Various Artist - Fatboy Slim: Greatest Hits Remixed
Mon 10th Dec, 2007 Music Reviewsin
Multi platinum and Grammy Award winning artist Fatboy Slim releases his Greatest Hits Remixed. This is no Slim obituary or au revoir. It’s the cream of electronic music through the eyes of some of the world’s finest producers. It’s showtime, and everyone’s at the party. This is an A-list posse of talented scene leaders and tastemakers all flattered and honoured to rework, remix, re-energise, and re-imagine a classic tune from Norman Cook’s back catalogue. One of your favourite artists features on this 2CD compilation. Guaranteed!
Right Here Right Now by Redanka kicks off the album with perhaps the most recognisable Fatboy Slim riff and refrain ever. It’s familiar and different at the same time. A great version with a lazy kick that is too cool for school. Next up The Chemical Brothers do Song for Shelter, putting their trademark repetitive hypnotic tech funk into this workout.
The Plump DJs version of Everybody Needs A 303 has been kicking around for a while. “We were chuffed to bits when we got asked to remix one of Norm’s classics and there could be only one. From where we were sitting it had to be 303. The original was an anthem at many of the clubs we enjoyed back in the day, a big inspiration for us. Last year our remix became the most wanted by peeps that came to hear us play. What a great feeling,” the Plumps say.
As Slim says in the liner notes, “If Junkie XL is good enough for Elvis...” Weapon of Choice is XL’s chance to create a signature take on the classic Christopher Walken dance number. A rolling bassline is interrupted with cut-up vocals and synth stabs. Mulder gives The Rockafeller Skank a drum n’ bass injection that started life as a bootleg. Slim heard it, loved it, then legalised it.
Star 69 is Timo Maas’ chance to shine. Again, another seriously recognisable refrain is given new life by a producer not afraid to hack the original to bits. B-boys Mike D and Ad Rock get an opportunity to lower the BPMs of the album with Praise You. An old-school funk snap with an ethereal robotic vocal twist.
Underworld’s Darren Emerson remixes the Jim Morrison sampled Sunset Bird of Prey. It’s one of the few tracks on here that is unrecognisable and suffers as a result. Kidda’s Fatboy Bouillabaisse closes the first CD with a swift hip hop mix-up that’s a walk down memory lane for Slim lovers, incorporating many of his classics.
CD2 is definitely the heavier of the two CDs and starts off with French golden boys Justice working their obsessive electro craziness with Don’t Let The Man Get You Down. Dave Clarke puts a 138bpm behind Retox and X-press 2 appear on Mi Bebe Masoquista. Japanese recording artist Fantastic Plastic goes with a bossa nova meets house instinct on The Journey. Sound weird? It is. It’s also genius. A real highlight. Kid Carpet smooths things out with The Joker. A strange tune in the Slim catalogue, and here it remains that way courtesy of lonely Casio keyboard twinkles.
Again, a super-recognisable riff appears in Talking About My Baby by Midfield General. Starting with a stripped back soundscape of piano, voice and crowd noises, Slim calls it, “Self indulgent bollocks but he was my label manager.” Fair enough. Party breaks superstar Krafty Kuts locks in another club banger with Ya Mama. Slim says Krafty, “started out selling me records, ended up selling records for me.” The pulsing hoover bass line slows in the breakdown until the vocal refrain “push the tempo” speeds things up faster and faster to a climax. Sounds great with your speakers up loud. As does Switch’s frequency-bending remix of Champion Sound. I don’t know how to describe the kinds of sounds this guy gets out of his equipment except to say I think it’s the future. Incredible. Though I don’t know whether you can dance to it.
Simply put, this is a stunning album. There are so many highlights spread throughout. Every track brings with it the weight it held when it was first released, coupled with the sublime talent and loving care provided by the remix producer. It’s been a long while since I’ve been literally blown away by a slice of electronic music production. This album did it for me, track after glorious track. A multi-eargasm masterpiece. Essential listening, wherever, whenever.
Check out that rockin’ Rockafeller Skank remix right here…