REVIEW: German rock legends The Scorpions release MTV Unplugged in Athens on Bluray, DVD, and CD

When it comes to making immaculately crafted acoustic sets that warrant repeated listens, MTV Unplugged has a nearly unparalleled track record. For a program and recording series that has spanned more than twenty years, and seen such a wide and disparate cast of talents, the show has become a cornerstone for acoustic sets. From Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam, to Led Zepplin and Kiss, to LL Cool J and Jay-Z, one thing remains the same, and that is the consistency and standard they hold to the audio quality of all of their recordings.

On the latest release, Scorpions Unplugged In Athens, MTV has stayed true to their format and delivered another high quality performance from a group of musical legends. The release, a CD-DVD combo set, is set below the stars in a gorgeous open-air amphitheatre in Athens in front of a decent sized crowd Scorpions loyalists. The band has come dynamically well equipped and full bodied to this performance, appropriating 6 additional musicians, a full 8-piece string section accompaniment from the group Strings From Heaven, as well as special guest appearances from Morten Harket, Johannes Strate, CATHE, and Dimitra Kokkori. The sound is full and rich, the quality is exceptional, and most of all the music is on point, staying true to the spirit and energy the Scorpions have been conjuring since the early seventies.

All the huge classics are here in spades: “Rock You Like a Hurricane“, “No One Like You“, “Send Me an Angel“, “Still Loving You“, and “Wind of Change“. The instrumental arrangements are dynamic and robust, doing justice to the sound that brought these German rock legends international fame and recognition. Around every corner there are visually as well as audibly interesting details that make watching worth the price of admission. For instance, the finger picking insanity at the beginning of “Speedy’s Coming”, or any of the mid-set solos illustrating the guitar chops and expertise of a lifetime of performing.

As this Unplugged album comes on the heels of the worldwide Scorpions farewell tour, it seems these guys are alive and still kicking. While they’ve had a long touring history and become heavy metal icons, it seems fitting to see a group that have been together for the better part of forty years to step into a subtler arena and do an acoustic set. Although the boys have additionally confirmed after the farewell tour that they will not be breaking up, it seems that they might be ready to step back and take some time to reflect. Overall this is an entertaining set, albeit a bit relaxed and calmed down compared to the Scorpions early catalog. A must have for any die-hard Scorpions fan.

CD review SCORPIONS "MTV Unplugged - live in Athens"

Tracklist:

1. Sting in the tail

2. Can’t live without you

3. Pictured life

4. Speedy’s coming

5. Born to touch your feelings

6. The best is yet to come

7. Dancing with the moonlight

8. In trance

9. When you came into my life

10. Delicate dance

11. Love is the answer

12. Follow your heart

13. Send me an angel

14. Where the river flows

15. Passion rules the game

16. Rock you like a hurricane

17. Hit between the eyes

18. Rock’n’roll band

19. Blackout

20. Still loving you

21. Big city nights

22. Wind of change

23. No one like you

24. When the smoke is going down

25. Where the river flows

REVIEW: Easy Company release their rocking new EP Hello World

Easy Company, a modern rock outfit based out of New Jersey, pack a solid rock punch on their EP Hello World. While far from the much used first line of code used by computer programmers to test out or teach a new program (i.e. the hello world program), the title aptly fits the band state of affairs and intent on this EP nicely. As their website states, Easy Company “takes cues from favorite artists such as the Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and various modern and classic rock acts” and it shows. As a band, it seems Easy Company knows who they are, what they like, and how they want to sound and they aren’t afraid to show it. Their hello world, while not too far removed from the sounds of other band is refreshingly straight forward and honest.

The EP starts out rocking and keeps moving for the remainder. There are no lulls or dull moments, and there is a great deal of potential for future releases. They are stated as saying “hopes to help people remember that rock and roll, rock and roll shows and big drums and guitars still throw one hell of a party.” If their sound is indicative of the vibe at their shows, I’m it’s nothing but a good time and a solid sound with these guys.

So if you’re looking for good old, ass kicking rock and roll head on over to their Soundcloud and check out Easy Company. Also, be sure to check them out live if they stop by your town. From the looks of things they might be head south and all around the East Coast, so stop out and give them a chance.

