Archive for March, 2008

30
Mar
08

STEVE LAWLER@CLUJ-NAPOCA , ROMANIA, 11/04/2008.

Steve Lawler is a definitive DJ and producer; a tastemaker whose sets combine quality house music with the power to move dance floors around the world. In the last few years, he’s wowed crowds in such far flung places as Zouk in Singapore, Groovejet in Miami, Twilo in New York and the mighty Space in Ibiza. Courtesy of home, he provided the most groundbreaking sets of the season for many of those lucky enough to hear him. After two months he had been crowned ‘King Of Space’ by the locals – a rare and well deserved honour.

You can find Steve behind the decks every Friday at Deep South @ home, where his 5 hour sets of twisted house are bringing a new lease of life to one of London’s biggest clubs. As well as guest spots at every pioneering club in the UK from Renaissance to Bedrock.

If one person had to be singled out for Deep South’s success it would be none other than top-class resident Steve Lawler. Whose mammoth five-hour sets of chunky house and intoxicating tribal progressive sounds have dragged him into the realms of the superstar DJ, and the club into one of the clubbing success stories of the year. But modest as ever, Steve puts it down to a combination of factors:

“I wouldn’t accept that it’s all down to me,” understates Lawler. “There are a lot of people involved in making that night good. I just do what I do.”

Steve Lawler hails from the Midlands, yet there is something distinctly non-territorial in his work. Although loving the atmosphere in the big Saturday nightclubs (he’s an ex-resident at Cream), Lawler also refuses to pander to any punter wherever he’s spinning, especially at home. Think DJ communism, with equal treatment for all the masses.

” It’s rewarding for me to know that so many people are going off to underground music every Friday night across the country. Clubs like home and Renaissance have the best soundsystems and crowds in the UK, and the feeling you get from playing those nights is amazing”.

Tuning into electronic music from an early age, Steve used to buy Depeche Mode records when he was young, so he obviously loved electronic sounds without even realising it. But it was acid house that really turned Steve on. Tuning avidly in to local pirate PCRL radio station gave Steve a taste for house music, and it wasn’t long before his mates were luring him off to warehouse parties.

“I was totally blown away by the whole experience: the dark room, the strobes and the atmosphere. The whole thing just blew me away and inspired me to do my own parties.”

Which is exactly what he did, putting on a series of illegal parties in a disused tunnel under the M42 between 1990-1994. “The last one was just amazing. We had Tony de Vit playing, and it had just grown from this small party to this huge thing – basically a rave. It was all about town the day before, people running around Birmingham going ‘The tunnel’s on, the tunnel’s on.'”

But it was in Ibiza that Lawler got his first true break. Having earned his Ibiza stripes – he’s been every year since 1990 through to 1997 it was finally Steve’s chance to prove himself as an accomplished DJ. He was a resident at Café Mambo, spinning his legendary 8 hour sets there every day, as well as playing three times a week at Pacha. It was then he was spotted by Darren Hughes, then of Cream, who recognised his talent and ambition to succeed. Signing him up to Cream’s DJing agency, he began a residency at the eponymous Liverpool institution. At only his second date at the club he had to follow Paul Oakenfold at their NYE party. Not an easy feat, but one which Lawler coped with admirably. The rest, as they say, is history.

It’s not all about DJing though. Lawler’s accomplished production, under the monikers of Novocane, Chameleon and, naturally, Steve Lawler, are currently causing mayhem amongst the likes of Tenaglia, Tong, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, and Pete Heller. ‘Rise In’, his latest single, is a self-assured cut of heavy dancefloor pressure, which, as with all the best things, has simplicity as its key. Watch it drop on any dancefloor in the world and you realise that Lawler, in his production as much as his DJing, understands how to work a crowd. ‘Rise In’ is set for a September release, and if you’ve been near any of the coolest dance floors on the planet, you’ll have realised just how special the track is. The buzz around the tune has superceded any of this summer’s releases, and the Top 20 beckons. Who’d have thought proper house music would once again reach such heights? But then, as most of you know, Lawler is something very special.

“First and foremost I am a DJ,” explains Steve. “I am not making records for a career or the money, it’s just that I want to make my own version of sounds that would go down well in a club. When I make music I sit there and close my eyes and imagine being on a dancefloor, with the lights and the soundsytem. It’s hard to get right all the time, but I’m going to keep banging away at it until I do”.

Which is pretty much Steve Lawler for you. A hardworking Midlands lad who has never taken the easy path to success. From his mammoth sets at Space in Ibiza, or his tendency to re-edit half the tracks in his box, Steve certainly knows the meaning of graft:

“I do a lot of my own re-edits, because I get sent so many records where its all good and then some horrible break kicks in. So I just cut that bit out, get it on to CD and then go and get a slate cut. It’s the way forward. It means that a lot of records that people might have, I have my own versions of them. It makes it unique, which you have to do these days. There’s 1001 DJs out there. It’s probably one of the reasons why I have actually got somewhere I do make the effort.”

Steve’s spun at every club in Ibiza, and every decent club in the world, and has stunned all detractors of the progressive sound. He was described in The Face as, “The UK’s Tenaglia”, and in Jockey Slut as “one of the best dj’s in the world”.

30
Mar
08

STEVE LAWLER@CLUJ-NAPOCA , ROMANIA, 11/04/2008.

Steve Lawler is a definitive DJ and producer; a tastemaker whose sets combine quality house music with the power to move dance floors around the world. In the last few years, he’s wowed crowds in such far flung places as Zouk in Singapore, Groovejet in Miami, Twilo in New York and the mighty Space in Ibiza. Courtesy of home, he provided the most groundbreaking sets of the season for many of those lucky enough to hear him. After two months he had been crowned ‘King Of Space’ by the locals – a rare and well deserved honour.

