Record Label: Street Corner Music
Limited, Cassette Store Day exclusive run of tapes, highlighting House Shoes' celebrated "The Gift" series, featuring bonus, previously unreleased tracks.
The Gift, Vol. 6 is Cream Of Beats’ first celebration of the blues heritage for the Street Corner Music label.
Cream Of Beats plays a very basic style of jazz, a genre that has gone largely untouched by post-Bop advances (at least not by many beyond those of Horace Silver and the early Sonny Rollins) and which is informed almost exclusively technically and inspirationally by the essential sources: gospel and the blues. The scope and breadth of its expression is restricted pretty much to the experiences and emotions which these sources are about. On this basis, and by the standards of 2015, it is probably valid to call Cream Of Beats’ blaps “primitive”. But this is not meant to imply a derogation of either the music or the man who is making it, rather it is intended to define both in their relationship to other contemporary jazz forms and contemporary beat culture artists.
‘Alive’ is a word that could be accurately applied to the whole album; the conditions out of which these musicians have come are hardly conducive to anything but the opposite of that word, but Cream Of Beats and the others have discovered in their music where the life is.
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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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