Record Label: DDS
From The Heart, It's A Start, A Work Of Art has its origins in early 2000, before Chain Reaction released the legendary Ship-Scope 12" (later released by Demdike Stare in 2015, DDS 014EP). Three of the tracks here are taken from an acetate cut at Dubplates & Mastering at that time, but which wouldn't see the light of day until now, including another batch of tracks taken from original masters. Only five copies of that acetate were ever made, so this is the first time any of these tracks are available for public consumption, and they rank among the finest and most distinctive in either the Chain Reaction or Shinichi Atobe's vaults.
The material is effectively some of the Japanese producer's earliest work, showcasing the sort of tender, feminine pressure that would bubble up on the Ship-Scope EP and later be revealed in his new productions, Butterfly Effect (DDS 010CD) and World yet, for many reasons, they would lay sunk in his archive for the next 17 years. The tracks taken from that acetate are labeled "First Plate 1-3" and really are quite remarkable, having taken on so much character and added weight over the years that the incidental crackle of surface noise imbues proceedings with an added dimension that's hard to fathom.
It basically sounds like a lost transmission making its way from Paul-Lincke-Ufer at the turn of the millennium to a new, completely changed world all these years later. The patina of crackle lends a mist-on-bare skin feeling akin to summer garden parties at Berghain in the stepping "First Plate 1", and gives a foggier sort of depth perception to the hydraulic, Maurizian heft of "First Plate 2", but it's the submerged euphoria of "First Plate 3" that hits the hardest; a heady, bittersweet reminder of days gone by. The other four tracks are crisply transferred from master tapes, relinquishing a sublime, impossible to categorize house variant that recalls everything from DJ Sprinkles to Ron Trent, yet with that weird, timeless production tick that by now has become something of a signature for this most distinctive and hard to categorize producer. Buoyant dub house and techno with lush, gaseous synths and keys. Remastered by Matt Colton from original tapes and worn actetates -- grit included; Limited copies.
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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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