1998's Moon Safari is the acclaimed full-length debut from French postmodern electro duo Air - acronym for "Amour, Imagination, Reve" (love, imagination, dream) - comprised of sound auteurs Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoit Dunckel. The pair originally recorded Moon Safari's basic tracks on a Fostex D80 in Saint-Nom and then flushed the songs out in Gang Studios in Paris while the album's strings were arranged by music legend David Whitaker at Abbey Road in London. Highlighted by lush arrangements and the stylistic electronic compositions "Sexy Boy" and "Kelly Watch the Stars," Moon Safari's ethereal space-pop not only put Air on the musical map, but it distinguished the duo as gifted musicians and songwriters who only sounded like producers.
Released in 2000, The Virgin Suicides was director Sofia Coppola's first feature film, Kirsten Dunst's first major screen role, and Air's first foray into film scoring. 15 years after its initial release, Warner/Parlophone will issue The Virgin Suicides as a remastered 180g vinyl version of the original soundtrack. On the same day, Warner/Parlophone will also release Air's five album discography on 180-gram vinyl with original artwork, including their first EP Premiers Symptômes (1997), Moon Safari (1998), 10,000 Hz Legend (2001), Talkie Walkie (2004) and Pocket Symphony (2007). The Versailles duo - Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin - started to record new music by watching VHS tapes of the film during the autumn of 1998. Eerie, synthetic and tempestuous, The Virgin Suicides soundtrack's first single "Playground Love" featured Gordon Tracks (an alias of Thomas Mars, the lead singer for the band Phoenix). The recording process was finished when drummer and soundtrack supervisor Brian Retzell called the duo from Los Angeles. "The microphones and the amps were packed and we needed a song for the ending credits! It happened on a Saturday afternoon. We called Thomas Mars from Phoenix. He wrote the lyrics, played some drums and sang on 'Playground Love,'" remembers Dunckel. The Virgin Suicides premiere took place at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1999. Much to the duo's surprise, Air's soundtrack had been heavily edited and 80% of the recorded tracks had been abandoned in the final cut of the film. Godin comments, "You can do everything with editing. That was the first big lesson. The film turned out lighter and more evanescent. I felt that we didn't get what Sofia wanted." Despite these regrets, The Virgin Suicides soon became a cult soundtrack and, most of all, one of the most celebrated albums in the electronic performers' fascinating discography.
Limited And Numbered 3CD + 2LP Super Deluxe Edition! Twenty years after their international debut, French multi-platinum selling band Air consisting of Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel release their first anthology, 'Twentyears.' The Best-Of includes on its first disc 18 tracks selected by Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel. This disc features essential selections from the Air discography, including "Sexy Boy," "Playground Love," "Cherry Blossom Girl" and "Le soleil est près de moi." It also includes studio album tracks from 'Premiers symptômes' (1997), 'Moon Safari' (1998), 'The Virgin Suicides' (2000), '10 000 Hz Legend' (2001), 'Talkie Walkie' (2004) and 'Le voyage dans la Lune' (2012). The second disc of this Best-Of gathers 14 rare and unreleased tracks, including "Crickets" and "The Way You Look Tonight" from the 'Pocket Symphony' and '10 000 Hz Legend' sessions, "Adis Abebah" from the 'Quartier lointain' soundtrack, "Roger Song," written for 'Corman's World,' a documentary about cult B-movie director Roger Corman, "Land Me," taken from the vinyl-only 'Music For Museum' release in 2014 and "The Duelist" performed by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jarvis Cocker during the Pocket Symphony recording. Limited and numbered SuperDeluxe Edition including the Best-Of on CD and random coloured vinyl, plus a third CD featuring Air remixes for other acts - including David Bowie, Beck, Depeche Mode and Neneh Cherry – as well as a collector poster.
