According to Merriam-Webster, Vignettes means, a short descriptive literary sketch/brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie). The album is aptly titled where 15 musical scenes, each with their own unique settings, are stitched harmoniously together to provide a universal message to the audience in which they use the gift of their own interpretation. At just over 2 hours long, the listener is given an unfiltered front row performance into the heart, mind and soul of the the artist. This latest effort from Damu the Fudgemunk is of typical and unorthodox proportions. Musically, it’s what you should expect from the man who brought you the How it Should Sound franchise, Supply for Demand and The Spur Momento Trailer. Intellectually, it’s his most vulnerable piece of work to date. Hoping to challenge and inspire the listener through a musical narrative, it’s content is open ended.Any resulting opinion that provokes thinking is encouraged given the message in this Vignettes album. Even the art direction is intentionally abstract and undefined to welcome the attention of all people. The album is completely instrumental except for “Openings,” the lone vocal track which features Raw Poetic. With a “Quality over Quantity” slogan, Redefinition Records adds Vignettes to it’s legacy and marks their first 3LP vinyl release which is exclusive to redefinitionrecords. com/vignettes, while double cd’s (in Mini Lp style packaging with printed inner sleeves) and double cassettes (in a unique side by side case instead of the standard double cassette box) are available everywhere. Though the word vignettes may refer to something brief, Damu the Fudgemunk’s new album “Vignettes” has a long future ahead for years to come. “Vignettes is a true example of ‘art imitating life.’ All the commentary/ music is a collection of my personal experiences and those reflections applied to music to document an honest depiction of my current perspective on life and the world we share.” - Damu The Fudgemunk
Ever order a kale salad and discover a neckbone in it? That’s funk. Ever written a love letter on a chicken grease-stained napkin? That’s funk. The Du-Rites are without a doubt the soundtrack to both of those situations, but by definition, The Du-Rites are a duo of New Yorkbased multi-instrumentalists comprised of Pablo Martin (guitar, bass, synthesizer) and J-Zone (drums, organ, bass, turntables, percussion instruments that require little skill). Funk comes from so many places that it’s hard to visit them all, but the duo manages to do just that on their self-titled (and almost wholly instrumental) debut LP on Old Maid Entertainment / Ilegalia Records (with Vinyl LP & Cassette Versions on Redefinition Records). From the greasy, lo-fi and syncopated grooves of the late ‘60s (“Bug Juice,” “Git’n Off,” “Ghetto Ferris Wheel”); to ‘70s cop show funk (“The Chief & I,” “Hustle”); to the slick stomp of the early ‘80s (“Du-N-It”), The DuRites have membership at both the rib shack and the discotheque. With influences ranging from the obvious (Booker T. & The MGs, Lalo Schifrin, Cameo, Kool and the Gang, The Meters, Jimi Hendrix, P-Funk, Motown, Herbie Hancock, and James Brown) to the obscure (overlooked late ‘60s funk bands Warm Excursion, TSU Toronadoes, and Willie & The Mighty Magnificents), The Du-Rites manage to bounce from improvisational, raggedy and psychedelic to tight and snappy with the skip of a track. Pablo’s proficiency in punk, disco, pop and Latin and J-Zone’s deep roots in hip-hop and jazz-funk combine to make one of the more off-kilter, but undeniably funky instrumental long players you’ll dig into.
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J-Zone, self-proclaimed “jack of all trades, master of zero,” may be familiar to you for any one of his six lives: Indie hip-hop’s class clown; an offkilter producer with his own identifiable style; a frustrated music business casualty who penned a nervy memoir about the life of the working class musician (Root For The Villain); a tongue-in-cheek, encyclopedic music journalist; a late-blooming drummer with a knack for channeling the spirit of classic break beats or a DJ with a deep love for funk 45s. On his seventh solo album (and twelfth overall), Fish-n-Grits, J-Zone visits all the stops of an artistic and musical journey that spans well over two decades. Comprised of both limited edition 7” vinyl-only releases (dating back to 2014) and all new material, Fish-n-Grits is equal parts vocal and instrumental. The New York native uses his rap time to pick fights with the delusional state of the music industry, gentrification, the good and bad of nostalgia, police brutality, political correctness and hiphop’s generational conflicts, but never without his signature brands of humor and sarcasm intact. As a student of samplers, drummer, multi-instrumentalist and collector of archaic studio gear, Zone was able to chef Fish-n-Grits into his most sonically versatile album to date. A stew of dirty, funky live drumming, bizarre samples, pulsating percussion and menacing bass that stretches in vibe from a circa 1969 funk instrumental to a twisted, analog interpretation of trap music, Fish-n-Grits has moments inspired by just about everyone. It’s obvious that The Meters, Prince Paul, The Incredible Bongo Band, Project Pat, Kool and the Gang, Public Enemy, George Clinton, Kool Keith, Bernard Purdie and Tim Dog have all carved out space in Zone’s music library, but the sound remains his own. J-Zone’s zany alter egos (Chief Chinchilla and Swagmaster Bacon) also get booth time, as do long time collaborators Al-Shid, Prince Paul and Has-Lo. Serving as a bridge between Zone’s 2013 comeback offering (Peter Pan Syndrome) and a forthcoming group project with Prince Paul and Sacha Jenkins (SuperBlack), Fish-n-Grits captures his development as an artist and musician, with occasional nods to the past.