You can find Steve behind the decks every Friday at Deep South @ home, where his 5 hour sets of twisted house are bringing a new lease of life to one of London’s biggest clubs. As well as guest spots at every pioneering club in the UK from Renaissance to Bedrock.

If one person had to be singled out for Deep South’s success it would be none other than top-class resident Steve Lawler. Whose mammoth five-hour sets of chunky house and intoxicating tribal progressive sounds have dragged him into the realms of the superstar DJ, and the club into one of the clubbing success stories of the year. But modest as ever, Steve puts it down to a combination of factors:

“I wouldn’t accept that it’s all down to me,” understates Lawler. “There are a lot of people involved in making that night good. I just do what I do.”

Steve Lawler hails from the Midlands, yet there is something distinctly non-territorial in his work. Although loving the atmosphere in the big Saturday nightclubs (he’s an ex-resident at Cream), Lawler also refuses to pander to any punter wherever he’s spinning, especially at home. Think DJ communism, with equal treatment for all the masses.

” It’s rewarding for me to know that so many people are going off to underground music every Friday night across the country. Clubs like home and Renaissance have the best soundsystems and crowds in the UK, and the feeling you get from playing those nights is amazing”.

Tuning into electronic music from an early age, Steve used to buy Depeche Mode records when he was young, so he obviously loved electronic sounds without even realising it. But it was acid house that really turned Steve on. Tuning avidly in to local pirate PCRL radio station gave Steve a taste for house music, and it wasn’t long before his mates were luring him off to warehouse parties.

“I was totally blown away by the whole experience: the dark room, the strobes and the atmosphere. The whole thing just blew me away and inspired me to do my own parties.”

Which is exactly what he did, putting on a series of illegal parties in a disused tunnel under the M42 between 1990-1994. “The last one was just amazing. We had Tony de Vit playing, and it had just grown from this small party to this huge thing – basically a rave. It was all about town the day before, people running around Birmingham going ‘The tunnel’s on, the tunnel’s on.'”

But it was in Ibiza that Lawler got his first true break. Having earned his Ibiza stripes – he’s been every year since 1990 through to 1997 it was finally Steve’s chance to prove himself as an accomplished DJ. He was a resident at Café Mambo, spinning his legendary 8 hour sets there every day, as well as playing three times a week at Pacha. It was then he was spotted by Darren Hughes, then of Cream, who recognised his talent and ambition to succeed. Signing him up to Cream’s DJing agency, he began a residency at the eponymous Liverpool institution. At only his second date at the club he had to follow Paul Oakenfold at their NYE party. Not an easy feat, but one which Lawler coped with admirably. The rest, as they say, is history.

It’s not all about DJing though. Lawler’s accomplished production, under the monikers of Novocane, Chameleon and, naturally, Steve Lawler, are currently causing mayhem amongst the likes of Tenaglia, Tong, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, and Pete Heller. ‘Rise In’, his latest single, is a self-assured cut of heavy dancefloor pressure, which, as with all the best things, has simplicity as its key. Watch it drop on any dancefloor in the world and you realise that Lawler, in his production as much as his DJing, understands how to work a crowd. ‘Rise In’ is set for a September release, and if you’ve been near any of the coolest dance floors on the planet, you’ll have realised just how special the track is. The buzz around the tune has superceded any of this summer’s releases, and the Top 20 beckons. Who’d have thought proper house music would once again reach such heights? But then, as most of you know, Lawler is something very special.

“First and foremost I am a DJ,” explains Steve. “I am not making records for a career or the money, it’s just that I want to make my own version of sounds that would go down well in a club. When I make music I sit there and close my eyes and imagine being on a dancefloor, with the lights and the soundsytem. It’s hard to get right all the time, but I’m going to keep banging away at it until I do”.

Which is pretty much Steve Lawler for you. A hardworking Midlands lad who has never taken the easy path to success. From his mammoth sets at Space in Ibiza, or his tendency to re-edit half the tracks in his box, Steve certainly knows the meaning of graft:

“I do a lot of my own re-edits, because I get sent so many records where its all good and then some horrible break kicks in. So I just cut that bit out, get it on to CD and then go and get a slate cut. It’s the way forward. It means that a lot of records that people might have, I have my own versions of them. It makes it unique, which you have to do these days. There’s 1001 DJs out there. It’s probably one of the reasons why I have actually got somewhere I do make the effort.”

Steve’s spun at every club in Ibiza, and every decent club in the world, and has stunned all detractors of the progressive sound. He was described in The Face as, “The UK’s Tenaglia”, and in Jockey Slut as “one of the best dj’s in the world”.

24
Mar
08

JEFF MILLS@ SYMA ARENA ,BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 19.04.2008


In the course of the eighties Mills was an influential radio DJ on WJLB under the pseudonym “The Wizard.” Mills’ sets were a highlight of the nightly show from “The Electrifying Mojo,” Charles Johnson. Complimenting Mojo’s eclectric playlists, Mills would do advanced DJ Tricks like beat juggling and scratching while mixing obscure Detroit Techno, Miami Bass, Chicago House and classic New Wave tracks both live and using a multi track when pre recorded.

In going on to create his own music Jeff Mills is credited with laying the foundations for the highly influential Detroit Techno collective, Underground Resistance, alongside ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, a former Parliament bass player. Just like Public Enemy did some years before in hip hop, these men confronted the mainstream music industry with revolutionary rhetoric. Dressed in uniforms with skimasks and black combat suits, they were ‘men on a mission’, aiming at giving techno more content and meaning.

