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fatcat label profile
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Postcards from the edge.FatCat, the label, started as FatCat the record shop. For most of the 90s the dimly-lit basement in Covent Garden was at the forefront of the burgeoning electronic music scene. After rent increases forced the shop’s closure, the label began in earnest, highlighting a diverse range of electronic artists from the relatively mainstream (Múm, Sigur Rós) to the avowedly avant-garde (the vinyl-only Split Series). Now located in Brighton, the FatCat roster has expanded to include garage rock and folk, as well as their core electronic releases.
What makes a FatCat artist?
It’s a very diverse catalogue. Everyone has to agree that it’s good enough for us to take on and work with - and that’s not easy. But we’ve all got good ears. The greatest achievement is that after nearly 10 years we’re all still at it. We’re lucky enough to work with amazing artists and put out great releases that people enjoy.
Fat Cat boss Alex Knight and Brighton fourpiece The Mutts
Tell me about the 12-inch Split Series?
Initially, we wanted to work with a range of artists but not necessarily on long-term contracts, or with artists who already had commitments to other labels. We wanted to pit a known artist against a totally new or demoing artist to have two contrasting styles of music with common themes.
One track on the Merzbow EP (Ab Hunter) was uncuttable. They put the masters in the machine, played it once and all the dials went off the radar. It’s a whole collage of frequencies that bombard you. But that collage meant it couldn’t actually be cut to vinyl.
How is the label responding to MP3s and the distribution of music online?
We’re not averse to the more experimental stuff being available online. We don’t get the front page of NME so it’s a good way to get our music out there. We’re quite happy that our music has a platform to be exposed in other ways, but at some point we will have our releases available in a digital format.
Animal Collective and Múm
What’s new for FatCat?
We’ve got a wealth of new artists we're working with this year that we're really quite excited about. First up is The Mutts, a hard-rocking fourpiece from Brighton whose debut album, Life In Dirt, will be released in June. We're also equally excited about the Vashti Bunyan album, which is scheduled for the autumn, as is the debut album by new FatCat signings Amandine, first discovered by a rather beautiful demo CD. Brighton chaps, Charlottefield, will also be releasing their debut album and FatCat are also really pleased to be working on a full-length release by our Japanese friends AOKI Takamasa & Tujiko Noriko.
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