Norman Cook Digs Deep in the Crates:
Behind Fatboy Slim's Brighton Port
Hear the globe-trotting DJ's new album, and the myth behind his project with David Byrne and Iggy Pop
Cook's longtime engineer Simon Thornton discovered the tapes, which Cook says go back 15 years (the official bio says they date back to the '70s since the actual specifics are lost to time and alcohol; that would make collaborator Jamie T negative-seven years old at the time of recording, though). Thornton felt some of them were good, likening the long-forgotten projects to forever-delayed masterpieces like Brian Wilson's Smile. Though Cook adds, "When we were going through the tapes, a lot of it was absolute dogshit." The duo picked the best tracks and re-tweaked them into riotous pop record reminiscent of classic Fatboy big-beat hits and contemporary Gnarls Barkley kitsch-pop.
Hear the whole album right here, and keep reading for a hilarious Q&A with Cook:
You say that you had forgotten that some of these tapes existed. Are there any sessions you don't remember at all?
The track we did with Martha Wainwright. I'm like, "We did a track with Martha Wainwright?" Some of it we couldn't actually identify who the artist was ... The most difficult bit was just wading through hours and hours of absolute bollocks. We had to listen to an awful lot of rubbish. It's literally two and half weeks of tape.
Do you remember the session with Iggy Pop?
Yeah! Out of our houseguests he was one of the more polite and genteel. I met him in Miami years and years ago ago. I was just scraping my head off the floor going, "Iggy ... Pop ... You? ... Are ... My — What are you doing here?" He was a consummate professional. Weirdly enough that was one of the most sedate sessions of the whole album. Who would have thought?