Mills would never leave UR officially, but later on he still went his own way. He moved to New York and after a short stay in Berlin (Tresor) ended up in Chicago. There in 1992, with fellow Detroit native Robert Hood, he set up his most important record label, Axis, aiming for a simpler more minimal sound than most of the techno being produced in those years. Later sub-labels were announced Purposemaker, Tomorrow, and 6277.

His albums and EPs are mostly separate tracks of his compositions, which Mills would mix into the live DJ sets for which he became a legend. Mills has been credited for his exceptional turntable skills. Tracks are almost chopped to bits to showcase the strongest fragments for his relentless sound collages. Three decks, a Roland 909 drum-machine and seventy records in one hour: at breakneck speed Mills manipulates beats and basslines, vinyl and frequencies.

The live DJ-mix album Mix-Up Volume 2 is a highly-regarded example of Mills’ 1990s stage show, recorded at the Liquid Room in Tokyo.

“A decade back, while not exactly establishing a precedent, Detroit deejay Jeff Mills unleashed a recording of one of his live deejay sets at the Liquid Room’s former Kabukicho residence,” assessed Andrez Bergen in 2005, in Japan’s Daily Yomiuri newspaper. “Titled Mix-Up Vol. 2, it was a relentless techno masterpiece, warts and all, that combined two diverse channels in the mix: the actual music itself, along with the audience’s response.”

More recently he appears to be taking extended forays into epic techno (such as his re-scoring of Metropolis (which he performed live with the original film) and his 16 September 2004 7 hour set with Laurent Garnier at Fabric. The epic proportions were further extended when his 2006 album Blue Potential was recorded with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra under Alain Altinoglu. There is a DVD of the concert at which the album was recorded, an opportunity to see Mills in action, live on stage.

His “Exhibitionist” DVD, from 2004, features him mixing live on three decks and CD player in a studio, stark and simple. There are several mixes, one of Axis tracks, two of Jeff Mills tracks, and another of various artists. The mixes are shot from several cameras, up close, and his long graceful fingers fly over the gear, furious, his genius and skill on full display. The DVD also includes an interview with him.

24
Mar
08

JEFF MILLS@ SYMA ARENA ,BUDAPEST, HUNGARY 19.04.2008


In the course of the eighties Mills was an influential radio DJ on WJLB under the pseudonym “The Wizard.” Mills’ sets were a highlight of the nightly show from “The Electrifying Mojo,” Charles Johnson. Complimenting Mojo’s eclectric playlists, Mills would do advanced DJ Tricks like beat juggling and scratching while mixing obscure Detroit Techno, Miami Bass, Chicago House and classic New Wave tracks both live and using a multi track when pre recorded.

In going on to create his own music Jeff Mills is credited with laying the foundations for the highly influential Detroit Techno collective, Underground Resistance, alongside ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, a former Parliament bass player. Just like Public Enemy did some years before in hip hop, these men confronted the mainstream music industry with revolutionary rhetoric. Dressed in uniforms with skimasks and black combat suits, they were ‘men on a mission’, aiming at giving techno more content and meaning.

Mills would never leave UR officially, but later on he still went his own way. He moved to New York and after a short stay in Berlin (Tresor) ended up in Chicago. There in 1992, with fellow Detroit native Robert Hood, he set up his most important record label, Axis, aiming for a simpler more minimal sound than most of the techno being produced in those years. Later sub-labels were announced Purposemaker, Tomorrow, and 6277.

His albums and EPs are mostly separate tracks of his compositions, which Mills would mix into the live DJ sets for which he became a legend. Mills has been credited for his exceptional turntable skills. Tracks are almost chopped to bits to showcase the strongest fragments for his relentless sound collages. Three decks, a Roland 909 drum-machine and seventy records in one hour: at breakneck speed Mills manipulates beats and basslines, vinyl and frequencies.

The live DJ-mix album Mix-Up Volume 2 is a highly-regarded example of Mills’ 1990s stage show, recorded at the Liquid Room in Tokyo.

“A decade back, while not exactly establishing a precedent, Detroit deejay Jeff Mills unleashed a recording of one of his live deejay sets at the Liquid Room’s former Kabukicho residence,” assessed Andrez Bergen in 2005, in Japan’s Daily Yomiuri newspaper. “Titled Mix-Up Vol. 2, it was a relentless techno masterpiece, warts and all, that combined two diverse channels in the mix: the actual music itself, along with the audience’s response.”

More recently he appears to be taking extended forays into epic techno (such as his re-scoring of Metropolis (which he performed live with the original film) and his 16 September 2004 7 hour set with Laurent Garnier at Fabric. The epic proportions were further extended when his 2006 album Blue Potential was recorded with the Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra under Alain Altinoglu. There is a DVD of the concert at which the album was recorded, an opportunity to see Mills in action, live on stage.

His “Exhibitionist” DVD, from 2004, features him mixing live on three decks and CD player in a studio, stark and simple. There are several mixes, one of Axis tracks, two of Jeff Mills tracks, and another of various artists. The mixes are shot from several cameras, up close, and his long graceful fingers fly over the gear, furious, his genius and skill on full display. The DVD also includes an interview with him.

23
Mar
08

FATBOY SLIM@ MAMAIA ,ROMANIA ,12/07/2008.



Quentin Leo Cook grew up in Reigate, Surrey, England, and was educated at Reigate Grammar School. He started a punk fanzine titled Peroxide with his neighbour Andrew Thomas and art student Ian McKay (formerly Laidlaw). Contemporary with his publishing activities, he played drums in Disque Attack (a British new-wave-influenced rock band) for which he later performed lead vocals. At Reigate College he also met Paul Heaton and, at 18, he went to the Brighton Polytechnic to study a BA in English, Politics and Sociology. Although he had begun DJing some years before, it was at this time that he began to develop his skills on the thriving Brighton club scene.

