Record Label: Rhino Records/Warner
Post-punk pioneers Joy Division left an indelible mark on Manchester’s burgeoning music scene in the late 1970s. Where punks, armed with anger and adrenaline, reconfigured rock by employing its most primal qualities, the post-punks dealt in dissonance, inverted sonic balances, and introspective lyrics. Producing a legacy perhaps larger than their own output, Joy Division lasted little more than three years and recorded only two studio albums, but the poignancy and sheer originality of their music have ensured their essential status in rock’s pantheon.
Formed in 1976, Joy Division was largely a product of an artistic groundswell generated by the Sex Pistols’ appearance at the local Lesser Free Trade Hall, an event that also played a hand in the birth of Buzzcocks and other Manchester bands. Drawing on punk’s primitive palette, Ian Curtis (vocals), Bernard Sumner (guitar), Peter Hook (bass), and Stephen Morris (drums) joined forces and were briefly known as Warsaw (after “Warszawa,” a track from David Bowie’s album Low). Their early shows were erratic affairs, punctuating tedious guitar rock with periodic bursts of inspiration, but it soon became clear that they were a young band with something to say, and the passion and ingenuity to say it differently.
Having self-released An Ideal For Living, a 4-track EP notable more for ideas than execution, Joy Division came into their own with the help of producer Martin Hannett and Factory Records owner Tony Wilson. In late 1978, a Factory sampler offered two Joy Division tracks, “Digital” and “Glass,” which marked the emergence of the band’s ultimate aesthetic: dominant rhythm section; cold, piercing guitars; and dark lyrical terrain.
An impressed Wilson gambled Factory profits and his life savings on the recording of Joy Division’s debut album. With Hannett again at the helm, the band crafted a stark musical statement that would endure as a milestone. 1979’s Unknown Pleasures charted a confident course through grim personal realities and steely, often disjointed soundscapes. The album's ten classic tracks resonate with the atmospheric textures and deep sonic spaces of Hannett's production. Highlights include "Insight," "Disorder," "New Dawn Fades" and "She's Lost Control."
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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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Fat Beats offers internship opportunities. You must be enrolled in college and reside in the Los Angeles area to be eligible for our programs. If you meet these requirements, please paste your cover letter below and we will contact you if there are open positions available.
We are currently offering an internship program that offers an educational experience in all facets of our distribution operation. The intern would have the ability to assist in each of the following departments:
Online Retail / Marketing
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- Enrollment in an accredited college/university that offers an internship program for academic credit
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