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O.B.E. Vol. 1 is Breezy Lovejoy's (which was the name Anderson.Paak was using back then) debut release. Originally released in 2012 it was one of our favorite releases that year. Since then we have been following Paak's releases closely and ended up becoming die hard fans. His ability to effortlessly tie together Soul, Hip Hop, R&B and a whole lotta other influences sets him apart from a lot of artists out there. He sings, he raps, he produces, he plays drums, his live shows are incredible. We knew at some point this needed to see a vinyl release and after meeting Anderson in Berlin last weekend during his 70 city world tour with Watsky, whose album he produced, we knew this time had come. A classic in the making. Hopefully we'll also release some other releases from his catalogue on vinyl sometime soon. Make sure to check for Anderson Paak's upcoming releases. He currently working on new music with Ta-ku, Iamnobodi, Knx and many more, and had a number of guest appearances on Dr. Dre's just-released Compton. "Cot damn, this is fresh!!!!" Questlove - The Roots
With the aim of breaking the mould and taking down boundaries, Andrea's "Black Magic" is the result of a combination of influences melted together in guitar amps to create a wavy piece of music. From the vocal-oriented track "Down" featuring Vanessa Elisha's lush vocals to the club-melting "Without You", Black Magic has a wide range of aesthetics and a particular attention to detail that creates its own unique world much like the artist behind it. Young Parisian native Andrea has been building up heat over recent months with his innovative live shows (playing at shows alongside Flume, AlunaGeorge, Shlohmo, Bondax and Glitch Mob amongst others) and his own productions and remixes of The xx, AlunaGeorge, Sam Smith, Say Lou Lou, Rosie Lowe, Stwo, Slow Magic, Drake and The Weeknd to name but a few, drawing in fans and scoring radio support from tastemakers such as Benji B, B.Traits, Monki and Rob Da Bank at BBC Radio 1 and Eddy Temple Morris at XFM. Some of his solo efforts have come in the form of a track on Trapdoor Records Trapdoor Volume 2 compilation series, a track on Flirtini’s Heartbreaks & Promises Volume 2 compilation and the much anticipated “Tenderly”. Add to this his residency on Rinse France, his own label Moose Records, countless remixes, free downloads, a collaboration on Ta-Ku’s Create&Explore project, Andrea’s very own #OneSampleOneDay project and his recent NASA EP and it becomes clear that Andrea is one of those artists who puts the work in. Thankfully, he has no intention of slowing down! Andrea’s Black Magic EP is due for release on via Jakarta Records the label that has been kicking off many successful careers in the last years with early releases from renowned producers such as Kaytranada, Ta-ku, Mura Masa, IAMNOBODI and many more. The release will be made available both digitally and on vinyl (with a very special white-label B-side).
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The visionary sound of Blitz The Ambassador has been years in the making; with each album crafted to reflect a sonic and visual narrative unique to Blitz’s personal experience. His fourth studio album ‘Diasporadical’ exemplifies this trajectory. Blitz spent a great deal of time traveling between Accra, Salvador Bahia and Brooklyn experiencing the similarities between the African diaspora. “The album title ‘Diasporadical’ was born out of this experience” Blitz explains.“ The radical notion that no matter how fragmented the African diaspora is, the influence of rhythm and spirituality remains largely the same.” On Diasporadical, Blitz conjures his signature blend of Classic Hip-Hop and Contemporary African rhythms, enlisting producers like Optiks and IAMNOBODI to create a seamless fusion of live instruments and hard hitting beats.To bring his vision to life, Blitz assembled a supporting cast of continental and diasporaAfrican artists such as Tumi,Akua Naru, Kamau, Patrice, M.anifest and Somi. The sonic result is a three act narrative, crafted like a stage play. Diasporadical offers itself as a study of intersections between the global African experience and struggle. No track exemplifies this more than A(wake), written in response to police brutality and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in America. Inspiration also came from the ‘Fees Must Fall’ movement in South Africa and the Afro-Brazilian protests during the Olympics.Besides it’s politically charged message, Diasporadical also explores themes common in Blitz’s past work. Immigration (Hello Africa), Spirituality (Heaven), Nostalgia (Long Time Coming) and Love (Juju Girl). To reinforce these themes, Blitz directed a 15 minute short film called ‘Diasporadical Trilogia’. The story follows a woman who mysteriously wakes up in three different continents.Through a magical realism lens, she shares her memories of growing up as a little girl in Brooklyn, a young lady inAccra and a middle aged woman in Salvador Bahia.With Diasporadical, Blitz has brought his sonic and visual journey full circle. From immigrant struggles on ‘Native Sun’, to touring in over 30 countries on ‘Afropolitan Dreams’, this is the album Blitz has been writing his whole life.
