As Fatboy Slim prepares to prepares to headline some huge UK shows, we asked him what music is bringing him to his feet.
Norman Cook, known by stage-name Fatboy Slim, has been a key part of the British music scene since the 1980s, having played bass in the indie-rock outfit The Housemartins. As the decade reached its end, and the band members went their separate ways, Cook formed Beats International, marking his headfirst dive into the electronic scene.
Since then, Cook has celebrated considerable success as Fatboy Slim, breaking further into the mainstream with his Better Living Through Chemistry debut album. Commercial successes such as singles The Rockafella Skank, Gangster Trippin and UK No.1 Praise You followed.
Heavily influential, Cook and his Fatboy Slim project have continued to shape and guide the electro scene both at home and internationally. (Grab his Greatest Hits to get reacquainted with his back-catalogue.)
With that in mind, we asked him to pull together a list of songs that have turned his head in recent years, from electronic to further afield. Here’s what he came back with.
Kryder & the Cube Guys – You and Me
My current storming tune. A high energy reboot of Are Friends Electric? performed with the power and discretion of a wrecking ball.
Ultra Nate & Roland Clark – The First Time I Met Free (Claptone Remix)
A mash up of Ultra Nate’s Free great riff and the a cappella of my old friend Roland’s The First Time I Met House this works on so many levels and pushes so many buttons, it takes pedigree ingredients but adds a cinematic romantic feel which will cause a thousand hugs in Ibiza next season.
Dino Lenny & Doorly – The Magic Room
A hypnotic vocal takes it to another place, a wonderful peaceful place full of love and respect. With mixes from Dino, Doorly and Luke Solomun to suit the magic room of your choice….
Dinah Washington & Max Richter – This Bitter Earth
Bit of a wildcard “all back to mine” tune for sunrises or sunsets, nothing in between. Soaring strings and a wistful lyric take you on an emotional journey..
Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – White / Black Crow
Pick the original version from the excellent The Soft Bounce album or Erol Alkan’s even trippier more dancefloor armed remix. Either will work for you I promise.
Lexa Hill – Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose
This does exactly what it says on the tin. A party hook and intense tribal beat are all you really need for a classic in my book.
Klaaatu – Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
I have loved the Carpenters’ version of this for 30 years never realising it was a cover and this is the rawer, more soulful original.
Fatnotronic – Margarida
Bouncy Brazilian disco with an acid edge that has been on my playlists all summer.
Lapsley – Operator
The disco sleeper hit of the year. Originally only available in Loft like 10 minute 12” discomix form but latterly edited down to a bite size 3’ 43” radio edit, DJ Koze turned on many but sadly failed to turn this into the hit it deserved to be…
Christina & the Queens – Tilted
The surprise hit over the summer. I was stoked by her breathtaking Glastonbury slot and unique dance sequences. For me it reached another plane when I decided to do my own duddier disco edit for my DJ sets.
Tribesmen – Solarod
Tribal rhythms and chants enchant you and entice you but do not prepare you for the life and bowel changing bassline that follows.
The Charlatans – Trouble Understanding’ (Norman Cook remix)
A one off labour of love for me, especially for record store day. Stripping back a heavenly tune to it’s celestial bare bones. The opposite of a dance remix, no overdubs, only underdubs.
Armand Van Helden – The Bronx UFO
AVH at his stooopid best. Raw, raucous, simple and designed only to make the blood rush to your hip region…
Paul McCartney vs Timo Maas – Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five
I have no idea why Timo felt the desire to update this historical Wings era nugget, or why McCartney sanctioned it for release. All I can say is the world is a better place that they did!
Disclosure/Al Green – Feel like I Do
Al Green is my favourite soul singer ever and perhaps one I would have thought was too sacred to be chopped up and filtered by modern upstart producers but Disclosure did such a magnificent job on this I have eaten my hat and admired its twisted beauty.
Fatboy Slim will be appearing in Glasgow, Manchester and London on the 9, 10 and 17 December respectively. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.