Coldplay release their seventh album, A Head Full Of Dreams, on Friday, December 4 via Parlophone Records. The album, recorded in Malibu, LA and London, was produced by Norwegian duo Stargate together with the band’s long-time collaborator Rik Simpson. It features more guests than any previous Coldplay record, with Beyoncé, Noel Gallagher, Tove Lo and Merry Clayton among those appearing across its 11 tracks (12 if you count the buried treasure of the hidden track X Marks The Spot). A Head Full Of Dreams is the widescreen follow-up to 2014’s fragile and lovelorn Ghost Stories, Coldplay’s sixth consecutive worldwide chart topper, award winner and multi-million seller. The band chose not to tour Ghost Stories and headed straight back into the studio to record A Head Full Of Dreams. Revitalized, they’ve made an album that’s bursting with energy, color and big, life-affirming moments such as the deliciously ebullient first single Adventure Of A Lifetime and the rocket-powered Hymn For The Weekend. The Vinyl will initially be released on 2 x 180G Colored Vinyl (One Blue and One Pink) with download card.
Daft Punk Daft Club on 2LP! Daft Club is a 2003 collection of remixes and other rarities primarily of material from Grammy-winning robot helmet adorned French house duo Daft Punk's 2001 album Discovery and one cut from 1997's Homework. All tracks were originally available on the official Daft Club website thus the title. Access to the site was granted through a special membership card found in physical copies of the original Discovery CD release. Includes remixes from the likes of The Neptunes, Cosmo Vitelli, Basement Jaxx, Boris Dlugosh, Jesse & Crabbe, Demon, Laidback Luke, Slum Village and Gonzales among others.
The French twosome behind Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, get away with an awful lot. They go around impersonating aliens and robots in their interviews, they put records out only once every three years, and they make music that evokes a million other artists--while not really sounding like any of them. The keyboard noodlings of Jean-Michel Jarre are in there somewhere, along with the otherworldly imagery and giant hooks of '70s rock icons like Boston or even Electric Light Orchestra. There are dashes of 1999-era Prince and oodles of new wave and disco cheese, from Harold Faltermeyer and Gary Numan to the Bee Gees, all set off with efficient house beats. So how have they managed to position themselves as electronic music's next great crossover artists? On Discovery, the follow-up to the 1998 worldwide smash Homework, the answer is obvious: they have no shame, and they know how to make us dance. Starting off with the irresistibly hummable "One More Time," the record blows through a head-spinning array of styles and samples, creating a pop-culture stew of funky loops and dance-floor anthems. "Aerodynamic" eschews breakbeats for an Yngwie Malmsteen-ish guitar interlude that somehow ends up meshing in a crazy blend of stomping bass lines and hyped-up harmonics. "Digital Love" starts off silly and gets sillier, but the monosyllabic lyrics lull the senses just right, allowing the song's summery groove to grab hold with authority. "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is a resounding standout amidst the retro/Vocoder deluge that transpired after Cher's Believe turned the kitchy disco device into a worldwide pop music trend, spinning a clever groove around an ever-escalating string of computerized seduction. Everywhere on the record, gigantic beats are dropped with pinpoint precision, giving songs a momentum that transforms repetitive melodies into sudden revelations.
In their 20-year history together Grammy-winning robot helmet adorned French house duo Daft Punk - Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter - have redefined electronic music, pioneered the live dance concert experience and shaped pop culture. Generally regarded as one of the most influential dance music albums of the '90s, Daft Punk's landmark 1997 debut Homework showcases an innovative synthesis of techno, house, acid house and electro styles amidst tracks that consistently engage the listener with rhythmically ambitious peaks and valleys. Featuring the acclaimed hit singles "Around the World" and "Da Funk" which were both nominated for Grammy Awards for 'Best Dance Recording', Homework offers a rewarding and groundbreaking early glimpse at a group who has subsequently become the biggest electronic act in the world! "Daft Punk's debut is pure synapse-tweaking brilliance. In the Nineties, when artists like the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim were bringing in guest-star vocalists and sampling rock records, and ad executives were strip-mining club beats, French duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo proved that techno and house could be as elastic, catchy and, at times, as funny as the poppiest pop without diluting its hypnotically driving, acidic essence." - Rolling Stone
Double vinyl LP pressing. Dark Night Of The Soul is an album by audio auteur Danger Mouse and the already much-missed Sparklehorse. The record sees the pair joined by the following remarkable roll call of guests: The Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), Julian Casablancas (The Strokes), Black Francis (The Pixies), Iggy Pop, David Lynch, James Mercer (The Shins/Broken Bells), Nina Persson (The Cardigans), Suzanne Vega and Vic Chesnutt. Rumors of this mysterious collaborative project began to circulate in early 2009 sparking widespread anticipation and excitement. Now, following months of talks, Danger Mouse and EMI are excited and proud to announce that Dark Night Of The Soul will be released worldwide in July. While this beautiful, haunting record being made widely and legitimately available is undoubtedly a cause for celebration, the news is shadowed by sadness following the recent passing of Mark Linkous, who released and performed under the Sparklehorse pseudonym.
