audio Transfers, Audio Pro Low Noise / High Output Tab In Cassette Tapes. Deluxe packaging with a 6 panel J card. Black Shell with a White Sticker Full Color Print (Limited to 500 Copies), Solid Red Shell with white Ink (Limited to 1,000 copies) and Solid Green Shell with White Ink (Limited to 1,000 Copies). On their third album, Dude Ranch, blink-182 follow in the same path as their first two, turning out 15 tracks of juvenile, adrenaline-fueled punk-pop. Some listeners will find their potty humor (''Dick Lips'') somewhat irritating, but the group has written some surprisingly catchy hooks, which might win over skeptics. The songwriting is still a little uneven, but overall, Dude Ranch is an improvement over their first album, Cheshire Cat. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
High Quality Dolby Digital Audio Transfers, Audio Pro Low Noise / High Output Tab In Cassette Tapes. Deluxe packaging with a 6 panel J card. Colors will be random: Black Shell with a White Sticker Full Color Print (Limited to 500 Copies), White Shell with Blue Ink (Limited to 1,000 copies) and Light Blue Shell with White Ink (Limited to 1,000 Copies).If the title Enema of the State didn't give it away, it should be clear from songs like ''Dumpweed,'' ''What's My Age Again?,'' and ''Dysentery Gary'' that moving to a major label isn't a sign of maturity for blink-182. ''Dammit (Growing Up),'' the first single from their third album, Dude Ranch, brought them a wider audience and the attention of major labels, which was just too tempting to resist. They signed with MCA, but the only sign that Enema of the State is a major-label effort is the somewhat cleaner production and the fact that they could afford porn superstar Janine -- all decked out as (surprise!) an enema nurse -- for the album cover. Of course, the lovely Janine is as much an indication as ''Going Away to College,'' a catchy little number that pretty much repeats the narrative of ''Dammit'': blink-182 is not growing up, no way, no how, nowhere. And that's fine, because few of their peers are quite as blissfully stupid and effortlessly catchy as them. Sure, they might not show the emotional depth of Green Day, but they have good tunes and deliver them in a speedy, punchy fashion. Enema of the State isn't going to change anyone's life -- unless it's the first time a 13-year-old boy has seen Janine -- and it will likely irritate old codgers, but it's a fun record that's better than the average neo-punk release. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
High Quality Dolby Digital Audio Transfers, Audio Pro Low Noise / High Output Tab In Cassette Tapes. Deluxe packaging with a 6 panel J card. Black Shell with a White Sticker Full Color Print (Limited to 500 Copies), Lime Green Shell with white Ink (Limited to 1,000 copies) and Light Blue Shell with White Ink (Limited to 1,000 Copies). Power punk funny guys blink-182 capture their witty stage presence on the limited-edition release The Mark, Tom and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back). Celebrating the quick success of their major-label debut, 1999's Enema of the State, The Mark, Tom and Travis Show showcases playful live cuts and previously unreleased tracks and, in keeping with blink-182's punk revivalism, the album is only available from the time of release and January 2001. The Mark, Tom and Travis Show is indeed a real rock show and catches blink-182's shameless personalities and childlike giggling about oral sex, dog semen, and masturbation. But that's what makes blink-182 popular: the band's ability to not care about anything is a carefree look for the pop kids buying its records. The bandmembers' immaturity is harmless and fans love it. The quick guitar riffs and swirling percussion are intact, and guitarist Tom DeLonge's hyperactive retaliations against the audience are merely an act for the sake of being cool. DeLonge and bassist Mark Hoppus are even funnier with their on-stage brotherly love affair. It's high-speed energy at it's finest, probably the cheekiest punk rock stake since Green Day's ''Longview.'' And in the midst of teen pop mediocrity and post-grunge rollickers, it's good to see a band such as blink-182 enjoying its time on top of the world.
Once in a great while, a duo emerges with such authority and such seemingly effortless originality that their place in the front ranks of their craft is unquestioned. So it is now with Castor Pollux and J.Dankworth. As you shall hear in this album- the third album in a series called Family & Music . Castor Pollux not on only possesses prodigious technique but more important, Castor has become one of the most compelling story-tellers and mood explorers in this industry. There is no dearth of astonishingly agile word play in this album,but he also says so much to the listener. Castor P. & J.Dankworth speak in sounds that have seldom been equaled on the instruments for fullness, warmth and what I can best call spaciousness of spirit that makes their music a remarkably regenerating experience. This album focuses on Castor Pollux and J.Dankworth as Lyricist and Producer as a unique musical team with plenty to display in their arrangements. J.Dankworth displays his distinctive style with his MPC 2000. “A striking producer exploring his limits of his MPC with fearless and joyful eagerness.” Fearless, because of J.Dankworth’s own formidable inner serenity, a result of his record digging skills. Musicians featured on this composition include additional lyrics by Oddity Orwell, Enyl8 , ThoughtsArizen and special appearance by Rhythm Writers, and hypnotizing vocal hooks by Jen Raye & Beth I and special guest producer The Earl, along with guest dj’s Dj Resident and Ike Check. Album Dedicated to all Working People on the Grind Supporting their Families. Peace to everybody that supported Castor and J.Dankworth from the start.
Gian Scott (better known as Jincallo) is a talented young musician and unnecessarily well kept secret. Residing in the 818, we have long enjoyed Jincallo's vivid releases from over the hills. The dreamy nature and animate percussion in his instrumentals make for some of the smoothest cuts in the city. He's graced the stages of Low End Theory and has played with the best of them. After years of following his sound, we're proud to be able to release one of his projects. Wish You The Best is Jincallo's fourth official LP and is made entirely of 2014 experiences. We found it to be the type of project we got lost in as we worked ourselves into those Monday nights. After suffering the dreaded case of a fried MacBook, some of his favorite tracks were recovered and luckily ended up on his newest album. This full-length beat memoir can be purchased digitally on his Bandcamp right now. It features Gian's brother Dreadfro, as well as Kat Khaleel, and long-time collaborator/friend, ELOS.