In 1985 Cook’s friend Paul Heaton who lived in Hull had formed a guitar band called The Housemartins. The Housemartins’ bassist had just quit on the eve of their first national tour. Cook had lost interest in the rock scene[citation needed] and could barely play a musical instrument,[citation needed] he agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a hit single with “Happy Hour”. They also reached number one just before Christmas 1986 with a version of “Caravan of Love” originally a hit the year before for Isley Jasper Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up. Heaton and the band’s drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, while Cook moved back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred. It was at this time that he first started working with young studio engineer Simon Thornton, with whom he continues to make records. All Cook’s records released from that point onwards have involved both of them to varying degrees (Thornton is credited in 2004 as “Executive Producer” for example).

Cook formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians including vocalists Lindy Layton, Lester Noel, D.J. Baptiste, rapper MC Wildski, and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, Let Them Eat Bingo, included the number one single, “Dub Be Good to Me”. “Dub Be Good To Me” caused a legal dispute revolving around allegations of infringement of copyright through the liberal use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from The Clash’s “The Guns Of Brixton” and the song also borrowed heavily from the S.O.S. Band’s “Just Be Good to Me”. The 1991 follow-up album Excursion on the Version, an exploration of dub and reggae rhythms, failed to repeat the success of its predecessor.

Cook then formed Freakpower, with horn player and singer Ashley Slater. The duo released their debut album, Drive Thru Booty, in 1994, which contained the single “Turn On Tune In Cop Out”. The cut was picked up by the Levi’s company for use in a multimillion-dollar advertisement campaign. Freakpower has also done several other releases under the name Fried Funk Food.

In 1995, Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to create a solo house music album under the ‘Pizzaman’ pseudonym. The Pizzamania album spawned 3 UK Top 40 hits in “Trippin’ on Sunshine”, “Sex on the Streets” and “Happiness”. “Happiness” was picked up by the Del Monte Foods corporation for use in a UK fruit juice ad.

Cook is also behind a group The Mighty Dub Katz along with Gareth Hansome (aka GMoney), Cook’s former flatmate and the inventor[citation needed] of the name “Big Beat”. Together they started the Boutique Nightclub in Brighton, formerly known as the Big Beat Boutique, evidently imitating the Heavenly Social in London.[original research?] Mighty DubKatz are best known for their dance hit Magic Carpet Ride and numerous remixes of it. http://www.myspace.com/damightydubkatz

In 1996, Cook then re-joined Ashley Slater for the second Freakpower album, titled More of Everything for Everybody.

The Fatboy Slim album Better Living Through Chemistry (released through Skint Records) marked Cook’s emergence into the big time. Filled with retro samples and funk-laden grooves, the album was among the first in the then-new big beat sound. It also spawned one Top 40 UK hit, “Everybody Needs a 303”. After Cook’s remix of Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” topped the charts, such musical heavy hitters as Madonna and U2 asked him to produce for them.

Fatboy Slim’s next work was the single “The Rockafeller Skank,” released prior to the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, both of which were released in 1998 to rave reviews. This album also produced the single “Praise You”, which also became a major dance hit, giving Cook his first UK solo number one. Its video, directed by Spike Jonze, won numerous awards. Further Fatboy Slim works have appeared in movies, television series, and more ads and started a trend where Norman Cook appeared in each video in some shape or form. In 1999, he was on tour, stopping in San Francisco and New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. It should be noted that the single Rockafeller Skank was based entirely around a Lord Finesse vocal sample; “Right about now, the funk soul brother. Check it out now, the funk soul brother”. Lord Finesse received no royalty payment and was not consulted on the use of his vocal for this song.

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars was released in 2000 and featured two collaborations with Macy Gray. It also included “Sunset (Bird of Prey)”, a slower tempo piece based around a sample of Jim Morrison from The Doors, and “Weapon of Choice”, which also boasted an award-winning video starring Christopher Walken.
July 13, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II, where over 250,000 people saw Fatboy Slim play live.
July 13, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II, where over 250,000 people saw Fatboy Slim play live.

On 13 July 2002 Fatboy Slim performed the second of his free, open air concerts on Brighton beach. Despite expecting a crowd of around 60,000 people the event instead attracted an estimated 250,000 who crammed the promenade and beach between Brighton’s famous piers. Local police forced the event to end early amid safety concerns and overcrowding. After the music had finished and the crowd began to dissipate, traffic ensued throughout the Brighton area with many caught in traffic jams until the morning. Despite these problems the event was hailed as a great success by most who attended.

Cook was awarded a star on the city of Brighton’s Walk of Fame, next to that of Winston Churchill. He married TV personality Zoë Ball in 1999; the couple have one son named Woody. Cook is also a 12% shareholder of the football club he has supported since moving to Brighton in the late 1980s, Brighton & Hove Albion.

Fatboy has often played to welcoming crowds in the superclubs of Ibiza, where he also met his wife. 2002 saw him make appearances at Space and Privilege. At Space there was a minor altercation when Cook inadvertently faded down the house PA while playing on the Terrace during the marathon ‘We Love Sundays’ closing party. With only the booth monitors barely audible the crowd began to shuffle indifferently, in stark contrast to Cook who was having a great time behind the decks. This continued for several minutes until ‘We Love’ promoter Darren Hughes ran into the booth, grabbed the appropriate control on the mixer and slammed the volume back to full blast. This resulted in a humorous acknowledgement from Cook and euphoria amongst the assembled revellers. Cook went on to complete a memorable set, including a classic Space Terrace moment with John Paul Young’s vintage singalong track “Love is in the Air”.