REVIEW: Brutal death metal release from Indian based Gutslit is turning heads

Tagged as “Brutal Death Metal”, the ferocious act known as Gutslit is a four-piece crusher hailing from… Mumbai, India? That’s right, India. But make no mistakes here folks; location is no factor in the sheer pummeling force of these emerging metal makers. Quickly gaining notoriety in metal circles, these boys are kicking teeth in with their brutal metal sound. Gutslit just released an album titled “Skewered in the Sewer” on the Transcending Obscurity label in September, and it is chock full of face grinding insanity.

“Skewered in the Sewer”, is definitively one of the most professional releases in the genre to come out of their country. These guys aren’t dabbling in a genre they don’t understand. This release dispels all doubt that they’re among the best of their sound – featuring outstanding vocals, crushing riffs and technical wizardry, pummeling percussion and dastardly bass mayhem. Not to mention the fact that some of their song titles are “Circumcised with a Chainsaw”, “Hemorrhoidal Brain Custard”, and “Pulp Face”. Awesome.

Additionally, Gutslit’s release has a fully professional production complete with a 12-page booklet that include both lyrics and a number of illustrations. On top of that, the album artwork was created by none other than the legendary death metal artist extraordinaire Mark Riddick. Honestly, I’d say pulling out all the stops from every angle including the attention to detail these boys put into things like packaging reinforces the dedication they have for their craft and ultimately the legitimacy of their album. They might not be coming from somewhere you’d expect, but they’re here, ready to shred and definitely worth a listen.

Skewered In The Sewer cover art

Reviews – 


“stays with listeners long after the speakers go bust” – Rolling Stone India 4/5

“will certainly be ranked among the classicks in the future years” – Sick Reviews 9.5/10

“No one else in Indian extreme metal will be able to touch Gutslit for a while now” – PopSplat

“this is an excellent display of what the band has to offer in a country with no other contemporaries to name” – Heavy Blog is Heavy 3.5/5

Current Members:

Aditya Barve – Vocals
Gurdip Narang – Bass
Prateek Rajagopal – Guitar
Aaron Pinto – Drums

Track List:

1.  Prelude to Putrification

2.  Pustulated Phallic Enthralment

3.  Offal Barter

4.  Circumcized with a Chainsaw

5.  Atrophic Cranial Disintegration

6.  Haemorrhoidal Brain Custard

7.  Pulp Face

8.  Maze of Entrails

9.  Skewered in the Sewer

A Skylit Drive “Rises” to the occasion with their new album.

A Skylit Drive, post hardcore band from California, has certainly risen above all of their albums with their newly released album, “Rise”. After releasing four albums and a DVD many fans wondered what the next album would hold in store, and trust me when I say no one is disappointed.

“Rise” is undoubtedly A Skylit Drives best work. Everything from the albums feel to the lyrics themselves is all that a fan of A Skylit Drive would, or even could, want. They kick the album off right with an electrifying first song “Save me Tragedy” and believe me when I tell you the album only goes up from there, using the perfect blend of clean and unclean vocals, A Skylit Drive powers through the album, making sure that everyone who listens to it won’t soon forget their name. Some other gems on the album are the title track “Rise”, the second track “Unbreakable”, and the albums slower ballad “Just Stay”. Vocalist Michael “Jag” Jagmin goes above and beyond on this album, keeping his signature way of singing while still throwing out subtle changes in the best kind of way, while screamer and bassist Brian White shows how far he’s come as well. It’s remarkable how the album is undoubtedly “A Skylit Drive” while still being so fresh and new. After being a fan of A Skylit drive since the release of their EP, She Watched the Sky, it’s almost amazing to see the progress and success, but there is no doubt in the minds of fans that A Skylit Drive deserves whatever fame they can get.  This album is a must have for fans of Alesana, Pierce the Veil, and Secrets & Whisper. Make sure to see A Skylit Drive on the “Rise Up Tour” coming to Peabodys in Cleveland, Ohio, September 30th; with supporting bands For All Those Sleeping, Wolves at the Gate, I the Mighty, and Privs. I know that I for one can’t wait to see how A Skylit Drive tops this one.

