Fatboy Slim - The Greatest Hits Remixed
Following on from last year's quality greatest hits collection, Fatboy aka Norman Cook has got together some of dance music's biggest and hippest DJs to meddle with his tracks. Remixers remixing a remixer - anyone going 'hmmmm' yet? Surely, this is a creative and innovative exercise in reinterpretation and not a blatant milking of Slim's former glories aiming to get fans digging in their pockets. Surely?
Actually, surprisingly, it's not a mere cash-in. This doesn't mean it's entirely successful, though. The list of remixers reads like a who's who of cool, and most of these go for the sensible approach and reconfigure their given track in such a way that, more often than not, it ends up sounding like a completely different song. Another wise move is the decision for non-single tracks to be included, meaning part-time Fatboy fans may be discovering new songs here despite them not being in their original context.
Highlights, then? Well, when you've got The Chemical Brothers and Justice behind the mixing decks, as on Song for Shelter and Don't Let the Man... respectively, you know you're in for a decent ride. The most thrilling moments, however, come courtesy of less mainstream DJs, such as the boisterous and lengthy remix of Star 69 from Timo Maas and M.I.A. producer Switch tackling Fatboy's mediocre Champion Sound and adding some much-needed sass. The Chief Xcel takeover of Wonderful Night will satisfy old-skool urban fans, and Krafty Kuts don't disappoint on the sample-heavy Ya Mama.
As is the case with most mix albums, however, especially those spreading over two discs, some cuts fail to hit the spot. Perhaps the least engaging mixes are those of his biggest chart hits; instead of re-energizing the original tracks, new versions of Right Here Right Now, Weapon of Choice and The Rockafeller Skank lack inspiration and add nothing especially new. Meanwhile, efforts from Fantastic Plastic and Kid Carpet are fun but perhaps too consciously quirky for their own good. Oh, and anyone else think the Manumission mix of Love Island sounds suspiciously like Outthere Brothers? You don't really wanna go there, even if the biggest club in Ibiza has given its seal of approval.
Cut a third of the chaff out of this collection, and a valiant attempt at a bedfellow to Mr Cook's greatest hits package is waiting to be spun. In this incarnation, however, there are a few numbers that will be getting you pressing the 'next' button. Not a bad effort at all, though.