Animated sci-fi masterpiece La Planète Sauvage (a.k.a. Fantastic Planet), winner at Cannes Film Festival in 1973, is a bizarre and beautiful film. Towering blue-skinned figures, tiny humanoids in the midst of revolt, and drug-induced Tantric sex transport viewers to a truly magical setting. Composer Alain Goraguer creates an equally hypnotic score from a palette of effects-laden guitars, flutes, Fender Rhodes and strings. While the lush arrangements are reminiscent of Goraguer's collaborations with Serge Gainsbourg in the 1960s, space-age synth flourishes suggest a more psychedelic era. Moody vignettes flow together in tense, slow-paced funk rhythms and Baroque textures. It comes as no surprise that La Planète Sauvage has been cited as an influence on contemporary artists such as French duo Air and American hip-hop producers J Dilla and Madlib. Gorgeous, interplanetary soundscapes resemble the surreal meeting point between Pink Floyd's Obscured by Clouds and Broadcast's Future Crayon. This long out-of-print vinyl release features the original soundtrack recording and newly designed artwork. Recommended for fans of Ennio Morricone, Basil Kirchin and David Axelrod.
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Originally released on Impulse! in 1971, Universal Consciousness is a major turning point in Alice Coltrane's momentous career. While her previous albums pushed the limits of spiritual free-jazz and featured much of her late husband's band, Universal Consciousness expands the harpist / pianist's compositional palette with organ and strings (working with Ornette Coleman). 'Oh Allah' is the finest example of Coltrane's new direction: tense violins dissolve into sublime organ solos and exquisite brushwork from long-time Mile Davis collaborator Jack DeJohnette. While the title track undulates with a fierce clamor, 'Hare Krishna' showcases Coltrane's uncanny ability for transcendent and slow-paced arrangements. In The Wire's '100 Records That Set the World on Fire,' David Toop writes, '[Universal Consciousness] clearly connects to other dyspeptic jazz traditions -- the organ trio, the soloists with strings -- yet volleys them into outer space, ancient Egypt, the Ganges, the great beyond. The production is astounding, the quality of improvisation is riveting, the string arrangements are apocalyptic rather than saccharine, the balance of turbulence and calm a genuine dialectic that later mystic / exotic post-jazz copped out of pursuing. Her lack of constraint was dimly regarded by adherents of '70s jazz and its masculine orthodoxies, yet Alice deserved better credit for virtuosity, originality, and the sheer will power needed to realized her vision.' This first-time vinyl reissue has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.
Bassist / composer Charles Mingus is one of the most radical figures in American music. Throughout the '50s, he worked as a sideman with legendary players Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and more. In the '60s, he gained recognition as a bandleader, often followed by controversy for making strong-minded statements in the press about race, politics and stodgy music critics. While Mingus received many honors posthumously as well as during his career, perhaps his greatest achievement was transcending the restrictive label of jazz. The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady is without question Mingus' magnum opus. Originally released on Impulse! in 1963, the album broke new ground in both genre-defying composition and innovative recording techniques. A six-part suite with dramatic shifts in mood and tempo, The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady features the three-way brass dialogue of trumpets, trombone and tuba, swooping reeds and awe-inspiring rhythm section. Balancing delicate Spanish modes and Ellingtonian themes, the ensemble breaks into a divine cacophony of group improvisation on par with free jazz giants Ornette Coleman or Cecil Taylor. In his best-known essay, "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung," Lester Bangs praises, "the experience of the first few listenings to a record so total, so mind-twisting, that you authentically can say you'll never be quite the same again. Black Saint And The Sinner Lady did that, and a very few others. They're events you remember all your life, like your first real orgasm." This long out-of-print vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes.
Steve Reich remains one of the most important figures in 20th century music. Though he studied at the prestigious arts institutions Julliard and Mills College, by the mid- 1960s Reich set about dismantling the very orthodoxy that he had been trained in. Forming a new musical language based on repetitive processes, Reich became established as part of the so-called 'Big Four' of New York minimalists (along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Philip Glass). Reich's influence can easily be seen today in both the classical world and contemporary pop music. 'Four Organs' is the ultimate minimalist composition. Performed by Reich, Glass, Art Murphy and Steve Chambers, four identical Farfisa organs strike a single chord and gradually lengthen each note to produce polyrhythms between the players. Anchored by Jon Gibson's stoicallysteady pulse on maracas, the piece deconstructs its opening burst to a sustained mass of sound -- stretching the tones to create (in Reich's words) 'slow-motion music.' Inspired by Reich's early training on drums, 'Phase Patterns' treats the keyboards like tuned percussion instruments: a basic rhythm pattern is played in unison and almost imperceptibly increases tempo to move out-of-sync. Each progressive cycle emphasizes unique figures that are not generated by an individual alone, but rather emerge from the communal expression of the group. Originally released on Shandar in 1971, Four Organs / Phase Patterns is one of most highly regarded avant-garde recordings in the past 45 years. This first-time vinyl reissue features cover photography by artist Michael Snow and is recommended for fans of Neu!, Glenn Branca and Tim Hecker.
Classic NYC duo composed of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Their first single, originally released in UK in 1978, features a remix of the band's very first song ('Cheree') and the brilliant non-album track 'I Remember.' This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.
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Originally released on Island Records in 1979, Suicide's second single features two non-LP tracks including 'Dream Baby Dream,' their best-known song and often covered by Bruce Springsteen. This first-time vinyl reissue and first-time domestic release comes with original sleeve design. Limited edition red vinyl.
LP reissue contains photo insert and liner notes by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. Suicide's landmark self-titled LP was originally released in 1977, seven years after the group's initial conception as part of the performance art scene on the Lower East Side. It is hard to overstate the importance of the seven tracks on Suicide, which paved the way for punk, industrial, hip hop, noise and beyond. "Ghost Rider" accelerates with brutal anguish and desire for everything rock 'n' roll. Martin Rev's utterly singular "instrument" pounds out a synthetic soundscape, while Alan Vega's oversaturated vocals obsess over motorcycle getaways. "Rocket U.S.A." distills the duo's dynamic power down to a ghostly pulse, while the psycho-drama of "Frankie Teardrop" (Bruce Springsteen's all-time favorite song) delves even further into cinematic storytelling and, at the same time, clears the room at the end of the night. Superior Viaduct is honored to present Suicide - restored from the original mixes, fully sanctioned by the band and with liner notes by Thurston Moore. If there can be a quintessential New York band, it is without a doubt Suicide.
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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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