There’s little breathing room on Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard’s brilliantly conceived soundtrack for The Dark Knight. Just like Heath Ledger’s totally psycho portrayal of The Joker, almost every track is heavy, dense, and claustrophobic. Zimmer is a sucker for industrial music and dark electronics, both of which creep their way into “Agent of Chaos” and the violently rhythmic “Why So Serious?” Even the reflective orchestral offerings are smeared in grim textures and dystopian murk. Definitely file under “uneasy listening.”
Interstellar pairs the creative forces of Hans Zimmer and esteemed director Christopher Nolan, who collaborated previously on The Dark Knight film trilogy and Inception. Chris wanted us to push the limits, offers Zimmer. Every conversation was about pushing boundaries and exploring new territories. This movie virtually dictates that you put everything on the line and keep the laboratory doors wide open and experiment to the very end. It tested our limits: the limits of what musicians are capable of, the limits of what could be recorded, the limits of everyone's stamina, commitment and invention, and I think we got it.
Flume returns with 'Skin', a follow up to their self titled debut album. The album features guest appearances from Beck, Raekwon, Vince Staples, Vic Mensa, Little Dragon, AlunaGeorge, Allan Kingdom, and others.
Visible Cloaks' Reassemblage is a collection of delicately rendered passages of silence and sound that invokes - and invites - consciousness. The foundation of the duo's second album could be described as translingual or polyglottal, working within an eastern / western feedback loop of influence, Fourth World ambiguity, and the universality of human emotion. Vinyl includes high-quality, multi-format download with bonus tracks.
Bing & Ruth have announced their third studio album No Home of the Mind. Continuing with the deft minimalism that has marked them out in critical circles in recent years, the New York ensemble’s new record will be released on February 17th, 2017. Established in 2006, Bing & Ruth is an ever-evolving collective steered by composer David Moore. A pianist from Kansas and graduate of New York’s school of Jazz and Contemporary Music at the New School, Moore’s work follows in the great tradition of fellow alumni John Cage and Steve Reich, albeit looking past the more studied repetition of the style’s forerunners toward a meditative form built on feeling. With Moore at its nucleus, Bing & Ruth’s line-up has transmuted from the eleven-strong line-up that created debut album City Lake (“A stunning, humble record built on traditions we all understand, yet, somehow feels dizzyingly new.” – The Quietus) to a cast of seven for 2014’s Tomorrow Was The Golden Age (“One of the finest leftfield releases of the year.” – Pitchfork). With No Home of the Mind, the ensemble has been streamlined to a five-person unit, exploring the piano’s percussive qualities alongside running woodwinds, warbling tape delays and splattered upright bass lines that stare out with a wide-eyed transcendence, taking so-called “classical” music to new limits.
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Alfred Darlington, better known as Daedelus, is an influential Los Angeles producer and cornerstone of the electronic & beat music scenes both locally and internationally. Over the last 15 years, he has released a number of full-lengths, EPs and remixes on labels like Ninja Tune, Anticon, and most recently Brainfeeder, namely the collaborative Kneebody Kneedelus release last year. With this LP coming out on his own label, Daedelus now wields the power to wind through the maze on his terms, sharing music and further developing the Magical Properties platform. There will also be a very special limited edition cassette pressing of ‘Labyrinths’ in collaboration with fellow Los Angeles label Dome of Doom. The first press is limited to 300 copies. Twisting, complex, and rhizomatic - Daedelus unfurls a maze of genre on Labyrinths, juxtaposing disparate influences while maintaining an underlying love and appreciation for all styles.
