ASTRALWERKS

Norman “Jack-of-All-Genres” Cook, in addition to his former occupations as bassist for the Housemartins and one-third of acid house hitmakers Pizzaman, is also the man behind one of the most popular of the new flock of English “Brit-hop” producers, Fatboy Slim. Releasing his Fatboy material through club staple Skint, Cook’s raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club scene.

Born Quentin Cook in Bromley on July 31, 1963, Cook joined the Hull-based pop group the Housemartins in 1986, replacing founding member Ted Key. After the group split the following year, Cook became involved with the burgeoning acid house scene, pairing with producers Tim Jeffrey and J.C. Reid toward the end of the decade to form Pizzaman. The trio nailed three Top 40 hits together (“Trippin’ on Sunshine,” “Sex on the Streets,” and “Happiness”) before Cook splintered off to record with similarly styled outfits Freak Power and Beats International in the early ’90s.

He shut most of his other production activities down in the following years to focus on his latest incarnation, Fatboy Slim, which began with a trio of singles and the full-length Better Living Through Chemistry. Cook was also called in to add his remixing skills to Jean-Jacques Perrey’s proto-electronica classic “Eva,” released as a 12″ and CD single in 1997. In addition to his FBS work, Cook also recorded the Skip to My Loops sample CD, a popular studio tool sporting a mélange of sample-ready drum loops, analog squelches, and assorted noises. In early 1998, his remix of Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” spent several weeks at number one in the British charts.

Fatboy Slim’s eagerly anticipated second LP, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, followed later that year. The album went platinum in the U.S. and spawned two international hits, “The Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You,” which also boasted a Spike Jonze-directed video that earned three MTV Video Music Awards as well as two Grammy nominations. “The Rockafeller Skank,” “Praise You,” and other songs from You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby ended up on countless soundtracks and commercials, cementing Fatboy Slim’s unique position as a critically acclaimed and immensely popular act.

Cook also recorded several mix albums, including the first disc of the Radio 1 compilation Essential Selection, Vol. 1 and his own On the Floor at the Boutique. The latter was released domestically in the U.S. in early 2000 to help fans withstand the wait for his third album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, which arrived that fall. Two mix albums — Live on Brighton Beach and Big Beach Boutique II — appeared in 2002. During 2003, Cook and his wife — popular British TV presenter Zöe Ball — separated for a brief period. They soon patched things up but the split was a heavy influence on 2004′s Palookaville, the most laid-back and moody Fatboy Slim album yet. Collecting his singles along with a couple of important remixes, The Greatest Hits: Why Try Harder appeared in 2006. In 2008, Cook announced he would be retiring the Fatboy Slim name and launching a new project, Brighton Port Authority, or the BPA for short. As of 2009, the Fatboy Slim name was still appearing, such as on the 2009 mix CD Dance Bitch, and as BPA, Cook released I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat in 2009. His next project, released in 2010 as Fatboy Slim, involved production work, collaboration, and co-billing with David Byrne on the Imelda Marcos concept release Here Lies Love.

-AllRovi


NEWS

FATBOY SLIM SERVES UP THE ‘UNOFFICIAL SOUNDTRACK’ TO SUMMER’S BIGGEST EVENT: THE WORLD CUP BRASIL 2014 out June 3rd on Astralwerks. Featuring brand new tracks and remixes by DJ Fresh, Gregor Salto, Psychemagik, Eats Everything, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Claude Von Stroke, Joey Negro Fatboy Slim is known the world over for his unique brand of 'Party Acid House', something he advocates through the medium of DJing and of course the music he makes. His track "Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat" was not only a worldwide hit last year but also became a lifestyle mantra for the hugely abundant new generation of 'Ravers' who can be seen hash-tagging and shuffling their way across dance floors and festival fields everywhere. Sub-plotting Fatboy's relentless party mission are two very clear passions… Football (“Soccer” for those in the U.S.) and Brasil! Historically Music and Football don't always mix but Fatboy has repeatedly denied such logic. His special relationship with the World Cup started in 2002 when he had the bright idea to play gigs in Japan and South Korea in the same cities as the England games, giving the England fans and locals something to do and allowing himself and his crew to go to the matches. Based on the success of this formula he repeated it (this time with FA approval) at Euro 2004 in Portugal and again with great success at South Africa 2010. Four years on and he finds Football converging with his biggest love affair… Brasil! Rewind to 2002, Big Beach Boutique II on Brighton Beach, the party to end all parties. By some bizarre twist of fate the DVD of the show spread like nutmegs in Brasil becoming engrained in folklore. Before long Brasilians were demanding a Fatboy Slim party like the one they'd seen on DVD. Cut to Fatboy Slim DJ'ing on Flamingo beach in Rio, 360,000 people F#cking In Heaven, broadcast live on national TV… It was the biggest thing in dance music that had ever happened in Brasil. This, along with the countless other parties at Carnival and across the country is the reason why Norman is more famous in Brasil than any other country in the world, including the UK! Now, just as he sets off for a Pre-Cup Recce and 6 date Carnival tour of Brasil, he's delivered a lovingly curated collection of music encapsulating the soundtrack to this year's biggest event... The World Cup Finals.  ‘Fatboy Slim Presents Bem Brasil’ (roughly translated as ‘Very Brasil’) will be one of the hottest albums of the summer, and may even feature some new material from the man himself. In parallel to the tournament, world renowned players from across the globe, congregate to express their skill, inspired by the magnificent back drop of Brasil, its people and its celebrated culture. The players in this case are a host of Fatboy's producer friends from the world of electronic music. They're not celebrating football but they are paying tribute to the incredible flair for music and dancing Brasil has gifted the world. Some of the tracks are set around samples of classic Brasilian tracks, notably Felguk's inspired re work of Jorge Ben Jor's "Taj Mahal" and DJ Fresh's take on the Sergio Mendes anthem "Magdalena" . Others take inspiration from Brasilian music with brand new tracks from Carl Cox, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Gregor Salto and Joey Negro's re-imagining of Airto Moreira classic "Celebration Suite" With only months left before the first ball meets boot in Brasil, Fatboy and his compatriots are here to get the carnival started early. “Bem Brasil” is the latest in Fatboy Slim’s career spanning relationship with Astralwerks Records. In the late 90s, Fatboy Slim led the charge of the explosion of electronica into the American mainstream with his debut album “Better Living Through Chemistry”, followed by 1998’s platinum-selling sophomore release “You've Come a Long Way, Baby” which spawned two international hits “The Rockafeller Skank” and “Praise You” cementing Fatboy Slim’s unique position as a critically acclaimed and immensely popular mainstream act. Football aside, Fatboy is no stranger to musically-inspired fancy-footwork. For evidence, check out Christopher Walken’s smooth moves in this 2002 Grammy Award Winning video for 2001’s “Weapon Of Choice”.


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