Kitty Craft - Beats and Breaks from the Flower Patch (Expanded Edition)

Takotsubo
(TAK023: 708527230305/TAK024/TAK025)




Available 5/19/2023.

This is a new 2022 special edition release of the Kitty Craft fan-favorite Beats and Breaks from the Flower Patch. This is the new Takotsubo Records edition, which includes five songs that you probably haven’t heard. The bonus tracks are only available on this CD and are all from the Beats & Breaks era of recording at The Flower Patch, Minneapolis, MN. Previously un-released and/or rare. 

CD track list: 

 

1. Par 5
2. Inward Jam
3. When Fortune Smiles
4. Alright
5. Half Court Press
6. Mama's Lamp (American Mix)
7. Locked Groove
8. Down For
9. Shine On
10. All to You
11. Caught High

+ five bonus tracks only available on CD:

12. Trax (x2)
13. Lo-Fi
14. Where in the World is Carmen Miranda?
15. No Bets
16. All to You (Australian Mix)

Digital track list:

1. Par 5
2. Inward Jam
3. When Fortune Smiles
4. Alright
5. Half Court Press
6. Mama's Lamp (American Mix)
7. Locked Groove
8. Down For
9. Shine On
10. All to You
11. Caught High

Kitty Craft is Pamela Valfer.

Debuting in 1994 with the S/T cassette release on the Australian, Toytown label, and IT’S STUPID EP 7" in 1995, Pam’s sound was originally a low-tech affair. 1997’s I GOT RULEZ EP 7” expanded her sound with keys & sampler, leading to 1998 release of BEATS & BREAKS FROM THE FLOWER PATCH (originally released in the USA by Kindercore Records). In 2000, her 2nd full-length album, CATSKILLS followed on March Records in the USA. Both albums had Japanese tours and Japanese CD releases with Rock Records.

Around 2003/2004 after the completion of her 3rd Album... Pam dropped the mic, hung up her headphones, and put kitty craft into hibernation. The album was put down and filed away. Pam then focused on her visual and multimedia art, and career as an art professor.

In 2019, kitty craft woke from hibernation and quietly without fanfare, released "Beats and Breaks from the Flower Patch" and "Catskills" on all streaming & digital platforms. Followed soon after by "Lost Tapes", a gem of an album, comprised exclusively of previously unreleased songs recorded as a full album in 2003, but was shelved never to see the light of day...until now.

In some kind of pandemic zeitgeist, along with stuff like Lofi Girl/ChilledCow, a 90's aesthetic resurgence, and the popularity of new and old vinyl records - kitty craft has been adopted by a whole new group of digital natives. Amazing and unexpected.

Valentine's Day 2022 brought us kitty craft's first full-length LP vinyl record... MEW (1994-2004), an anthology album with tracks spanning all eras... MEW, shows an artist with a clear vision from the start.

2023: Takotsubo Records brings you the expanded CD versions of the kitty craft discography. Starting with BEATS & BREAKS and LOST TAPES... Both include previously unreleased songs. Back at home with Darla Records for worldwide distribution!

INSTAGRAM: @kittycraft_band

LINKTREE: https://linktr.ee/kitty.craft

"Pamela Valfer's first full-length Kitty Craft album Breaks and Beats From the Flower Patch spotlights her bewitching, homemade loop pop. Hypnotic flutes, guitars, and harmonies float over simple but catchy beats, creating a dreamy, nearly Eastern-influenced ambience on songs like "Locked Groove" and "Half Court Press," while "Par 5" and "Mama's Lamp" wear their '60s folk, soul, and pop influences proudly. While individual songs tend to blend together, Kitty Craft's sound is so distinctive that it makes the album almost like a vacation to a mellow, cheerful, sunny place -- the flower patch itself, perhaps? Unabashedly pretty, ethereal yet down-to-earth, Breaks and Beats From the Flower Patch is a completely charming album."  -- Heather Phares,  ALLMUSIC.com 