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OptimisGFN releases Young Whipper Snapper, an EP dedicated to his family. The Cambridge, MA based Emcee worked with k-the-i??? on the production of this album. The 10+ year veteran to the scene creates hip hop with 70s soul. Using various aliases over the years, the OptimisGFN moniker carries his passion towards music. Limited to 100 cassettes featuring k-the-i??? and One P.
Thanks to our friends over at Psychic Fortitude, Pander Sera’s 5-track Floral Dresses EP is now available to purchase on cassette. The songs were recorded & arranged across California from 2011 to 2013. When heard together, the set serves as an intriguing early document in the strange and ever-fluid body of Pander Sera’s music.
NNA is proud to announce the release of “Preamble,” a recording of new compositions by Qasim Naqvi. Perhaps best known for his work on drums in the modern acoustic trio Dawn of Midi, here Naqvi assumes the role of composer, creating a series of short works for mixed acoustic instruments. The compositions on this recording were originally commissioned by the media artist Mariam Ghani, the choreographer Erin Ellen Kelly, and the St. Louis Art Museum as a score to a film installation loosely based on China Miéville's sci-fi noir novel “The City & the City.” With “Preamble,” Naqvi combines graphic notation with traditional notational forms. Recalling the works of Penderecki, Earle Brown, Ligeti and Xenakis, these aleatoric components allow the ensemble to make spontaneous choices within a structured framework. Naqvi says, "Some of the graphic components deal with dynamics and expression, while others deal with duration and rhythm or ranges that are unique to the particular instruments in the ensemble. This symbolic language is fused into a more conventional style of notation. The conductor can let the ensemble go about their business or at any point, assert a different set of choices into the equation. With “Preamble," I wanted to strike a balance. I wanted the element of chance but not total chance. The performers can make certain choices for themselves, based on the watchful impulses of the conductor." The result is a composition that walks the line between chance and intention. The music impeccably makes full use of the capabilities of each instrument, exploring staccato attacks, fluid sustained tones,trills, scratches and filigree along the way. Harmony is present although abstracted, swaying between dissonance and consonance, but never too far in either direction, drifting in and out of alignment. The emotional tone of the piece cycles from somber to joyous, mysterious to frenetic, and back again. Punctuated by moments of suspended anxiety, "Preamble" finds balance in the cyclical capture and release of tension. Due to the unique nature of this notation, “Preamble” could be performed hundreds of times and no two outcomes would be alike, a quality of inventiveness and originality that makes Naqvi shine in the realm of modern composition. "Preamble" was recorded at the Church of the Advent of Hope in Manhattan, NY by the Contemporary Music Ensemble of NYU, under the direction of Jonathan Haas.
"TABROPOS" IS A SPLIT BEAT TAPE PRODUCED BY TAB JONES & APROPOS IN 2015 AS PART OF AN EDITION OF 99 CASSETTES. TRACKS 1-10 BY TAB JONES / TRACKS 11-17 BY APROPOS
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C-44 min ferric tape in red "Elmo", blue "Cookie Monster", green "Oscar the Grouch" and yellow "Big Bird cassette shells (pick your favorite one!), with a beautiful custom cardboard box printed on both sides, inside hand-drawn artwork by Keon Ching (Vingthor's 6 years old son), outside artwork comes with wiggly eyes, every cassette comes with free stickers! A Day on Sesame Street... This tape takes you on audio journey through a day in the lives of the residents of Sesame Street. You start your journey by waking up with Bob Johnson, having breakfast with Cookie Monster, housekeeping with Bert and Ernie, eating lunch with Big Bird, counting with Farley, after spending time at the playground its time to take a nap, dancing with Big Bird, bath time with Ernie, and then it's finally time to go to bed. You even find out that the residents of Sesame Street are fans of Wu-Tang. This is the type of album that can be enjoyed by both adults and children. It's the nostalgia of your childhood with the hip-hop beats that you have grown to enjoy. This is a tape that you can easily share with your children without having to worry about the content of the music. Vingthor is one of the few artists that puts this much time and energy into each of his releases. This release is a great example of his work ethic. All the drums heard on this album were sampled exclusively from a variety of tapes. All of the Sesame Street samples are taken directly from vinyl records. Everything that can be heard on this album was sampled, chopped, and sequenced on a Roland SP-606. Then all of tracks were mixed on a Tascam PortaStudio 424 MKII to give it that great analog sound. All of the tracks were bounced to Protools LE Ver. 8.0.5 and for final touches the tracks were mastered using Logic Pro X. Not only did Vingthor put this much effort into the making of the beats, he also puts a ton of effort into the presentation of the tape that you will receive. He designs the tape labels and j-cards himself. Once he received the tape cases and boxes from the manufacturer he then records the tapes and packages everything on his own. His attention to detail is even carried over into the color of the cassette casings. This release comes in four different colors: red, yellow, blue, and green. Each of these colors were chosen because they correspond to the color of characters on Sesame Street. Red is Elmo, Yellow is Big Bird, Blue is Cookie Monster, and Green is Oscar the Grouch. He is the epitome of DIY and puts a great amount of care into every tape that he makes. So, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this tape, you will not be disappointed. We highly recommend this album to anyone that is a true hip-hop head and wants to reminiscence about something that they know and love from their childhood. Vingthor is for the children.
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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.
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