Released on Danger Mouse's recently launched 30th Century Records - enigmatic Los Angeles-based trio Autolux present the new album Pussy's Dead - a strange, yet beautiful new record brimming with ideas and sonic textures. A hybrid of pop, art rock, electronica and more, produced by Boots (Beyonce, RTJ, FKA Twigs). The group whose debut, Future Perfect, was released to critical acclaim in 2004, has continued to captivate fans anxious for the evolution of their unique sonic aesthetic. Autolux's sophomore album, Transit Transit, was issued to further fanfare in 2010. Pussy's Dead serves as Autolux's third studio effort.
On the heels of last week's surprise release of FKA twigs' M3LL15X EP, BOOTS – the sole producer behind four of the EP's five tracks – is now announcing the release of his debut album, AQUΛRIA, due out Friday, November 13th on Columbia Records. Featuring co-production from El-P (Run The Jewels) and Carla Azar (Autolux), AQUΛRIA is set somewhere in a twilight realm of the Information Era as BOOTS blends masterful musical styles and gritty vocals with a futuristic approach at creating a boundary-crushing defiance to the established musical hivemind.
Originally issued in 2010, Broken Bells is the eponymous debut album from the collaborative project of the same name featuring James Mercer of The Shins on vocals, guitars and bass, and artist/producer Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, Beck, The Black Keys) on organ, piano and drums. Fate would strike when Burton, a long-time admirer of The Shins, met Mercer backstage when the two happened to be performing at the same music festival. From then on, there was no looking back. The creative cogs had already begun grinding away. While Burton has had his pick of collaborators in musical forays, he found his ultimate writing partner in Mercer. James helped unlock a new musical world for both himself and Burton as Broken Bells. The result was the creation of cosmic and forceful music from a duo with mutual respect and shared talents. It’s not The Shins. It’s not Danger Mouse. It’s Broken Bells. Burton and Mercer’s illustrious first effort was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album and ultimately helped solidify Burton’s Producer of the Year honor in 2011, one of his 17 nominations and five Grammy victories in seven years.
2013's critically acclaimed and chart topping Random Access Memories (Columbia Records) is the fourth full-length from robot helmet adorned French house duo Daft Punk and first studio effort in eight years following 2005's Human After All. Daft Punk released their universally celebrated debut Homework in 1997 and sophomore set Discovery to even further fanfare in 2001. Random Access Memories is Daft Punk's most ambitious and epic release to date comprising 13 tracks which clock in at over 75 minutes. Inspired by the music of the late-1970s and early-1980s and more organic in nature than past releases, the album features collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams, The Strokes' Julian Casablancas and Animal Collective's Panda Bear among others. Random Access Memories produced no less than four successful singles in 2013 including the two-time Grammy Award winning smash "Get Lucky" with Pharrell Williams, "Lose Yourself To Dance," also with Pharrell, "Doin It Right," with Panda Bear and "Instant Crush" with Julian Casablancas. Daft Punk consists of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, who in their 20-year history together, have redefined electronic music, pioneered the live dance concert experience and shaped pop culture. Their awareness reached critical mass when they performed the hit “Stronger” on the Grammy Awards with Kanye West in 2008. They also appeared in and scored Disney’s Tron: Legacy (2010) which sold 700,000 and catapulted them to even greater heights. The vinyl edition of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is pressed on two 180-gram LPs and also includes an accompanying download card and LP sized booklet.
Second album by the rapper, producer and member of the Los Angeles-based hip hop collective Odd Future. Includes collaborations with Dash, Wiki, Na'kel and Vince Staples.
Leon Bridges is the ‘out of almost nowhere’ story that only comes along once in a while. Awareness of Bridges and his unique craft continues to grow authentically and consistently. It was only last summer that Leon was singing open mics in his hometown of Fort Worth, TX. One of those open mics was attended by Austin Jenkins and Josh Block of the notable indie band White Denim who were absolutely floored by Leon's voice, songs, and creative vision. They soon after set-up shop in a makeshift studio and recorded the throwback rhythm and blues album's title cut "Coming Home" completely live to tape. This first take is exactly what you hear opening the record. The remaining 9 songs including previously released tracks "Better Man" and "Lisa Sawyer" followed in a burst of creativity and inspiration.