The following day Cook appeared in the main room at Privilege, officially the world’s biggest club, for Manumission. His set began well but a thunderstorm was raging outside and after a few records the house PA failed, and once again Cook was playing to a huge crowd with only the weak output of the booth monitors. Attempting to make the best of the situation, Cook angled the monitors towards the crowd and continued with his set, at least entertaining those clubbers fortunate enough to be near the booth. In the cavernous space of Privilege this proved futile and after a short while Cook abandoned any attempt to DJ, removed his shoe, placed this on the turntable, then finally admitted defeat and departed the booth with a shrug of the shoulders and a wave to the disappointed crowd.

Later the same year Q magazine named Fatboy Slim in their 50 Bands To See Before You Die list.

In January 2003, Cook and his wife underwent a very public break-up, but three months later, they were reconciled.

In 2004, Cook released two remixes in June and July, based on Max Sedgley’s “Happy” and “Follow Me Follow Me (Quem Que Caguetou)” by Black Alien & Speed. The latter, a Hip Hop hit from Brazil, became popular in Europe after having appeared on the Nissan X-Trail advert (portraying a more extreme type of marathon). Fatboy Slim’s remix was then used in the advert itself.

His first album in four years, Palookaville, was less successful than previous releases. In the UK, BBC Radio 1 received an exclusive play of the first single “Slash Dot Dash”, while in the U.S. “The Joker” (a collaboration with Bootsy Collins) had been exclusively aired. The song was appearing on the radio and was made quickly available on iTunes months ahead of the album release.

Palookaville represented a significant shift in style for Cook, from loop and sample based compositions to more conventional song structures and many original recordings of real instruments (Cook himself plays bass on some of the album’s tracks, with Simon Thornton playing various other instruments along with guest artists, e.g. Justin Robertson). This change in style also led to the use of new production techniques and studio technology. Until Palookaville Cook had been using an Atari ST computer for sequencing and composition, a classic production tool favoured by many dance music producers for its stability, simplicity and rock solid timing. For the new album he made use of a Pro Tools rig, a powerful digital audio workstation environment found in most modern recording studios. This perhaps reluctant move by Cook was ultimately necessary to deliver the polished production style evident in the recordings. The resulting body of work features “traditional” Fatboy Slim tracks such as “Jin Go Lo Ba” alongside full length vocal tracks including a suitably updated rendition of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”. (The music video for the latter consists entirely of kittens in the lead roles). The album also features many more vocal collaborations including tracks with rapper Lateef, Brighton-based band Johnny Quality and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz).

In 2005, his 2004 hit single “Wonderful Night” was placed on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 for PlayStation 2.

In June 2005 he filled the Friday night headline slot on the ‘Other Stage’ at the Glastonbury Festival, a booking which actually generated a financial loss for Cook when he decided to stage a spectacular visual show involving banks of display screens at the rear of the stage (with his DJ booth set in the middle) and a sophisticated 3D light show with special glasses supplied to members of the audience. In a televised post-gig interview Cook revealed how the cost of staging the show had outstripped the famously low appearance fees received by Glastonbury performers.
In October of the same year Fatboy Slim and Talking Heads singer David Byrne revealed their plans for a musical about Imelda Marcos, the controversial ex-First Lady of the Philippines. It premiered at Australia’s Adelaide Festival of Arts in March 2006.

On the New Years Eve 2005, Fatboy Slim performed live on Bondi Beach in Australia. During this all night set, Fatboy Slim reverted to his original style of music production and DJing with an emphasis on Dance music.

Why Try Harder is Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits album and was released on 19 June 2006. It comprises eighteen tracks, including ten Top 40 singles, a couple of Number Ones and two exclusive new tracks – “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans”. The title comes from the famous UK album cover for You’ve Come a Long Way Baby, which featured a large man with a T-shirt bearing the legend “I’M #1 SO WHY TRY HARDER”. Cook has repeatedly stated in 2006 interviews that the phrase “why try harder” is a statement, not a question.

On 24 June 2006, Fatboy Slim headlined The “Rock Ness Festival” at Loch Ness, Scotland. The following month he also filled the Saturday headline slot at the Global Gathering festival, Long Marston Airfield in the English Midlands. He played a two hour set containing most of his classics and also some of his new material. This is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the festival, perhaps just losing out to Daft Punk’s once in a lifetime performance the previous evening.[citation needed] Once again Fatboy appeared in front of an impressive visual stage set comprising video screens and 3D lighting. A spectacular firework display rounded off the show.

After being banned by police from playing in Brighton since 2002 after the deaths of two people at his 2002 gig, Fatboy Slim was given permission in 2006 to play again in his home town.

It should be noted that the first death was a heart attack brought on by natural causes and the second death was caused by a fall from a wall some time after the gig had finished. The police attributed no blame to Fatboy Slim or the promoter for the deaths. However the promoter had massively underestimated the numbers that would attend, mainly due to the show being unofficially advertised on a London radio station. As a result the entire towns roads and pavements became grid locked and the emergency services were heavily affected.

On 1 January 2007 he played to an audience of over 20,000 fans along Brighton’s seafront (along Madeira Drive along the beach east of Brighton Pier). Tickets to the event were made available only to Brighton residents, although inevitably some were sold to others on eBay. He recently performed in Brazil, in its version of the Big Brother reality show.