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Ivan signed with Berlin based Jakarta Records in 2014 to release “Low Jams”, a five track phenomenon produced by Stones Throw artist MNDSGN.The EP was described by Okayplayer.com as “an enveloping head nodder that peppers irresistible grooves with vivid double-entendres and exists in the same elusive strata of true school perfection occupied by Nas’ debut Illmatic LP. Ivan Ave’s relationship with music started in the CD shelves of his older sisters. Today the Norwegian MC makes songs clearly shaped by sneaking into 90s bedrooms to play albums by The Fugees and Janet Jackson. In the last few years he has put out several EPs, all deeply rooted in the RnB and Hip-Hop of his childhood, perhaps even more the 70s jazz and soul that inspired it. In 2016 this Oslo-to-LA collaboration delivers again. This time a full Ivan Ave solo LP, produced entirely by Mndsgn. Picking up where “Low Jams” left off, but also moving into new realms, the “Helping Hands” LP will be released on February 12. Available for pre-order now.
LIT is a snapshot of Bluestaeb and JuJu Rogers’ musical endeavors in Fall 2016. Both had a successful 2015 & 2016 with highly acclaimed albums and a European support tour of Oddisee for JuJu Rogers. Both musicians are working on new solo albums and both of them are not happy with having the “boom-bap” stamp forced on them. Their perspective is about progression, live music, changing the formula and going new ways. This doesn’t mean that they’re blindly following trends but to question and adapt one’s own formula. In the case of LIT it means adding live musicians to the equation, going for a sound that refines the direction they took on their previous releases. With regard to content, JuJu’s raps on the project deals with the important questions of our time. The trend word “lit“ becomes “LIT“, an abbreviation for “lost in translation” and a metaphor for the disconnection from trends of our society in general and hip-hop especially. Racism, police brutality, gangsta rapper turning activists while still following a pattern of hate and destruction. Bluestaeb’s productions fluctuates from soulful and smooth to raw and gritty without sounding redundant or interchangeable. Be on the lookout for Bluesteab’s and JuJu’s solo albums dropping in 2017. “This record is dedicated to the wretched of the earth. The weak and poor. To the people all around the world less privileged than us who are forced to live under even worse circumstances. The criminalized, racialized and marginalized people of this planet. RIGHT ON! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!”
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Until December last year music was simply a hobby for Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa. He may have had 7 million plays and 30,000 followers on Soundcloud but the 18 year old Channel Islander had never played his music live, DJ’d or even been to a gig himself. He had just started an English degree at Sussex University and was happy playing guitar and bass in function bands. It was an email from Jakarta Records that changed everything. The Cologne-based label (previously home to Kaytranada, Iamnobodi and Sango) felt Mura Masa’s mixtape ‘Soundtrack To A Death’ was too good to sit on Soundcloud and persuaded him to release it with them. The following 3 months were a whirlwind, with 30 spins on Radio 1, a sold out debut show & a top 5 position on the itunes electronic chart in the UK and US. At one point Mura Masa had 4 tracks in the HypeMachine top 50 and remix requests from Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, RL Grime and iLoveMakonnen in his inbox, whilst still juggling his degree. So as Mura Masa prepares for his first official EP release the stakes are very different and he has upped his game accordingly. As well as the sampling for which he known, Mura Masa plays live piano, guitar, drums and even sings on Someday Somewhere. He is keen to show that he is a musician and songwriter as well as a beat-maker and has called on new friends Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince to feature on tracks. Paul Epworth (Producer for Bloc Party, Adele, Santogold): “That 18 year old is taking over the world right now and he’s just delivering the most deeply textured music around, we have got such a talent on our hands in the form of Mura Masa and i think the UK has finally got our very own Kaytranada and it’s not beyond him to overtake that, so good, ridiculous....”
