Record Label: Stones Throw
Since 2000, Dub Club has carved out an indelible presence in the worldwide reggae scene – drawing huge crowds each week to check out the best artists from Jamaica perform alongside the venerable Dub Club DJs. The man behind the night and Foundation Come Again is Tom Chasteen, who over the last twenty years has been making waves not only as a club promoter, but also as a DJ and producer.
It was a revelation for Chasteen when he discovered that the artists who made the classic reggae 45s he was playing each week were still out there and ready to perform. He started tracking them down and flying them in to Los Angeles to play at the Dub Club.
Chasteen, along with Jamaican artist Tippa Lee, jointly produced Foundation Come Again. Each track is a new recording featuring dancehall icons that have be graced the stage of the celebrated Dub Club. The tracks were recorded over several years in both LA and Jamaica. A hand picked band of LA-based reggae musicians tracked a long list of thumping instrumentals under Chasteen’s direction before the vocal contributions were added in Jamaica. Tippa Lee recorded many of the vocals during one trip to Kingston where he rounded up the “who’s who” of rarely heard sound system legends for some marathon sessions at Mixing Lab studios. Well-known in Kingston, Lee made his first recording at King Tubby’s studio at the age of 12, and had a Jamaican #1 hit in the ‘80s with “No Trouble We”. He contributes the standout “Hey Mr. Big Man” here.
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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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