Fatboy Slim’s Big Beach Boutique 3 was deemed a stunning success by Sussex Police, Fatboy Slim, and the crowd. The gathering was named “best party city” by DJ David Guetta, although this was just after both his CD mixers broke down. “Luckily” he said “Fatboy plays vinyl” and so the crowd returned. The Cuban Brothers and David Guetta opened the show. Cook performed mixes of Gorillaz and Fedde Le Grand’s “Put Your Hands Up For (Brighton)”.

Summer 2007 saw Fatboy take a well earned break from the DJ circuit, although he did still return for appearances at Glastonbury and in Ibiza. Glastonbury saw him headlining the East Dance Tent on Friday night and also playing an intimate Saturday night secret gig in the Lost Vagueness ballroom, sharing the bill with ska legends Madness. Befitting of a Lost Vagueness party, Cook accompanied his DJ set with a protracted costume change, transitioning smoothly from a regular set of casual clothes into what could best be described as a bizarre and somewhat revealing bee outfit, complete with novelty wings. For his return to Ibiza, Cook once again joined up with the Manumission crew, now creating their unique brand of Mayhem in legendary superclub Amnesia. Here he shared the bill with Sheffield indie boys Arctic Monkeys and Radio One DJ Zane Lowe.

In summer 2007, “The Rockafeller Skank” was used for season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance. In September 2007, the song was also featured on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 for PlayStation 2.

According to Norman’s regular “Ask Norm” segment on his MySpace, his untitled fifth studio album has Iggy Pop collaborating with him, and the album is “seven-eighths finished”. The recording process has been completed, but the record is yet to be mixed. There are 18 tracks on the record.

23
Mar
08

FATBOY SLIM@ MAMAIA ,ROMANIA ,12/07/2008.



Quentin Leo Cook grew up in Reigate, Surrey, England, and was educated at Reigate Grammar School. He started a punk fanzine titled Peroxide with his neighbour Andrew Thomas and art student Ian McKay (formerly Laidlaw). Contemporary with his publishing activities, he played drums in Disque Attack (a British new-wave-influenced rock band) for which he later performed lead vocals. At Reigate College he also met Paul Heaton and, at 18, he went to the Brighton Polytechnic to study a BA in English, Politics and Sociology. Although he had begun DJing some years before, it was at this time that he began to develop his skills on the thriving Brighton club scene.

In 1985 Cook’s friend Paul Heaton who lived in Hull had formed a guitar band called The Housemartins. The Housemartins’ bassist had just quit on the eve of their first national tour. Cook had lost interest in the rock scene[citation needed] and could barely play a musical instrument,[citation needed] he agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a hit single with “Happy Hour”. They also reached number one just before Christmas 1986 with a version of “Caravan of Love” originally a hit the year before for Isley Jasper Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up. Heaton and the band’s drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, while Cook moved back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred. It was at this time that he first started working with young studio engineer Simon Thornton, with whom he continues to make records. All Cook’s records released from that point onwards have involved both of them to varying degrees (Thornton is credited in 2004 as “Executive Producer” for example).

Cook formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians including vocalists Lindy Layton, Lester Noel, D.J. Baptiste, rapper MC Wildski, and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, Let Them Eat Bingo, included the number one single, “Dub Be Good to Me”. “Dub Be Good To Me” caused a legal dispute revolving around allegations of infringement of copyright through the liberal use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from The Clash’s “The Guns Of Brixton” and the song also borrowed heavily from the S.O.S. Band’s “Just Be Good to Me”. The 1991 follow-up album Excursion on the Version, an exploration of dub and reggae rhythms, failed to repeat the success of its predecessor.

Cook then formed Freakpower, with horn player and singer Ashley Slater. The duo released their debut album, Drive Thru Booty, in 1994, which contained the single “Turn On Tune In Cop Out”. The cut was picked up by the Levi’s company for use in a multimillion-dollar advertisement campaign. Freakpower has also done several other releases under the name Fried Funk Food.

In 1995, Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to create a solo house music album under the ‘Pizzaman’ pseudonym. The Pizzamania album spawned 3 UK Top 40 hits in “Trippin’ on Sunshine”, “Sex on the Streets” and “Happiness”. “Happiness” was picked up by the Del Monte Foods corporation for use in a UK fruit juice ad.

Cook is also behind a group The Mighty Dub Katz along with Gareth Hansome (aka GMoney), Cook’s former flatmate and the inventor[citation needed] of the name “Big Beat”. Together they started the Boutique Nightclub in Brighton, formerly known as the Big Beat Boutique, evidently imitating the Heavenly Social in London.[original research?] Mighty DubKatz are best known for their dance hit Magic Carpet Ride and numerous remixes of it. http://www.myspace.com/damightydubkatz

In 1996, Cook then re-joined Ashley Slater for the second Freakpower album, titled More of Everything for Everybody.

The Fatboy Slim album Better Living Through Chemistry (released through Skint Records) marked Cook’s emergence into the big time. Filled with retro samples and funk-laden grooves, the album was among the first in the then-new big beat sound. It also spawned one Top 40 UK hit, “Everybody Needs a 303”. After Cook’s remix of Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha” topped the charts, such musical heavy hitters as Madonna and U2 asked him to produce for them.

Fatboy Slim’s next work was the single “The Rockafeller Skank,” released prior to the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, both of which were released in 1998 to rave reviews. This album also produced the single “Praise You”, which also became a major dance hit, giving Cook his first UK solo number one. Its video, directed by Spike Jonze, won numerous awards. Further Fatboy Slim works have appeared in movies, television series, and more ads and started a trend where Norman Cook appeared in each video in some shape or form. In 1999, he was on tour, stopping in San Francisco and New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. It should be noted that the single Rockafeller Skank was based entirely around a Lord Finesse vocal sample; “Right about now, the funk soul brother. Check it out now, the funk soul brother”. Lord Finesse received no royalty payment and was not consulted on the use of his vocal for this song.

Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars was released in 2000 and featured two collaborations with Macy Gray. It also included “Sunset (Bird of Prey)”, a slower tempo piece based around a sample of Jim Morrison from The Doors, and “Weapon of Choice”, which also boasted an award-winning video starring Christopher Walken.
July 13, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II, where over 250,000 people saw Fatboy Slim play live.
July 13, 2002. The Big Beach Boutique II, where over 250,000 people saw Fatboy Slim play live.

On 13 July 2002 Fatboy Slim performed the second of his free, open air concerts on Brighton beach. Despite expecting a crowd of around 60,000 people the event instead attracted an estimated 250,000 who crammed the promenade and beach between Brighton’s famous piers. Local police forced the event to end early amid safety concerns and overcrowding. After the music had finished and the crowd began to dissipate, traffic ensued throughout the Brighton area with many caught in traffic jams until the morning. Despite these problems the event was hailed as a great success by most who attended.

Cook was awarded a star on the city of Brighton’s Walk of Fame, next to that of Winston Churchill. He married TV personality Zoë Ball in 1999; the couple have one son named Woody. Cook is also a 12% shareholder of the football club he has supported since moving to Brighton in the late 1980s, Brighton & Hove Albion.

Fatboy has often played to welcoming crowds in the superclubs of Ibiza, where he also met his wife. 2002 saw him make appearances at Space and Privilege. At Space there was a minor altercation when Cook inadvertently faded down the house PA while playing on the Terrace during the marathon ‘We Love Sundays’ closing party. With only the booth monitors barely audible the crowd began to shuffle indifferently, in stark contrast to Cook who was having a great time behind the decks. This continued for several minutes until ‘We Love’ promoter Darren Hughes ran into the booth, grabbed the appropriate control on the mixer and slammed the volume back to full blast. This resulted in a humorous acknowledgement from Cook and euphoria amongst the assembled revellers. Cook went on to complete a memorable set, including a classic Space Terrace moment with John Paul Young’s vintage singalong track “Love is in the Air”.

The following day Cook appeared in the main room at Privilege, officially the world’s biggest club, for Manumission. His set began well but a thunderstorm was raging outside and after a few records the house PA failed, and once again Cook was playing to a huge crowd with only the weak output of the booth monitors. Attempting to make the best of the situation, Cook angled the monitors towards the crowd and continued with his set, at least entertaining those clubbers fortunate enough to be near the booth. In the cavernous space of Privilege this proved futile and after a short while Cook abandoned any attempt to DJ, removed his shoe, placed this on the turntable, then finally admitted defeat and departed the booth with a shrug of the shoulders and a wave to the disappointed crowd.

Later the same year Q magazine named Fatboy Slim in their 50 Bands To See Before You Die list.

In January 2003, Cook and his wife underwent a very public break-up, but three months later, they were reconciled.

In 2004, Cook released two remixes in June and July, based on Max Sedgley’s “Happy” and “Follow Me Follow Me (Quem Que Caguetou)” by Black Alien & Speed. The latter, a Hip Hop hit from Brazil, became popular in Europe after having appeared on the Nissan X-Trail advert (portraying a more extreme type of marathon). Fatboy Slim’s remix was then used in the advert itself.

His first album in four years, Palookaville, was less successful than previous releases. In the UK, BBC Radio 1 received an exclusive play of the first single “Slash Dot Dash”, while in the U.S. “The Joker” (a collaboration with Bootsy Collins) had been exclusively aired. The song was appearing on the radio and was made quickly available on iTunes months ahead of the album release.

Palookaville represented a significant shift in style for Cook, from loop and sample based compositions to more conventional song structures and many original recordings of real instruments (Cook himself plays bass on some of the album’s tracks, with Simon Thornton playing various other instruments along with guest artists, e.g. Justin Robertson). This change in style also led to the use of new production techniques and studio technology. Until Palookaville Cook had been using an Atari ST computer for sequencing and composition, a classic production tool favoured by many dance music producers for its stability, simplicity and rock solid timing. For the new album he made use of a Pro Tools rig, a powerful digital audio workstation environment found in most modern recording studios. This perhaps reluctant move by Cook was ultimately necessary to deliver the polished production style evident in the recordings. The resulting body of work features “traditional” Fatboy Slim tracks such as “Jin Go Lo Ba” alongside full length vocal tracks including a suitably updated rendition of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”. (The music video for the latter consists entirely of kittens in the lead roles). The album also features many more vocal collaborations including tracks with rapper Lateef, Brighton-based band Johnny Quality and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz).

In 2005, his 2004 hit single “Wonderful Night” was placed on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2 for PlayStation 2.

In June 2005 he filled the Friday night headline slot on the ‘Other Stage’ at the Glastonbury Festival, a booking which actually generated a financial loss for Cook when he decided to stage a spectacular visual show involving banks of display screens at the rear of the stage (with his DJ booth set in the middle) and a sophisticated 3D light show with special glasses supplied to members of the audience. In a televised post-gig interview Cook revealed how the cost of staging the show had outstripped the famously low appearance fees received by Glastonbury performers.
In October of the same year Fatboy Slim and Talking Heads singer David Byrne revealed their plans for a musical about Imelda Marcos, the controversial ex-First Lady of the Philippines. It premiered at Australia’s Adelaide Festival of Arts in March 2006.

On the New Years Eve 2005, Fatboy Slim performed live on Bondi Beach in Australia. During this all night set, Fatboy Slim reverted to his original style of music production and DJing with an emphasis on Dance music.

