When it comes to record labels in the golden era of Breakbeat music, Fat! is up there as one of the most consistent, original and standard setting on the global scene... Along with their legendary night 'Chew the Fat' at the End in London, the label pioneered a sound in music that will live forever in the souls of ravers all over the world.

Atomic Hooligan and Jay Cunning are revisiting the labels glory days with Fat! Breaks volume 1 a retrospective look at the labels most seminal beats. We caught up with breakbeat legend Atomic Hooligan for a chat about the release and the state of the breakbeat scene at present. There is also an exclusive old to the new mini mix that they have exclusively recorded for Juno customers - showcasing the best of the old and new that Fat! and they breakbeat scene have to offer.

Interview With Atomic Hooligan

Hi Terry. What’s going on with you at the moment?

Number 1 is this Fat! Breaks compilation. Fat! asked me and Jay to compile our favourite moments from the era of the label when it was releasing classic breakbeat. It was honestly quite hard to only pick 14 tracks. Me and Jay used to have bags full of Fat! records when we went out to play at gigs.

Other than that, myself and Jay have our PR company and we are really pushing our DJ School at the moment.

I'm still DJ'ing out a fair amount and running my own label Bass=Win with Rico Tubbs.

You say it was hard to pick just 14 tracks from Fat!'s back catalogue. Why is that?

The label is legendary. It helped define a sound and a time in the music’s history. Botchit (the label I was signed to), TCR, Marine Parade and Fat! were the daddys of the scene. But Fat! always had their sights set on the dance floor. They had a distinct sound that appealed to DJ's like me and the punters we played too. I think this probably had a lot to do with Chew the Fat, their night at The Bug Bar in Brixton and at The End. Jay & myself played at both these spots many, many times and there was always a synergy between the night and the music the label put out. Releases by artists like Merka, Apollo Kids, Baobinga & I.D. and so on had a sound that was perfectly suited to raving in a dark room full of like minded people. It was a magic time in dance music and to be restricted to only 14 tracks is a bit of a liberty to be honest hahahaha...

If you had to pick only one tune off the album that represents this era perfectly, which would it be?

Woof.. that’s a tough one. I would have to say Apollo Kids - The Wrath. It’s got everything a classic breaks tune needs. Big rumbling bassline, classic Hip Hop feel, big rolling drums. I would also have to say Kickflip - King Conga. People just don't make tunes like that anymore. As a DJ the structure is perfect. Nice long beat intro that drops smash, bang wallop into a dirty big bassline.

Have you got any stand-out moments from when you played at Chew the Fat?

I remember playing in Room 2 at the end about a couple before our track 'Just One More' came out as the first single from our 'You Are Here' album. So the promos had not even gone out for the track and I was still the only one with it. The room was going off, as it always did. It was a really small room with massive sound system. I played the tune into the breakdown and as the breakdown was playing this girl stood right next to the door of the DJ booth and started running on the spot in time with the drum build of the track, if you have ever heard 'Just One More' you will know it’s got a really long and drawn out breakdown. This girl just kept running on the stop and as the build got more and more intense she was stomping her feet hard and hard and I noticed she was getting really red in the face and strained. When the track finally dropped again she threw her hands in the air and did this star jump kind of thing just as her friend was bring her a plastic pint glass of water. She smashed it out of her friends hand with the star jump and didn’t even notice... the water went all over her mate and soaked her from head to waste. The star jump girl then just walked back around to the front of the DJ booth and started dancing again normally. I was in tears.

How do you think the Breakbeat around at the moment compares to the golden age of Breakbeat in the 00's?

I personally love it all. I think it was cool for people to say 'Breaks is dead' and all that rubbish. But I think there is now and always has been some great music knocking about. As with all scenes, they morph and change and sometimes there is more hype, sometimes there’s less. But, I don't think that ever really effects the quality of music being made by people in the studios or bedrooms. There is just more music around now days in general, so it can be harder for the cream to rise to the top. When a label released your music back in the early 2000's and before, it was almost like they had to take a mortgage put just to get the mastering and manufacturing done. Now, you can release a tune digitally for next to nothing. So I think the A&R process is not as stringent... But... There is still great music. There are still people out there wanting to listen to great music. It’s as simple as that. Nothing will ever re-capture the halcyon days of the late 90's and early 2000's when it comes to Breakbeat, but why should it? There always needs to be new and fresh and there always will be.

Why should people buy this album?

If you are new to Breaks and getting into the sound, it’s the perfect history lesson to find out where this music came from. If you were around for the golden era, this is the first time a few of these tunes have been available on digital, and every tune on here has been re-mastered and they all sound amazing. If you're not into breaks at all and love folk music.

