Record Label: Unseen Music
Originally released in 2006, Eingya by Helios aka Keith Kenniff returns in a limited-edition 2015 vinyl re-release. Beginning the album on a high with the pastoral beauty of "Bless This Morning Year," Kenniff showcases of what he does best -- heartbreaking guitar and piano melodies punctuated by crumbling beats and backed by the most atmospheric synthesizer sounds this side of Eno's Apollo. The appetizing "Halving the Compass" blends subtle field recording with the kind of piano melodies so beautiful they could be compared to Virginia Astley or Harold Budd. This is followed by the album's clear highlight, "Dragonfly Across an Ancient Sky." It's an unsurpassable folk guitar piece with a decomposing percussive background and the sort of melodies that would turn evil tyrants into weeping babies.
An album that could appeal as easily to fans of Nick Drake as to fans of Boards of Canada or even early AIR, this truly has something for everyone. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, Kenniff put out Helios's 2004 debut album, Unomia, while studying percussion at Boston's Berklee College of Music. Since then, he's released six more albums as Helios, in addition to collaborating with his wife Hollie Kenniff in the shoegaze-inspired pop duo Mint Julep and composing music for such clients as Paramount Pictures, Apple, Facebook, and Google.
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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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