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23 years after its first release on CD, the Original Soundtrack of the first two episodes of the famous trilogy Tetsuo, composed by Chu Ishikawa, is being released on vinyl record. This classic of Japanese underground cinema, directed by Shinya Tsuakamoto, first hit the big screen in 1989. Its mix of gore and science fiction paved the way for the cyberpunk movement in Japan. Tetsuo does not follow a classical film narrative but rather consists in a series of twisted sequences, which makes it unique and considered by many as a height of experimental cinema. It opens on a car crash where a man - the anti-hero of the film -- is hit by a car. His body then becomes a sort of magnet that inexorably attracts all the metal objects present in our society, slowly transforming him into a monster made of flesh and steel! The trilogy's uncompromising and violent directing, supported by its original score, soon contributed to make it a classic. As a matter of fact, director Tsukamoto and composer Ishikawa managed to produce a sensory experience in which visual and hearing assaults go hand in hand to make it a total work of art. The film is at the crossroads of Metropolis, Videodrome and Blade Runner in its depiction of a post-industrial world where machines have surpassed humans and taken possession of their bodies. Chu Ishikawa, born in 1966, started his musical career in various bands when he was only 15 years old. He then gained some success as a founding member and percussionist of two industrial bands: Zeitlich Vergelter and Der Eisenrost. That is when he came to the attention of Tsukamoto, who asked him to compose the soundtrack of his film. Ishikawa's transgressive and provocative music is the perfect sound illustration of the Tetsuo trilogy. Mixing techno drum loops with a dark ambient mood flirting with harsh noise, the Japanese composer translates the convulsive and metallic quality of Tsukamoto's images into oppressive sound blasts that will delight the fans of Test Dept. Foetus and Esplendor Geometrico. Limited to 1000.
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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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