Why Try Harder is Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits album and was released on 19 June 2006. It comprises eighteen tracks, including ten Top 40 singles, a couple of Number Ones and two exclusive new tracks – “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans”. The title comes from the famous UK album cover for You’ve Come a Long Way Baby, which featured a large man with a T-shirt bearing the legend “I’M #1 SO WHY TRY HARDER”. Cook has repeatedly stated in 2006 interviews that the phrase “why try harder” is a statement, not a question.

On 24 June 2006, Fatboy Slim headlined The “Rock Ness Festival” at Loch Ness, Scotland. The following month he also filled the Saturday headline slot at the Global Gathering festival, Long Marston Airfield in the English Midlands. He played a two hour set containing most of his classics and also some of his new material. This is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the festival, perhaps just losing out to Daft Punk’s once in a lifetime performance the previous evening.[citation needed] Once again Fatboy appeared in front of an impressive visual stage set comprising video screens and 3D lighting. A spectacular firework display rounded off the show.

After being banned by police from playing in Brighton since 2002 after the deaths of two people at his 2002 gig, Fatboy Slim was given permission in 2006 to play again in his home town.

It should be noted that the first death was a heart attack brought on by natural causes and the second death was caused by a fall from a wall some time after the gig had finished. The police attributed no blame to Fatboy Slim or the promoter for the deaths. However the promoter had massively underestimated the numbers that would attend, mainly due to the show being unofficially advertised on a London radio station. As a result the entire towns roads and pavements became grid locked and the emergency services were heavily affected.

On 1 January 2007 he played to an audience of over 20,000 fans along Brighton’s seafront (along Madeira Drive along the beach east of Brighton Pier). Tickets to the event were made available only to Brighton residents, although inevitably some were sold to others on eBay. He recently performed in Brazil, in its version of the Big Brother reality show.

Fatboy Slim’s Big Beach Boutique 3 was deemed a stunning success by Sussex Police, Fatboy Slim, and the crowd. The gathering was named “best party city” by DJ David Guetta, although this was just after both his CD mixers broke down. “Luckily” he said “Fatboy plays vinyl” and so the crowd returned. The Cuban Brothers and David Guetta opened the show. Cook performed mixes of Gorillaz and Fedde Le Grand’s “Put Your Hands Up For (Brighton)”.

Summer 2007 saw Fatboy take a well earned break from the DJ circuit, although he did still return for appearances at Glastonbury and in Ibiza. Glastonbury saw him headlining the East Dance Tent on Friday night and also playing an intimate Saturday night secret gig in the Lost Vagueness ballroom, sharing the bill with ska legends Madness. Befitting of a Lost Vagueness party, Cook accompanied his DJ set with a protracted costume change, transitioning smoothly from a regular set of casual clothes into what could best be described as a bizarre and somewhat revealing bee outfit, complete with novelty wings. For his return to Ibiza, Cook once again joined up with the Manumission crew, now creating their unique brand of Mayhem in legendary superclub Amnesia. Here he shared the bill with Sheffield indie boys Arctic Monkeys and Radio One DJ Zane Lowe.

In summer 2007, “The Rockafeller Skank” was used for season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance. In September 2007, the song was also featured on Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova 2 for PlayStation 2.

According to Norman’s regular “Ask Norm” segment on his MySpace, his untitled fifth studio album has Iggy Pop collaborating with him, and the album is “seven-eighths finished”. The recording process has been completed, but the record is yet to be mixed. There are 18 tracks on the record.

21
Mar
08

PASCAL F.E.O.S @ZEBRA CLUB, BACAU, ROMANIA 28/03/2008

There are not many originals like Pascal F.E.O.S. You will have to search intensively to find one like him – one of those who started earlier and is longer in the game than most of the others. Pascal F.E.O.S. is what magazines like to call a “true original”: he is part of the old-school, of those, who learned their skills from scratch. You can feel immediately that this “old-school” consciousness is living in every inch of his body . No matter if you are getting to know him as a DJ behind a set of turntables or if you hear one of his many productions – the impact, that Pascal F.E.O.S. has on others, is truely original.

Pascal has devoted more than seventeen years of his life to electronic music and during that time, he has always stayed true to his roots. From the first sporadic DJ assignments (in a time when DJing only meant to fill the space with people and to get them to order drinks at the bar), on to his recent solo album, one can find a style-defying continuity, the essence of a certain minimalism, which links all of his works together. His path has led him through many phases: the first contact with clubmusic already happened in the early Eighties through house and disco, soon to be followed by the omnipresent sound of EBM and finally the very successful and genre-defying years with his trance projects Resistance D. (Harthouse) and Sonic Infusion (Eye Q). Shortly after this, he moved his sound as a DJ and as producer more and more towards the many styles of club-orientated techno. Since 1995 Pascal is celebrating his special pascal feos biounderstanding of techno music on his labels Elektrolux, HeyBabe and Planet Vision which he formed with his long-time partner Alex Azary. Only on year after this, another label called PV was added to the family. As one of the world’s leading outlets for progressive rhythmic techno PV is mainly dedicated to F.E.O.S.’ DJ demands, skills and experiences, that gained him a huge reputation as one of the most frequently booked DJs around. With the creative input of Pascal as a true pioneer on the techno circuit for more than 15 years the word spread and the demand followed. Focusing strictly on DJ tools for him and his fellow label mates it didn’t take long to create a very unique sound philosophy and establish PV and its artists as a driving force within the global techno movement. With its five year anniversary just passing, it became more than clear that the sound of Pascal F.E.O.S. definetely belongs in a category of its own.