Fatboy Slim – the man of thousand sounds
By Vojtěch Čejka
Fatboy Slim is the latest alias of DJ Norman Cook. But on the other hand Norman Cook is also alias of one smart man I will talk about in this essay. His civil name is Quentin Cook. He is man of thousand faces, nicknames and sounds. Many people in Czech republic know him only as Fatboy but it is delusion. He has started his career in 80's and he's still on top. He was a member of many bands; projects and he had also produced a bunch of remixes. Fatboy Slim is definitely one of the champions of the UK club scene.
Quentin Cook was born in Bromley, England 13 July 1963, but grew up in Redhill, England. He moved to Brighton to attend college where he started DJing. But surprisingly he become famous as a member of his first music group called the Housemartins, where he played bass guitar. The group reached number three with song Happy Hour and number one with hit single Caravan Of Love a cover of the Isley Brothers tune in 1986. They split up in 1988.
But his career continued in 1989 when he formed the band Beats International that had a number 1 hit with Dub Be Good To Me. Then recording two albums Let Them Eat Bingo and Excursions On The Version. In 1990 but they fell apart too. Norman didn't gave up and in 1993 he and his friend Ashley Slater started as the band Freakpower and produced the hit single Tune in Turn On Cop Out. Which was used in the Levi jeans commercial.
Freakpower's first album Drive Thru Booty (1994) was mainly made up from material that Norman had written for a third Beats International’s Album. Then disappeared for a while. In 1995 he reappeared again as Pizzaman with chart-breaker Sex On The Streets. This song became famous because it was used in the Del Monte Fruit juice commercial in the UK. Then Freakpower turned up again and played for a year, recording second album More Of Everything For Everybody. During this period Norman recorded under a variety of aliases including Fried Funk Food and Mighty Dub Kats.
Then Norman founded Skint records - with Damien Harris. Produced the album Better Living Through Chemistry as Fatboy Slim – his latest alias. The album's title refers to a slogan used in America in the 50's, advocating that hyperactive children should be quieted down with large doses of Valium. (A chill out drug) More Fatboy Slim singles followed - Everybody Loves A 303, Punk To Funk. He has also done various remixes i.e. Wildchild: Renegade Master (No.2 in UK) Cornershop: Brimful Of Asha (no.1 in UK).
But Norman’s biggest success was in 1998 when he send out album You've Come A Long Way, Baby in 1998. The first single from album The Rockefeller Skank was without a doubt the summer anthem of 1998. Following with singles Gangster Trippin, Praise You. Right here, right now, Built it up, tear it down. Each reached No. 1 in British Charts in two weeks. He received an award for Best Dance Act 1999 in Britain and recently received four MTV Video Awards for his video Praise You.
In 200 he recorded his the latest album called Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars. The fist single was Sunset (bird of prey) with vocals from Jim Morrison (The Doors) followed by the second single 'Demons' (featuring Macy Gray) and third single Star 69 (one of the greatest club tune of 2001). The last single he released was 'Ya Mama / Song for shelter'
We can compare his music to Moby. American artist who was No.1 wit hit single Why does my heart feel so bad? Both of them use the same techniques, approaches of making music. I’ll tell you about later on. But the songs of Moby are bit slower or softer. There is nobody in Czech who does similar music. So we can say his style is unique.
Now let me tell you why I admire him. The best point of his music is the huge variety of sound. His tunes are so rich and colorful that you became lost in it. The secret of it is sampling – the approach of making music. You just cut 5 second of music from this song, 10 seconds from that melody or two or three words from some speech and then you put it in a sampler. It is a smart machine, which Norman allows to put these sounds and melodies into amazing combinations. Fatboy Slim is also called the robber of 20th century. Because it looks like he robs the other songs. But I don’t agree. His one song sounds like ten different songs in one and this is great. He is like the genius chef. He mixes ingredients in tasteful music cakes for ears. And that makes his fans crazy, astonished by it. I am the same. He is my favorite British artist
All facts, details and information were taken from author’s own archive.
Nothing was downloaded from the Internet!!!
14. listopad 2007