The Man of Oxymorons

Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook,one of the biggest names in electronic dance music,will play in India tomorrow.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published:May 4, 2012 12:24 am

Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook,one of the biggest names in electronic dance music,will play in India tomorrow.

Before the world affiliated its faith to the synchronised segues of David Guetta and the house and techno beats of electronic dance artiste DJ Ambivalent,there was Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook. A British producer and DJ,who turned up the volume in clubs and illegitimate warehouse raves with an automated sound,and who never owned a computer,created a community experience for many strangers who heard him together. And suddenly,there was a huge boost in the popularity of electronic dance music — so much so that it seemed that it will overcome hip hop and rock. Looking at the last decade,it seems it actually has. Now,Fatboy Slim is on his maiden official tour to India to make the crowds wobble in groups at his gigs being organised by 6th Dimension Entertainment at Gurgaon,Mumbai and Bangalore.

It has taken him a long time to reach this part of the universe. “I wasn’t convinced there was a scene for our kind of music. I didn’t want to come over just to play to expats. I am informed that things are really kicking off in India now,” says Cook,who grew up in Surrey,listening to glam rock,punk rock and hip hop.

Cook won over his fans with some big-beat music and a slew of quirky music videos (remember Weapon of Choice?). He changed names too often (for comfort) and gave us tracks such as Praise You. However,recognition came when he became Fatboy Slim,and was instantly on top of the EDM scene. “Fatboy Slim is an oxymoron. I was always hiding behind different names so that I could have more than one record out with more than one style of music. The anonymity worked fine until Fatboy Slim came along and engulfed all the other personae,” says Cook

Known for his alcohol problem and his rehab that was enormously talked about,Cook was also in the news for the Big Beach Boutique (a series of free concerts) incident,when a woman in the audience lost her life. But he wants to let bygones be bygones.

Cook says he has a limited knowledge of Indian music and has not heard anything beyond some Bollywood tunes. As for his favourite music and the tracks that will be a part of his India gig,Cook says that the obvious one would be track The Rockafeller Skank “as it’s one track that has got all the lunacy and the devil-may-care feel to it”. He adds that the Indian audience should expect “a thumping bass,visual thrills and loads of party antics”. The gig,that will take place at Huda Grounds in Gurgaon,will have Arjun Vagale of Jalebee Cartel and Dualist Enquiry open for him.

As for the music that he is listening to,Cook says that for the longest time,he did not even own an iPod. “I didn’t have an iPod. I haven’t got a computer. My wife actually bought me an iPod,so it was a great idea until we realised you need a computer to put anything into it. So I’ve got an iPod but I’ve got no music on it,” says the man,who has also collaborated with bands such as The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy,apart from giving numerous dance music tracks to the world.

Fatboy Slim will perform at Huda Grounds,Gurgaon,on May 5; entry 5 pm

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