Record Label: Kranky
The long awaited new album from Stars of the Lid is finally ready for your sonic immersion. Painstakingly recorded, processed and assembled over the last five years, SOTL once again deliver a massive work filling two compact discs and three vinyl albums, clocking in at over two hours. While most albums of this length would be considered tedious at best, SOTL are arguably the only contemporary composers who can seemingly alter the time-space continuum simply through the playback of their organized sound. They take time itself and stretch, compress and turn it inside out, altering what would otherwise be an arduous test of nerves into an interlude of half awake dreams that ends too soon.
In this album, SOTL picks up where The Tired Sounds Of... left off with an emphasis on melodic development, moving their epic soundscapes beyond mere drone and subsequently frustrating all the typical ambient cliches associated with their music. Perhaps the best references for this current work would be found in the score to the film Le Mepris by Georges Delerue, the orchestral works of Zbigniew Preisner, or the 1958 CSO/ Fritz Reiner recording of Hovhaness' Mysterious Mountain, specifically the third movement. But in the final analysis, such comparisons are superfluous at best, as Stars of the Lid have created a musical universe in which they are the sole inhabitant.
Simply put, this album is a masterpiece.
"I simply feel that they are making the most important music of the 21st century." Ivo Watts-Russell - 4AD label founder
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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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