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All Star Breakbeats

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Album Review

Fans of producer and DJ Norman Cook in his various incarnations as Beats International and, most recently, Fatboy Slim should be warned not to jump at this disc without reading the fine print on the front cover. Although it does include what looks like 11 new tunes, these actually are bare-bones drum loops and samples designed not for listening or dancing, but as raw material for use by other producers and DJs. In the case of "Prince of the Beats," for example, the entire track consists of a single drum loop and a repeated three-word vocal sample; Leisure Boys is similar, with electronic drums and the occasional incursion of synthesized bass. "Disco Dubwise" is an almost completely unadorned house beat, while "Lock It in the Socket" harks back to old school hip-hop with a spare breakbeat and chirpy vocal sample. Tracks 12 through 62 consist of very brief vocal samples, many of which will be familiar to fans of Cook's previous albums. Only the most devoted fans will find this album worth listening to, but for practitioners it's a treasure trove of fun and funky beats, effects, and scratches.


Born: 31 July 1963 in Bromley, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Norman "Jacker-Of-All-Genres" Cook, in addition to his former occupations as bassist for the Housemartins and one third of acid-house hitmakers Pizzaman, is also the man behind one of the most popular of the new flock of English "brit hop" producers, Fatboy Slim. Releasing his Fatboy material through club staple Skint, Cook's raucous blend of house, acid, funk, hip-hop, electro, and techno has added to his already formidable reputation as one of the foremost all-around producers on the U.K. club...
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All Star Breakbeats, Norman Cook
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