Long awaited cassette release of How It Should Sound Volumes 3, 4 & 5 includes 33 instrumentals produced, mixed & arranged by Damu The Fudgemunk. This unique triple pack features 3 neon green tapes in a clear oversized case with a transparent insert. “I just want to do hip-hop the way I hear it in my head. It’s about a mood and what records I find: I love digging and finding things that I want people to hear. That’s the beauty of this art form to me. I have a bit of every great producer rolled into me and it’s their approach to manipulating drum breaks and samples that really opened up my ear. I really don’t consider my sound a throwback; I consider it a method of production, a distinct approach to making music.” - Damu The Fudgemunk Redefinition Records is proud to present these timeless instrumentals from Washington D.C.’s finest, Damu The Fudgemunk. Produced mostly between 2004 and 2007, “How It Should Sound” brings together archived material that as yet has only existed on floppy disks stacked in between an oft-frequented MPC and an everexpanding library of vintage vinyl. Don’t get it twisted though: What you now have in your possession is far more than a collection of sketches. HISS represent a body of lovingly crafted material that bears all the hallmarks of Damu’s signature aesthetic. Crunchy drums bolster intricately woven narratives of soul-infused samples in compositions that thump and groove all at the same time. Horns appear from nowhere before dissolving sumptuously into the mix. Layers are steadily unveiled only to gradually fold back in on themselves. But hey, you knew that already, right? Welcome. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is how it should sound.
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"I just want to do hip-hop the way I hear it in my head. It’s about a mood and what records I find: I love digging and finding things that I want people to hear. That’s the beauty of this art form to me. I have a bit of every great producer rolled into me and it’s their approach to manipulating drum breaks and samples that really opened up my ear. I really don’t consider my sound a throwback; I consider it a method of production, a distinct approach to making music." - Damu The Fudgemunk Redefinition Records is proud to present these timeless instrumentals from Washington D.C.’s finest, Damu The Fudgemunk. Produced mostly between 2004 and 2007, ""How It Should Sound"" brings together archived material that as yet has only existed on floppy disks stacked in between an oft-frequented MPC and an ever-expanding library of vintage vinyl. Don’t get it twisted though: What you now have in your possession is far more than a collection of sketches. HISS represent a body of lovingly crafted material that bears all the hallmarks of Damu’s signature aesthetic. Crunchy drums bolster intricately woven narratives of soul-infused samples in compositions that thump and groove all at the same time. Horns appear from nowhere before dissolving sumptuously into the mix. Layers are steadily unveiled only to gradually fold back in on themselves. But hey, you knew that already, right? Welcome. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is how it should sound.
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By popular demand, K-Def and The 45 King team up once again for another full length of continuous, golden era style instrumentals. Fans of the first won’t be disappointed as volume 2 grabs the baton without missing a step. If you’ve followed the legendary 45 King since the 80’s, his contributions on Back to the Beat Volume 2 are very assuring that after almost 3 decades and pioneering in rap production his signature sound is well intact. Complimenting 45 King’s selections, K-Def, a legend in his own right with massive discography dating back to the early 90s, used this album as an opportunity to have fun and venture away from the darker complex arrangements he is known for on his own, hence the album title. 15 tracks of bright and upbeat seamless grooves, perfect for listening anywhere, any day, at anytime. Volume 1 sold out quickly this release will likely move even faster. Collectors, don’t sleep. Volume 2 of Back to the Beat may not be back for too long.
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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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