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David Bowie's The Rise and Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars erased borders, eliminated stereotypes, broke open cultural possibilities, and spawned a legacy like no other. More than four decades after its release, the record remains one of the most electrifying and brilliant works ever released. Again available on 180g vinyl LP, it is here presented in freshly remastered sound that does justice to Bowie, Mick Ronson, and company's creative genius. Ziggy Stardust is an album written by an aspirant rock star in the guise of a hugely successful one. This nifty deceit has led to it being dubbed the first post-modern pop record. Its songs obtusely referenced aspects of rock history, whilst at the same time tell a story of a future world of extraterrestrial intervention and space-age androgyny. Ziggy Stardust works so well because it's a concept album with the ‘concept' taken out. So much of pop music would have been unthinkable, unimaginable, without this record. In pop, you're always best remembered for your initial breakthrough. Bowie's career trajectory through soul, electronica and avant-garde pop is perhaps, in part, an attempt to free himself from this stereotyping circa 1972.
Roll over, Josie and the Pussycats, and tell the Archies the news: There is a new cartoon band in town, the poppy, trippy, hip-hoppy Gorillaz. But cosmonaut vixens or pie-faced high school kids the Gorillaz are not; instead, they're an urban-chic troupe of misfits known as Murdoc, Noodle, Russel and 2D. For more on their story, go to gorillaz.com. As for the music, well, the people who actually created Gorillaz sorry to spoil the fantasy include avant-garde hip-hop producer extraordinaire Dan the Automator Dr. Octagon, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030, Blur vocalist Damon Albarn, Cibo Matto singer Miho Hatori, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, and former Talking Heads/current Tom Tom Club members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz. The album is a tasty brew of the many musical stylings purveyed by its creators. The single, "Clint Eastwood," combines the Automator's toe-tappin' beats with Albarn's chipper, oh-so-British vocals "I'm feeling glad/I've got sunshine in a bag", and Del's tough-guy raps "Chicks and dudes/Who you think is really kicking tunes?". Other standouts include the aptly titled, minute-and-a-half Albarn screamfest "Punk"; Del's Grandmaster Flash-style rap "Rock the House" featuring the call-to-action "I want y'all to just get down"; the groovy indie rock of "Re-Hash," featuring Hatori's sweet backing vocals; and the ominous Pink Floyd-esque art-rock of "M1 A1," which features a sample from the horror flick Day of the Dead. Yep, this album is all over the place, but the Automator's production skills and seamless segues hold it all together. Action figures sold separately. - Barnes & Noble, Bill Crandall
Five years on from the release of Demon Days, Murdoc Niccals and co. return with Plastic Beach. The band have taken up residence, recording on a secret floating island deep in the South Pacific, a Plastic Beach HQ, made up of detritus, debris and washed up remnants of humanity. This Plastic Beach is the furthest point from any landmass on Earth; the most deserted spot on the planet.
In 2009, Kraftwerk upgraded their Kling Klang masters with the latest studio technology and these magnificent recordings still sound like nothing else in the history of music. Kraftwerk is unique, pristine, profound and beautiful - all at once Decades may pass, but their streamlined synthetic symphonies stand outside time, as fresh as tomorrow, transcendent and sublime. Performed by the quartet of Hütter, Schneider, Flür and Karl Bartos, the classic Trans Europe Express is one of the most inspired electronically-based pop records of all time. A beautiful spacey suite of electronics and deadpan vocals, the 1977 release stands as arguably the quintessential Kraftwerk sound recording experience. "With Trans Europe Express, they set out to reinvent a different legend: that of Europa itself, in the process they changed pop music forever." - Rolling Stone
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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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