Re-launch of Fat City RecordsPosted on May 22, 2012 by Orsii |
Fat City Records (FCR) was founded in 1993 and has been at the forefront of hip-hop, funk, soul, jazz, soul and all things in between ever since.
From its humble beginnings in Manchester’s Affleck’s Palace in February, 1993, it quickly became one of the leading boutique record shops – its name synonymous with style and great taste the world over.
However, after 16 years in Manchester, in which time it had launched its own label and club night, the physical store was faced with closure. Down in London, Jazzman Records owner Gerald Short rightly felt a shop with such an important heritage on the UK music scene should not be allowed to die. He took it over, brought it down south and decided to run the majority of the business online.
I came on board in the autumn of 2010 and, having had a digital and record label background, I quickly came to the view that the online shop needed updating in terms of design and functionality. And so I embarked on an almost two-year journey to, I hoped, bring FCR into the 21st century. And what a journey it has been!
I initially started plotting the plan of its magnificent return with the very talented designer and user experience expert Greg Smith (BC for those in the know), in the shop’s home town of Manchester. We worked really hard in our spare time to come up with different ways and ideas to make it easier and better for our customers to discover, interact and shop on our website. There were some stops and starts, but we finally started the rebuild in the summer of 2011.
Now, almost a year later, I can proudly say that we have done literally everything within our means and power to bring you the best possible FCR experience. Here is a preview of the new site built and designed by Vibrant Drive.
I’m very happy that we have moved away from a chart-based site and introduced a way for customers to tailor their own experience by being filtering the entire shop by both genre and format.
I’m delighted that it’s been built with mobile phones and tablets in mind, so the custom-built audio player is in HTML5 and, if things go as planned, we might even be able to do an FCR app in the future.
Also, since music is my greatest passion in life, one of my big hopes has been that the new site will enable us to work more closely with independent labels and artists, and through those collaborations offer exclusive content on our blog and exclusive releases.
There is of course still a lot of work to be done. We are currently going through our big warehouse full of records and finding loads of old gems that have never been on the site before. So expect a lot of rare warehouse discoveries to be added to the site over the summer!
With the re-launch of the new website, we are hoping to build upon and continue FCR’s legacy of being the go-to destination for all forms of black and urban music throughout history.
The new website will be officially launched on Friday 1st June, 2012, and we will be celebrating this great occasion with a launch party the same day at Floripa by Old Street Tube station in London.
The line-up is wicked, including guest DJs Jazzman Gerald, Chris Read (Music of Substance), Hint (Tru Thoughts), Laid Back’s very own DJ TomE (who will be making it over all the way from Croatia), and myself (Orsii).
So come and help us celebrate this great occasion! It will be the beginning of the Jubilee weekend which means a bank holiday and plenty of time to recover! You can RSVP on our Facebook event page, find us on Twitter! And if you’re not in London, don’t worry! We will be streaming the entire event live via our Mixlr page.