Release Date: 09.23.97
Record label: astralwerks / skint
I Wanna Be a Chemist Now
by: tom reiter
Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) has a long history in the electronica dance scene, 15 years to be exact. He's went under such names as Fried Funk Food and Mighty Dub Katz, Pizzaman, and more. However, being from the U.K., he wasn't really heard of by the mainstream in the U.S., until his first album, Better Living Through Chemistry.
The first time I saw him was on MTV's AMP with his rock and roll electronica song "Going Out Of My Head." The whole video follows an 80's boombox as it is passed from one group of people to another. It's a trip, just like the whole album.
Better Living Through Chemstry ranges from the high energy of "Going Out Of My Mind," to the laid back style of "The Weekend Starts Here." "Everybody Needs A 303" is a showcase for the Roland 303 Groovebox, which is one of the most used pieces of equipments for today's electronica artists (after the 808, which is no longer in production, was replaced by the 505).
"Give The Po' Man A Break" steps up the dance energy again, with a funky beat and electronic sounds. This energy continues onto the next track entitled "10th And Crenshaw." Cook manipulates the simple samples sweetly (say that 10 time fast!). "First Down" is more of a straight forward dance track. It has some smooth and perfectly fitting jazz sample laced throughout. It is a really fun track, and anyone with any sense of dancing couldn't resist getting up and shakin' their groove thang. The tenth track is one of the strongest, and not just because of the title. "The Sound of Milwaukee" is a funky, driving, dance song, with quirky keyboard samples. It's hard to describe how fun the song is. The 11th track, entitled "Michael Jackson," is another rock n roll dance tracks.
Although Cook wasn't even going to record Better Living Through Chemistry, and when he did it took less then week, it is packed full of fun and energy. I didn't even get to some of the songs because I wanted those to be a surprise for when you get it....I'd highly recommend picking it up.