Lastly, tell us about the exclusive mix you have done for us?

I tried to get a few of the tracks from the album in with some new Bass & Breaks tracks to showcase that yes they are classics, but they are very relevant now and can be played with a lot of up front stuff!


Fat! Breaks Old To The New Mixed by Atomic Hooligan

Reviewed this week
Breakbeat Paradise is very good at satisfying our funky needs, never failing to come through with some blissful, sample-heavy party bangers for all walks of life. It's a mixed bag, as per usual, and this will surely appeal to DJs with wider sound palettes, from the hip-hop heads to the disco junkies. Coming across almost like edits, the sounds of peeps like B Side and DJ Maars manage to incorporate so many elements of dance music into single arrangements, and these tunes are surely what is needed to get the dancefloor going; whether it's your bag or not, you won't be able to resist their funky touch.
It's looking like a funky Friday thanks to, in part, work of this calibre, and by an artist of WBBL's nature. Whether that stands for 'wobble' or not is still something of a mystery, but it's clear the producer has the dancefloor front of mind. This one-track single for Ghetto Funk marks his return to the imprint, through which he's offered some prime dance cuts over the last few years. "Glide" has everything in it; from boogie synth solos to electro bass bumps, and even a little touch of house - it's a party monster waiting to be dropped at the right moment - so do the right thing, yeah?
Left, Right and Jacq's recent escapades for the Punks stable have gone down rather well, leading them to have what is surely their most iconic tune to be remixed and rewired for this latest episode. The original of "Bad" is in here, still giving off that dreamy glow of intricate drums and sultry vocals, but Worthy takes no time in twisting the original into a stretched-out piece of hybrid house with added levels of bass; Born Dirty is no less gnarly thanks to an injection of off-kilter cowbells and minimalistic harmonies, whereas Stranger utterly reframes the formula to produce a fuzzy cloud of low frequencies from the depths of the inferno.
Renowned for sample based/disco driven anthems, Voodoo Chilli (aka Herve) returned earlier in 2017 with "My Heart" which featured vocals from the talented 19 year old Londoner Rhia. This emotive and soulful anthem now gets treated to a bunch of seriously awesome remixes by some top guns of the scene at present. Birmingham's Marc Spence (Simma Black) presents a bumpin' and grinding electro house version, London's Ryuken deliver a deep, down and dirty speed garage rendition which'll take you all the way back to '97. Finally, things stay convincingly and respectfully retro on Nixon's early '90s rave rendition, complete with breakbeats and euphoric elements.
The Hot Cakes label is dishing out nothing but stone-cold classics as of late, and this latest coup from Bradley Drop, Proxxy and DJ Lantern is another small step towards their total domination of the nu-school breakbeat space! "Music Takes Control" is the only track residing on this effective little EP, but it's got enough vibes in it to see the entire night through; kicking off with lush progressive house chords, the tune develops into a fine-ass breaks bombshell filled with soul and funk throughout its entire arrangement - a big tune for the big-room deejay.
Bulabeats are back on it with this new compilation of high-powered Ska & Dub, taking us through the entire reggae wheel, and landing on some pretty unexpected territories along the way. Johnnypulse, Mo Matic and JPSTOL get together and fill us with heartical delights from start to finish, but their tunes aren't limimted to a dub tempo per se. On the contrary, a dubwise feel is added to slamming jungle beats, raucous d&b breaks, and even a little grime sensitivity for the South London massive. If you're into all things 'dubby', then this is certainly one to check. Big up, Bulabeats!
'An Indefinite Period' starts the EP with a strong shot of nostalgia, loud crashing breaks make the backbone of the track which is adorned by a host of euphoric rave samples, from airy lasers to echoing cow bells. Washed in a fuzzy cloud of white noise and with an emphasis on minor notes 'High Rise' has a sombre vibe, which is occasionally lifted by the twinkling of piano. 'Soul Within Code' has an intensive jungle vibe from the break pattern to the distant tropical bird calls, to add to the intensity there are layers of deep shimmering reflections. 'Toxin' is dark and brooding; the deep, barely there sub is the subtle star of the track.
VARIOUS - Badass Funk EP (Breakbeat Paradise) - exclusive 31-12-2017
VARIOUS - Ska & Dub (Bulabeats) - exclusive 31-12-2017
KRAFTY KUTS - Back To Flow EP (Bomb Strikes) - exclusive 25-10-2017
BRADLEY DROP/PROXXY/DJ LANTERN - Music Takes Control (Hot Cakes)
INDIGO VIRUS	Neophyte (36 Hertz)
WBBL - Glide (Ghetto Funk)
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