Grammy winning soul icon Maxwell’s new album is blackSUMMERS’night, and is the second installment of a musical trilogy that kicked off 7 years ago with the acclaimed BLACKsummers’night. That prior album debuted at #1, earned two Grammy Awards along with platinum-plus sales status, and set the stage for this ambitious follow-up. The first single from blackSUMMERS’night, “Lake By The Ocean,” has made major waves at radio and drawn widespread critical acclaim. The sultry track has been praised by Rolling Stone, Spin, and others (‘ a slow and finely crafted love ballad that makes the most of Maxwell’s absolutely stunning vice…’ hailed Yahoo.) The singer/songwriter recorded the new album in New York over the last several years with longtime collaborator/co-producer Hod David, and many of the same renowned musicians he’s worked with throughout his career. His seminal 1996 debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and remains enthusiastically commemorated by the music press. The album was credited for redefining classic soul, and earned Maxwell his first Grammy nominations, double platinum status and RIAA gold for the single, “Ascension (Don’t Ever Wonder).” The platinum albums Embrya (1998) and Now (2001) followed. 2009’s BLACKsummers’night debuted at #1, and was universally welcomed as the inaugural offering of Maxwell’s trilogy, winning two Grammys including Best R&B Album. To date, Maxwell has achieved 13 gold and platinum certifications from the RIAA.
In 1958, after a string of critically acclaimed and successful albums, Miles Davis was searching for a new direction to take the music, and signs were pointing him off the chordal highway into a new jazz style: modal. His innovations would open up the world for improvisers. He recruited key players with the potential to solidify his new approach, forming his famed sextet with rising jazz giants John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans & Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. Miles hired the little-known Evans because he needed a pianist who was into the modal thing. Davis and Evans both had developed personal voices characterized by a melodic flow that suggested, rather than defined, musical structure. It was his relationship with Evans that created the spark that resulted in the album Kind of Blue. In only two impromptu sessions in March and April of 1959, Davis’ sextet created a tour de force; five original tunes built on simple scales. Davis is committed to getting something spontaneous out of his musicians. The entire album was composed as a series of modal sketches and was conceived only hours before the recording dates. The outcome? Pure inspiration, and the stuff of legend, an album made up of the first full take of each tune, captured at the historic Columbia 30th Street Studio. The album was originally released on Columbia Records in 1959, stunning the jazz world by practically creating a new language of music. Its influence goes far beyond jazz. Kind of Blue is universally considered to be one of the best albums of all time, of any genre. More than fifty years later, Kind of Blue, the epitome of spontaneous invention, is still the best selling jazz album ever.
In May 1972, Miles Davis got together again with Paul Buckmaster, an English classical cellist involved in pop music and experimental rock, who introduced him to Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music. The two men immediately thought up scenarios combining funk rhythms with the formal and resonant abstractions of contemporary music. On June 1, amid the utmost confusion, Miles called into the studio a number of musicians using a variety of instruments: a guitarist, a bass player, multiple drummers and percussionists, as well as three keyboards and the “Indian room” sitar and tablas. The structures imagined by Buckmaster were quickly forgotten, and when David Liebman arrived in the studio directly from his doctor’s waiting room, he was thrust in front of the microphone without headphones, even though the sounds of the bass, the keyboards, and the electric guitar could only be heard in the recording booth. The only indication he was given was the pivotal note of E flat, and the chaos created by the strangely discontinuous polyrhythm of the percussions. The album On The Corner was completed by other sessions that Teo Macero put into shape, and it would become a cult album for the avant-garde of ambient and electro-jazz. Now reissued with completely remastered audio.
Iron Flag is the fourth studio album by American East Coast hip hop collective Wu-Tang Clan, released in 2001. It was certified Gold. Having churned out a myriad of solo projects since their breakthrough group album Enter The Wu-Tang and Wu-Tang Forever, the crew surprisingly came together a year after The W to launch a new album. Rather than stick to one unified sound for most of the album's tracks, as with previous Clan albums, much of Iron Flag returns to many different individual sounds and styles that the Wu-Tang had visited over the years. Sonical influences range from RZA's Bobby Digital sound to the gritty style of the Wu-Tang's debut album, and the sped-up vocal samples style of Wu-Tang Forever. Iron Flag also makes use of non-Wu artists well known in their own right: Flavor Flav of Public Enemy and soul legend Ronald Isley make appearances.
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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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