FAT released seven albums beginning with Plays For You in 1988 and ending with three releases in 2015 - FAT and the Masters of Haha, Citron and Duos. Click on the album covers below to go to each album page where you can then click the album cover again to re-direct to preview or buy digital versions of all of them and buy LP's and / or CD's of some of the releases. LP's and CD's of some of the FAT catalogue are available from Forced Exposure - www.forcedexposure.com - see Links page on this site to re-direct there.
FAT's music was wide-ranging with the emphasis on free, aggressive experimentation blurring the borders between Noise, Improv, Free Jazz, Punk and Ethnic musics. FAT was entirely instrumental but did use a group of Berber background singers on FAT and the Masters of Haha in addition to the vocals of Citron on that record. FAT's second album Hit, is probably the most composed of FAT's releases and while the 31 songs on Automat Hi-Life last on average just a minute each, many were also meticulously composed. Both Magnetizer and the Duos improvisation of bassist Jeff Noble and guitarist Eric Rosenzveig were entirely improvised but are from the decidedly edgy, aggressive camp of Improv. FAT and the Masters of Haha was based on a repertoire of melodies of the Berber group Aouad Mia and was rehearsed with them over a period of months, but was largely improvised and recorded straight to tape with limited overdubs. This record is probably the group's most definitive statement to date and demonstrates the best of FAT's free-spirited experimentation, eclecticism and aggressive improvisation. Citron, one of the most unusual of all FAT releases was a complete remix of the Czech heavy-metal band Citron's 1990 release Vypusťte psy! using the original 24-track recordings and the same board and processing as the original record. As FAT does not play a note on this recording, Citron is unlike anything the group ever created and certainly stretches the boundaries of conventional music.
FAT and the masters of Haha - Released june 2015
FAT and the Masters of Haha was recorded in Agadir, Morocco in 1991 and was developed during FAT's numerous visits to Morocco during the previous three years. This was the final recorded album of FAT and was achieved with the collaboration of the Haha Berber group Aouad Mia and the renowned rebab player and arranger Raiss Lahcen Benlamouden along with other Berber singers and percussionists. While Aouad Mia does not typically play with rebab, the instrument is a cornerstone of southern Berber music and easily fits into the melodic tradition and timbre of the group. The collaboration between the two groups extended over a 2-year span and FAT lived for a period in Smimou, a Souss Valley town between Essaouira and Agadir and near Aouad Mia's hometown of Imi-N T'Lit. Aouad Mia has recorded and released extensively in Morocco. Their music is based on a large repertoire of melodic heads which are generally repeated in fast, repetitive loops. As a quartet of father / son on aouad (flute) and father / son on bendir (frame drums), Aouad Mia's music is improvised but extremely tight and crisp and on the FAT and the Masters of Haha session joined by rebab and a torrent of Berber percussionists and background vocals.
Noble / Rosenzveig - DUOS - Released june 2015
DUOS, is a 10" EP recording of short, explosive improv pieces by FAT bassist Jeff Noble and guitarist Eric Rosenzveig. Recording of this EP was done in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia around the period of FAT's stay in Prague. Recorded straight to tape with no overdubs, the EP is pure improv but creates a world of sound outside of normal musical experiment. The instrumentation is un-adorned, with no effects beyond overdrive pedals on both bass and guitar with the instruments often struck with metal bars, glass slides, rubber balls, clothes pins etc etc. There was no discussion of the individual songs beforehand and Duos amply demonstrates the intuitive relationship between FAT's bass and guitar players - Noble / Rosenzveig. Phil Giborski did engineering duty on these late-night sessions.
Citron - released june 2015
Citron is a remix of the Czech heavy-metal band Citron's 1992 release Vypusťte psy!, or Release the Dogs. Citron is a far-cry from its heavy-metal origins creating a fairy-tale-on-acid voyage from the bones of a late communist era Czech mega-album. The mix turns the original record inside-out and often lays bare the typical "lead" vocals or instrumentation bringing the more banal elements to the forefront. Background synth fills become lead instruments with midi time code serving as a rhythm track while the whole song is re-configured in a cavernous arena reverb setting. Re-mixed in the studio where the original album was recorded, the re-processed sound was achieved entirely with the period equipment from a 1992 Czech studio.
Plays For You - Released 1987
Recorded in May 1987, Plays for You was FAT's first album, recorded in their hometown of Montreal and released by Amok Records in 1988. The album cover was an appropriation of the great Charles Tyler's ESP release and was partly a reflection of the influence of such free jazz on FAT's music. In addition, Plays for You freely displays other influences of Noise, Improv, Punk and Funk on the band and is an introduction to the eclecticism of FAT's sound.
Hit - Released 1989
Hit was recorded on November 22, 1988 in New York City and released on These / Recommended in 1999. Hit is FAT's most composed record and was conceived entirely in Barcelona, Spain following the group's move there in 1987. To a large extent the record was created by taping extended improv sessions in their home with the group then replicating the most interesting moments and then re-configuring these sections back to back often using a cut-up method on songs such as Top Ten. The album shows the group at its most controlled, particularly in the song New Power and Get Up With It (both mixed by Elliott Sharp), while songs like Top Ten (with horn players Borbetomagus) bring an absurdist, free-noise edge to the album. In performance in this period, FAT often played with the experimental films of Mark Nugent, who accompanied FAT to Morocco and created the film Dark River from film shot there. Hit was released by UK label These / Recommended and FAT spent many months in London following its release living with Chris Cutler and his extended family in Brixton.
Automat hi-life - ReleasEd 1991
Recorded 18-28 September, 1990 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia. Automat Hi-Life was released jointly by Czech label Rachot and by Recommended Records in London. This recorded was entirely composed in the coal-room basement of our Czech friend Borka Holecka, also the founder of Rachot Records. As a convicted publisher of Samizdat literature, Borka was condemned to managing the coal room of his building where he allowed us to set up our studio for a number of weeks while preparing the songs on the record. The album features 31 songs each of approximately 1-minute in length and is wildly eclectic in its influences and ambitions. While difficult to discern much obvious structure on many of the songs, virtually all were composed, though with the usual backdoor opportunities for instrumental and studio improvisation and experimentation.
MAGNETIZER - Released 1992
Recorded November 24, 1990 in Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, Magnetizer was recorded during the same studio sessions that yielded Automat Hi-Life, Citron and Duos and was a pure free-improv noise session. As with virtually all FAT's releases there were no overdubs but with Magnetizer the songs were entirely improvised and recorded straight to tape. This is FAT at its most freely aggressive and followed on the group's most active touring schedule on the European continent leading up to the session.