Fatboy Slim cements position as veteran DJ

(photo by Jack Shepler)

By eva recinos · Daily Trojan

25 October 2011


It’s not uncommon to hear electronic dance music blasting from the speakers of a car, dorm or frat party these days.

The rise of new DJs and producers, such as Deadmau5 and Avicii, is catapulting electronic dance music to the top of music charts, with electronic dance music tracks infiltrating airwaves and bringing back a culture that condones bright colors and the slogan “Peace, love, unity and respect.”

But this couldn’t have been possible without the work of past DJs and producers who set the standard for electronic music decades ago. Among those figures is Fatboy Slim — also known as Norman Cook — a British DJ and electronic music veteran. Cook will be a headliner at this year’s Hard Haunted Mansion, an annual electronic dance music extravaganza, set to take place at the Shrine Auditorium on Oct. 28 and 29.

Taking his place among newer acts like Skrillex and Laidback Luke, Cook bridges the gap between British and American cultures and electronic dance newbies and veterans.

Cook has not played a show in Los Angeles in four years, but he is still aware of the growth of the electronic music scene and the difference between the culture here in America and his home in England — especially when it comes to events like Hard.

“Anyone who can put on big dance events in America and get away with it is doing something good because you have the worst time persuading your government and the people to go out and party,” Cook said. “I’ve been hearing there’s this conservative attitude towards people listening to electronic dance music. It’s exciting for us in England to see big things finally happening in America.”

Cook’s music career has spanned over a decade and his appearance at Hard marks a new point in an already lengthy and successful career. Electronic music has grown into a new beast since Cook first started making music, and his appearance at Hard only cements his contribution to this evolution.

“I’m just happy I’m still allowed to do it. I’m part of the wave of DJs who were taken seriously and given respect,” Cook said. “If you’re in a boy band, by the time you’re old, you’re done, but DJs don’t really rely on their looks.”

Especially in America, electronic dance music has gone through an ebb and flow of popularity. The scale of events like Hard shows that the current interest in dance music has exploded. But Cook knows from experience that this most likely won’t last long.

“It’s just another wave. The last time it was happening it was me and the Chemical Brothers riding the last wave,” Cook said. “Now it’s more to do with people like David Guetta and Swedish House Mafia.”

For his performance at Hard, Cook naturally wants to give a stellar show.

“I’m effectively a VJ as much as [a] DJ. As I play the tunes, I’m also playing the visuals. We want it to be a visual extravaganza,” Cook said. “Someone at a Hong Kong show told me, ‘You made people that weren’t on drugs feel like they were,’ and that’s the best compliment.”

Hard Haunted Mansion is one of the best places for this type of experience. Cook has the sophistication of a seasoned electronic dance music icon and his presence at Hard is sure to prove he has retained the skills that have gotten him to where he is now.

The music scene might continue to change, but there is something unique and even magical about standing alongside hundreds of other people on Halloween weekend and swaying to the sounds of electronic dance music at its loudest and boldest. The electronic dance scene won’t stay this strong forever — if Cook’s capricious career is any indication — but it’ll at least be an experience while it lasts.


source: DailyTrojan

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