LA’s Fade to Mind unveils the new deluxe edition of Infrared – a collaborative project from rising r&b star Dawn Richard and highly respected producer Kingdom. Alongside the EP’s original four tracks come ten new remixes from Fade to Mind regulars and extended family; Rizzla, Ikonika (Hyperdub), Helix (Night Slugs), Divoli S’vere and more – available on vinyl and CD for the first time. From the pulsating bass and teasing breakbeats of "HONEST" to the dystopian shimmer of "How I Get It" these records inhabit a complex emotive realm that only Dawn Richard could pilot. A songwriter in her own right, she rarely collaborates with others, making Infrared a special example of a chemistry that drew Fade and her together. Produced entirely by Kingdom with co-writing and lyrics by Prince Will (who also worked closely writing CUT 4 ME with Kelela), Infrared is the latest electronic communication from the Fade To Mind world, home to mind-stretching releases by Rizzla, MikeQ, Fatima Al Qadiri and Nguzunguzu.
Mozart’s Sister is the solo project of Montreal’s Caila Thompson-Hannant. Her new album – Field of Love – is an explosion of glittering, celebratory pop. Intense, yet vulnerable, Field of Love marks a distinct growth in her artistry, and a departure from her critically-acclaimed debut Being (2014). Writing for Field of Love began in early 2015. Reliving her childhood love of 90’s dance pop, Caila wanted to capture the spirit of the era's pop song – colourful, cartoonish, goofy, but always earnest. Throughout the writing process, she maintained only one rule: follow through on every musical desire. The critique could happen later, once the fun was fnished. Ditching barriers and prejudice, her aim was to make music everyone was invited to. “I wrote Field of Love at a point when I truly did feel I was foating in a feld of love. Once I got going the song-writing process happened very easily. As the songs came I realized: oh I really like these. There was a naivety to them and I felt like I could really cut loose when writing”.
Under the Botany moniker, Spencer Stephenson creates rich psychological and emotional experiences through audio. His music is a thoughtful attempt to convey the non-verbal through his particular mental prism, where sounds have potent symbolism in ways that are all but forgotten in the hermetic modern world. He explains, “Sounds have archetypal connections to things in nature the same way visual symbols do. Low-end might be associated with thunder, or the sound of a mother's heartbeat as heard from inside the womb, or an approaching stampede, or earthquake. Low-end generally indicates something bigger and more powerful than you. Treble sounds indicate something deadly rattling through foliage or something vital like water flowing close by. Reverberation has a connection to the holy and transcendent, it implies spatial largeness. It’s fun to hear these symbols coming out of ear-buds in a world where they aren’t useful on a daily basis, but are still so subconsciously powerful." Though Stephenson sees these constituent signi ers, he has a holistic vision of music "...functioning as a single pulsating thing, instead of a band with distinct parts," which parallels his idea of the universe as an ever emergent, single conscious entity-- a concept he ends spiritually gratifying, and one that’s pervasive in his music. On Dimming Awe, the Light is Raw, the 28-year-old producer and composer continues dissolving the borders between his disparate-yet-beloved psych, hip hop, and ambient influences. Album standout "Au Revoir,” is a shimmering piece of sampler-psychedelia that bolsters verses by rapper Milo, and gracefully leads into the drum-less hum and crackle of “Birthjays”. Matthewdavid—the high-priest of ambient bass himself—lends a rare vocal feature to the uplifting burner “Glow-up" while the electro-inspired “Bad CGI” stitches Bambaataa chants and sci- flutters to a shamanic pulse, then morphs into a late-night opiated channel-sur ng montage, and the seams rarely appear. Unlike his previous album Lava Diviner (Truestory), which peaked and valley-ed through a narrative arc, Dimming Awe focuses on the artist's ever-unfolding, present state of mind. As a former jazz student, spiritual/free jazz philosophy regarding what he calls “emergent” music has increasingly become a guiding light when he creates. "The more emergent I let my music be when I'm making it, the more I like the result, it feels like a truer reflection. I feel like I am getting closer to doing that with computer-made music," he says. "This album is a document of what I do, not a statement in any explicit way. I feel like I'm moving closer to a jazz underpinning that I've always felt, philosophically more than aesthetically...making music feels more like exhaling as I grow older.”
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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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