by Don Crispy
The former Housemartin returns with his first album in
When you're the world's most famous DJ, you
can afford to take your time recording an album. "I'm
having fun doing it," Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim told
the BBC about Palookaville, due out in October. "It's
the first time I've done an album and there's
no pressure to finish it, so I've been enjoying it...'cause
normally the last two months of doing an album you're
working seven days a week and it ceases to be fun."
Set for release on Skint and distributed in Japan by Sony,
Palookaville sees the big beat icon and former Housemartins
bassist taking some of the same approaches that made his last
outing, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, as infectiously
danceable as it was commercially successful.
Slim is once again mining the vaults of classic rock as he
did when he sampled the Doors' Jim Morrison for the
song "Bird of Prey" off Halfway. For Palookaville,
he loosed his sampler on the Steve Miller Band's 1973
hit "The Joker," turning once again to eccentric
former P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins for the vocals. Collins
also provided vocals for the previous disc's track,
"Weapon of Choice."
Other guests on Palookaville include Blur singer Damon Alburn,
Blackalicious collaborator Lateef, English DJ Justin Robertson
and Brighton, England band Johnny Quality.
Slim, who established the record for a one-man DJ gig in Japan
when 10,000 turned out for the Tokyo date of his 2002 "Kick
& Spin" tour, continues to demonstrate his worldwide
popularity. In March, he headlined a free performance for
hundreds of thousands in Rio de Janeiro, and on August 28,
the DJ was among the biggest draws at England's annual
Creamfields dance fest.
Slim has three Tokyo dates in the works at the end of the
month, including two sold-out sets at the giant bayside Ageha
superclub, and a recently added night at venerable Nishi-Azabu
dance basement Yellow. He'll be introducing audiences
to protégé Grandad Bob, while domestic support comes
in the form of sets by the ever-energetic disco twins (Tasaka
& Kagami) and Japan's master DJ of retro-kitsch,
Fantastic Plastic Machine aka Tomoyuki Tanaka...
Earlier on the event horizon, meanwhile, one of Tokyo's
most consistent events celebrates its third anniversary with
a special edition on Friday. Under the direction of resident
DJ Miku, Cyclone has established itself with a strong reputation
for quality music that at the same time is not limited to
any one genre.
The upcoming anniversary special keeps up the free-thinking,
with two figures from very different backgrounds slated for
guest sets. From Germany's Kompakt imprint, Reinhard
Voigt will be presenting a live performance on laptop computer.
One of the founders of Kompakt, Voigt and his Powerbook sets
are known for their energetic take on minimal techno-slamming,
but with a sense of humor.
Also on the bill is "ghetto-tech" innovator
DJ Godfather. Ghetto-tech is the term given to the new generation
of Detroit DJs who have emerged as early Detroit techno innovators
like Derrick May have left the city to seek their fortune
in more commercially supportive markets.
Godfather took the brittle structures of Detroit techno and
cross-bred them with the raw sounds of hip-hop heard on the
streets, topping up the blend with elements of jungle and
electro. The sound took the city by storm in the late '90s
as Godfather released track after track of his own and others
from his Twilight 76 and Databass imprints, and has only of
late been making its way to Japan.
Fatboy Slim@Ageha, Sep 22 &
24, 11pm, ¥6,000 (adv). Ageha@Studio Coast. Sep 23,
10pm, ¥7,000 (adv). Yellow. Tel: Smash 03-3444-6751.
Cyclone@Womb, Sep 10, 11pm, ¥3,500 (door). Tel: 03-5459-3939.