"Kitty Craft is Minneapolis-based Pamela Valfer's ingenious melding of sugary vocals and relaxed looped beats. Her sophomore album, Catskills, continues her lo-fi but technologically savvy work as she blends folk-tinged vocal tendencies with chilled out and occasionally slightly bizarre beats. Underscoring the tracks are tinkling keyboard effects that avoid sounding childish but still manage to be unabashedly playful. Similar in concept, though far less hyperactive than Cornelius' Fantasma, Catskills is an easy to digest record of not quite perfect yet still enjoyable pop confections. There's funky hip-hop sampling complete with standup basslines and record fuzz, and there are also tripped-out samples under airy harmonies, all mixed up to the point where both styles can occur in a single song. With all of these effects and her floating vocals, songs like "At the Charity Stripe" see Kitty craft putting a brand-new spin on the Portishead concept. This may not be the record you memorize every lyric to, but its infectious and easy to stomach grooves will still leave a smile on your face and some bounce in your step. Valfer successfully constructs a landscape of intelligent beat-oriented pop on this record, and she should at least get some recognition for taking a chance as an intelligent female songwriter putting an adventurous bit of herself into a context that lacks any real peers." -- Peter J. D'Angelo, ALLMUSIC.com

"It was August and I was on a bus back from the beach, almost dozing off, when “Alright” by Kitty Craft started playing in my Discover Weekly. The pushy beats on the looped background set the scene for the mellow female vocals, “First day / Your skateboard aspiration on tip and tongue.” With the end of August derailing my summer aspirations to learn how to skate, the song perfectly depicted the nostalgic feeling of September approaching. The peaceful and rhythmic synths create the impression of regular waves on a beach, but the gentle vocals make the scene precarious, almost comforting you that the summer is over. “It’s alright, it’s alright. When it comes to Kitty Craft, it’s all about images. Perhaps due to her job as a visual art teacher, Kitty Craft, also known as Pamela Valfer, has a certain aptitude for painting scenes with her production, as much as she does with her paintbrush. This talent extends to her sonic adventures, which are never banal, but always unexpected and on point." -- Onofrio De Michele, FirebirdMagazine.com

Kitty Craft is the solo project of Pamela Valfer, a songwriter and musician who produced laid-back, breakbeat-driven indie pop songs during the late '90s and early 2000s. Her two main albums (not counting a rare 1995 cassette) were released by well-known twee labels Kindercore and March Records, and Valfer additionally contributed to albums by Sukpatch and the Busy Signals, other acts mining a similar sample-based hip-hop/indie pop sound. Valfer seemed to disappear following 2004's Hello Kitty Craft EP, but after her catalog was made available digitally in the early 2020s, 1998's Beats and Breaks from the Flower Patch became somewhat of a runaway hit online, garnering comparisons to Saint Etienne and the Avalanches rather than the largely forgotten Slabco-adjacent indietronica scene Valfer was associated with at the time. Mew (1996-2004) gathers songs from nearly every Kitty Craft release, bringing most of the material to vinyl for the first time. Two songs from early 7" singles, "Find Out" and the punkish "It's Stupid," are rougher and more lo-fi, focusing on live instruments and preceding the sample usage of her subsequent work. Beats and Breaks remains a pleasant springtime frolic of a record, and while any track would've been at home on this compilation, the comforting trip-hop groover "Alright," with its infectious looped soul wail during the chorus, is one of its clear standouts and easily the most memorable song here. Later releases like Catskills feature more-advanced beat-building and sample layering, as demonstrated by the stunning "How Long Can This Go On?" and the more disjointed, Land of the Loops-like "At the Charity Stripe." The tracks from the 2020-issued Lost Tapes include moodier experiments like the reflective, turntable-heavy "Tokyo in the Spring" and the longing "11 Hours and 16 Days," which surprisingly layers a guitar solo over its ending. The hypnotic, almost raga-like "Locked Groove" ends the release, and the vinyl edition fittingly does conclude in a locked groove, the way it was always meant to be. Valfer's sampladelic indie pop has aged well, and this compilation is a welcome sampler of her brief but charming discography. -- Paul Simpson, ALLMUSIC.com

"DJ Pamela Valfer loops found beats and hooks, weaving vocals and synths on top à la Juana Molina. Think embroidered samplers in grandma’s house, frosted cake decorations, a kitten playing with a ball of yarn: the very definition of quaint, yet the maker’s mastery of a tricky process: a hidden game, making it look deceptively simple, humble.  None of this is evident on the finished surface – the mark of a true virtuoso." -- RachelleDiaz.com

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