FatCat began life in 1989 as an independent record store in Crawley, West Sussex – but these days it’s better known as the influential, eclectic and much-loved record label based in Brighton.
From Sigur Rós to Animal Collective, Frightened Rabbit, The Twilight Sad and We Were Promised Jetpacks, FatCat Records has forged a stellar reputation amongst its peers and fans alike – and broken a fair few big albums along the way.
Dave Cawley co-founded the business alongside Alex Knight, and both continue to preside over its fortunes today, 27 years later.
The Independent Echo asked Dave to come up with the 15 tracks which best soundtrack his existence so far – which you can listen to below.
In addition, we ask him to describe what a handful of extra special tracks meant to his life so far…
Music first reached my ears through radio and trips to the public library. Saturday morning flicking through the racks of records at the library is where I came across Gary Numan/ Tubeway Army’s LP ‘Replicas’.
I was nine at the time and the cover just stopped me in my tracks. This man looked so bizarre, almost android with this fixed look on his face. I fell in love with this record.
The track which I played the most was ‘Down In The Park’. The pace of it and that huge synth line that underpinned the song, the strange tone that Gary Newman sang in, I imagined a world run by machines.
My Dad surprised me with a tape he had made of the LP, I still have it now.
1983, and tapes where a huge part of my musical education.
I was fully immersed in the sound of electro which was being championed by one particular DJ called Mike Allen. I avidly listened to his shows on Capital radio and recording the whole show on cassette was the way to have these tracks myself.
G.L.O.B.E and Whiz Kid’s ‘Play that Beat’ reminds me of those years. That track was hammered at my school. I could never break dance but enjoyed playing the tunes on the ghetto blaster for others to. I have a real fondness for this period of music.
I was very immersed in dance / electronic music in 1991, the shop had been opened in London for a year and I was living and breathing it.
The memory I have of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’ was hearing it in a wonderful record store that I used to shop in from my home town of Horley.
Gary Warner ran it and was responsible for introducing me to all sorts of amazing music.
I was aware of MBV but when he played me this it was one of those moments when you know you have hearing something very special. It was all wrong but yet perfect.
The record sounded like it had been mis-cut the way the whole production dragged, felt so woozy and was so dense, yet with these utterly perfect melodies.
To pick one song is so hard but It would have to be ‘When You Sleep’. That’s a huge call but that’s how good I think it is.
My final choice is Slayer’s ‘ Reign In Blood’. Strange choice from someone that was heavily into club / electronic music, but I have always had that extreme side to me.
I have always had a soft spot for metal and punk but this record just blew my mind. It was so ferocious, just took you and smashed you about. I loved that about it.
The production and speed of it was unlike anything I heard and really opened me up for more extreme music later in life.
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