Record Label: World Galaxy/Alpha Pup
Grammy Award winning composer, producer, singer and drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. presents the megalithic debut album, Triumph. Eleven cuts of deep fusion, soul, R&B, jazz and pop, Triumph was put together with Ronald’s brothers Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner and Jameel Bruner of The Internet. It was captured during the infamous KSL Sessions that produced Kamasi Washington’s The Epic and many other West Coast Get Down recordings.
Triumph’s trajectory in fusion is, in one way, a direct result of working with century defining artists such as Stanley Clarke, Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Wayne Shorter, Prince, Chaka Khan, Q-Tip, Kenny Garrett and Stevie Wonder. In another way, it’s the expression of a soul that’s independently seasoned, rich in unique experiences and unashamedly unrestrained. The musical manifestation of a man that’s evolved into the role of a father, musical anchor and community leader.
Lyrically, Triumph touches on the deepest extensions of the heart, the restraints of human connection and the dynamic free for all of growing through this world. Every cadence and form of Ronald’s singing is pulled from the bottom of his heart because of this. Family, friendships, love, turmoil, happiness, social issues, politics, musical heritage and many other topics find a seat at the table on Triumph. A powerful combination of musicianship and lyricism that’s unlike anything else out right now.
One of the most important roads leading to Triumph has seeds planted with bass extraordinaire Stanley Clarke and keyboard maestro George Duke. While working with the legends in the mid-2000s, they pushed Ronald to unleash his own masterwork and join a legacy only a handful of drummers have entered. The influence that Stanley Clarke, George Duke and many others had on the birthing process of Triumph is a magnificent story that will continue to present new chapters through time. Stepping back from the influences and Triumph stands firmly as a pure amalgamation of fusion, reaching the highest plateaus of creativity, songwriting and technicality in this era.
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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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