You can stream the album here, and be sure to pick it up when it drops in stores September 24th.
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLG71P8eT4DF1_mhQKoJtkUwDYvQF-dR9P

Riseuptour

Track List

1. Save Me Tragedy
2. Unbreakable
3. Crash Down
4. Rise
5. Crazy
6. Said & Done
7. Just Stay
8. Pendulum
9. I, Enemy
10. Wide Awake
11. Shadows
12. Dreaming in Blue

Everlast’s “The Life Acoustic”: Lazy and Uneventful

Everlast’s (real name: Erik Schrody) 1998 hit What It’s Like was so wildly popular that plenty of people who DIDN’T know what it was like still learned all the words before they realized that the song’s finger-pointing-but-non-judgmental lyrics were aimed at them. It was a prominent enough track to help him sell almost three million copies of the record, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, but can you name another single from this album? No? Neither can I? Before we get further, I want to remind you of the catchy, seemingly skillful composition of “What It’s Like.”

His most recent solo release, “The Life Acoustic” is, at least in sound, similar to his biggest hit, but starkly different from the myriad collaborations he’s been a part of. It takes his previously released but unknown solo tracks, strips them down, and lets his voice take center stage. Unfortunately, this is an album that feels like it’s trying and failing to be good enough for radio play on a rock station. There may even be a few tracks composed to head intentionally to adult contemporary purgatory. (All I can hear in Broken is Hootie and the Blowfish, but less vocally skilled.)

This is going to be a mostly critical review, so if you’re an Everlast fan, I’d recommend you take pause before continuing. Musically, this album feels stale, derivative and not carefully composed or completely thought through. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a seriously lack of competence that we’re only finally able to fully see in this record. After quite a few careful listens, I do not hear more than four or five chords in most of the songs, all of which begin with Everlast speaking the title of the tune into his microphone. Then the guitar comes in, followed soon after by keyboard or piano. I like simplicity in my music, but these tracks feel lazy to me, formulaic. It’s as if were rearranged and recomposed in a day and recorded in one take 24-hours later.

But worse is that Everlast’s recognizable, gritty, often almost-off-key vocals sound just as careless as the composition. He sings through most of the record. I found myself so distracted by how out of place his voice sounded, that I was sometimes able to forget there were even strings being strummed behind him. I heard pieces without a whole; genres being haphazardly thrown together into one song without consideration of the audience. (My Medicine is a good example of this.)

My last criticism here is that most of what this album conveys lyrically is adulthood, its underlying resentments, its unforgiving nature. The songs that Everlast chose to feature here are all about sort of resigning yourself to loneliness and responsibility, but doing so knowingly. Ultimately, though, I think I prefer him when he’s angry.

“The Life Acoustic” was released on August 27, 2013 on Martyr Inc. Records. It is available on iTunes here.

PromoImage

REVIEW: Swedish groove metal act The Quill show their rock determination on “Tiger’s Blood”

Remember how alternative (whatever the hell that means) music used to rock? Not the crap that is “radio-friendly”, but the stuff that used to really kick ass. Like all the nineties powerhouses, especially the grunge guys when they were still trying to make it, and the “indie” bands that rocked and didn’t really know they were indie bands yet? Well let me tell you folks, Swedish rockers The Quill certainly remember.

This should come as no surprise from a band that has been around since the nineties and released six albums in the meantime: “The Quill” (1995), “Silver Haze” (1999), ”Voodoo caravan” (2001), ”Hooray! It’s a deathtrip” (2003), ”In triumph” (2006) and “Full Circle” (2011). The core of The Quill consists of the two mainstays, guitarist Christian Carlsson and drummer Jolle Atlagic (ex. Hanoi Rocks, The Real McCoy Band). The two musical motors, whom together formed the band in the early nineties, have always worked with one single goal – a determination to show audiences all over the world the sheer quality of The Quill. This latest offering which is meant to deliver more of their sheer quality, certainly doesn’t disappoint.

In 2010 they teamed up with new singer Magnus Arnar (ex. Ground Mower, Soul 78) to fill the vacant vocalist spot. Vocally, Arnar delivers on the most recent offering from The Quill. Arnar’s vocal style lends itself well to the hard driving groove metal sound that the band has cultivated. Not too far removed from the vocal qualities present on “In Triumph” or “Full Circle”, Arnar delivers on “Tiger’s Blood” staying true to the overall sound of the band. In mid 2012, the lost son Roger Nilsson (ex. Spiritual Beggars, Firebird) returned to handle the bass guitar after having spent 7 years exploring other musical journeys.

“Tiger’s Blood” is a solid rocking entry into the musical catalog of these Swedish veterans, and it shows their relentless dedication to their vision and sound. The majority of the release is driving and energetic, with the exception of two slower tempo tracks in the middle that help to add depth and variety to the overall album. The album was released through Metalville in June, 2013 and the band is ecstatic over the times to come. The songs have a wider range, live shows will be more explosive and touring will be more intense.

