Music » CD Reviews

Fatboy Slim

"Illuminati" / "Camber Sands" / "The Pimp" (Skint/Astralwerks)



It isn't difficult to figure out what went wrong with Fatboy Slim's last disc, the flop Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars. Norman Cook has always been quick to point out that his formula for success is simple -- take every one of the conventions that makes dance music catchy and tweak it way too far. So now that people are tired of the quick giggles and cheap rush of tracks like "Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You," Cook is letting some of the dance scene's more subtle sonic auteurs take a stab at rewriting his last effort.

The best results of these three EPs come on "Illuminati" and "The Pimp," including both title cuts, which are previously unreleased Slim originals that would have been easy standouts on Halfway. On "Illuminati," Timo Maas pumps out an acid-damaged house rework of "Star 69," and the Stanton Warriors lend "Demons" some breakbeat complexity and a swooping bass line to play off Slim's Fender Rhodes melody. On "The Pimp," Hâkan Lidbo builds "Drop the Hate" into a steamy Chicago-flavored gospel house gem, complete with a steppin' bass riff, while Freq Nasty infuses the strung-out disco riffs in "Retox" with a bawdy bass wave that heads straight for the hips. Looks like Fatboy has earned a reprieve from the Gutter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.