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After releasing a collaborative EP with Warp’s Bibio, who is also featured as a producer on “Ever since the fall”, this 2nd solo release by the Olivier St. Louis marks the starting point of worldwide live show efforts for Olivier 2017. After a successful UK Tour with Laura Mvula, Olivier is getting ready to join AnnenMayKantereit for another Tour in spring 2017 to support his upcoming release “Ever since the fall EP”, out on Jakarta Records in February 2017. Six tracks somewhere in between lo-fi soul, drum computer sounds, warm basslines and funk trenched live compositions. Olivier will also join his partner in crime Oddisee for his “The Iceberg” Wolrd Tour until summer. Olivier St.Louis went on to receive significant international attention for his work as a featured singer/songwriter back then still under the name Olivier Daysoul. He worked and toured worldwide with various artists including Oddisee, C2C, Onra, Bibio and Hudson Mohawke as such as other producers from the Warp Records family. Despite all of this, Olivier felt something was missing...A true reflection of his own voice and sound. Less bass music, more organic soul, less producer features and more independent unique compositions all by himself.
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Pomrad a.k.a. Adriaan Van de Velde has lots of Funk in his colorful trickster bag. Just check out the title track "Knights" of his album: its beats chug like the wheels of a locomotive and electrifying synth solos guarantee the best brain freeze you’ve ever felt. He could be your favorites producer, favorite producer with Lefto & Mr. Carmack among his fans. His debut album “Knights”, a collection of razor sharp keyboard licks, phat electro grooves and thick funk, following up on his EP release, which received radio support from MistaJam (BBC Radio1), Alex Nut (Rinse FM) & Lefto (Studio Brussels). British tastemaker Gilles Peterson included one of Pomrad’s tracks on one of the influential Brownswood Electric compilations. Future funk heroes Teeko & B.Bravo did the same for their second Tempo Dreams compilation. Now, Knights exceeds these expectations and transcends the aforementioned comparisons, taking a leap into the unknown. Pomrad clearly has found his own voice. Because, yeah, there’s postmodern retrofunk behind ‘City lights’ (a true gem!) and ‘Rush Hour’ & also, you’ll find a couple of talented soul singers hiding inside Pomrad’s cotton candy fantasies. Like Belgium’s blue eyed soulstress Selah Sue or Sylvie Kreusch of indie darlings Soldier’s Heart. You want some cosmic funk, Herbie Hancock style? You got it. Need some of that Hudson Mohawke-ish beat madness? Or the kind of talkbox vibes that Zapp was known for in the eighties? The Pomrad experience includes them all. Just having finished his own Boiler Room Set in Brussels, Pomrad will be playing live Festivals all over Europe this summer including but not limited to Dour Festival (BE, July).
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After a couple of years without a new solo release & making moves with his Betty Ford Boys Brenk & Dexter, it was time for Suff Daddy to lay another egg in the form of a new album entitled "Bird Songs". Deeply rooted in the Suff Daddy signature sound, it is also proof of an evolutionary process. A little less sample chops, a little more synth, a little less straight hip hop, a little more melody. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to recognize the bird by its call anymore, it’s just a slight change in tonality. After extending his stomping grounds to neighboring European countries by frequently playing international shows, including a London Boiler Room, he also opened for the mighty Anderson.Paak during his German shows in early 2016. Suff Daddy also remixed Lion Babe's “Wonder Woman” for Gilles Peterson Worldwide. He'll also be featured on the next “Spring in Jakarta“ compilation. The album features some of the fellow birds Suff Daddy is known to fly with. Betty Ford Boy's Dexter adds drums and baselines, and Mayer Hawthorne delivers some vocals.
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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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