The Full Circle-campaign of 2011-12 saw The Quill yet again touring extensively all over Europe and also, for the first time, in the US. Having toured and shared bill with a variety of bands, such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Monster Magnet, there’s no stage The Quill fear to tread. Known for their high-energy, take no prisoners attitude they always deliver a live-show leaving audiences grasping for air.

REVIEW: Victory’s debut album “Victory Is Music” brings a little neon VHS retro to the party

‘Victory Is Music’ Track Listing:

1. Bad Man
2. This, That or This
3. Play It
4. Woman
5. Soothing Me So
6. Straight Line
7. Lazy Art
8. System Strange
9. Records
10. Dirty Jeans

Victory is the music project of Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Robert Fleming who produces new songs that are at once fresh, familiar and focused.  ‘Demonstrations’ was the first offering from Victory, a 7-song EP self-released in September 2011 and his first full length is set to see the light in April 23rd, 2013.  Victory crafts a sound that is both a throw-back to psychedelic 60’s British rock as well as an homage to today’s thriving independent music scene.

In his freshman debut, Fleming comes out of the gate with a consistent release that is a unique approach to pop rock. With a gravelly blues tone in his voice, Victory’s mastermind brings a definitive swagger and charisma to his thumping party starters. Take for example his singe “Play It”, which was featured in a Cadillac XTS commercial. It’s got the vibe of a party-hopping late night bender fueled by the energy of gritty synth bass lines and LCD Soundsystem-esque vocal chanting.

There is something slightly retro, slightly Atari 2600, slightly Betamax, yet strikingly current about Victory’s style. Rhythmically there is a high level of sophistication present, and the percussive arrangements and production are distinctly modern in there approach. The album Victory Is Music as a whole is definitely an energetic ride throughout, stylistically maintaining a gritty blues electro pop vibe. Overall this is a strong entry for this LA-based newcomer who finds beauty in the everyday noise of the city, and art in the conflict of the day.

Check Out The Video For ‘Play It’

Purchase ‘Play It’ On iTunes

Links

Victory Website
Victory facebook
Victory twitter

Victory Bandcamp

REVIEW: The new Eric and Magill release Two Travelers is a testament to beauty in global collaboration

Globetrotters Eric and Magill have created an interesting new collection of music on their new EP Two Travelers. Ryan Weber and Eric Osterman are a testament that distance is no barrier to making beautiful music. Weber is in the Peace Corps in Kenya, while Osterman is settled in Brooklyn. With little more than Wi-Fi and laptops, they’ve developed a collaborative relationship across time zones and continents.

From the opener, “Tangled Up In Nets”, you can tell there is something unique about this music. Amidst a glimmering electro pop rock backdrop, they somberly and delicately deliver a mouthful of echo laden lyrics dealing with the potentially mind bending concept of universal interconnectivity. However, their song writing chops are so on point that they can lull you peacefully into their world of indelible cosmic melodies without you realizing the gravity of their lyrics.

Vocally the work on this EP is diverse, and there are times of distinct two-part harmonies and also times of vocal singularity. Both work to deliver the band’s lyrical message in coherence with their eclectic instrumentation and swirling pop rock rhythms. The lyrical delivery ranges from energetically urgent to discreetly whispering, and stays aesthetically relevant throughout. They have crafted a number of gems in true pop rock fashion and format, while at the same time peppering the soup with little surprises throughout.

Originally from Milwaukee, they first played together in Camden, an indie favorite with shoegaze flavor. After only a handful of EPs and one stellar full-length – the gorgeous Reel Time Canvas, produced by Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) – they disbanded while on the brink of bigger things. After they disbanded, Osterman followed his heart to Michigan and Weber enlisted Camden alum William Seidel to form the indie-folk outfit Decibully while moonlighting with The Promise Ring. The two friends drifted apart as you do when life happens, but not so far that they couldn’t easily fall in with each other again.

In 2007, Weber took up a teaching post in Armenia for a year; it was in this faraway place where he began the initial sketches of a new project. Reaching out to Osterman was a natural step; writing together again was a matter of exchanging tracks over email. Taking the concept one step further, they invited myriad friends to participate, including members of ShearwaterDirty Projectors, Owen and a slew of hometown heroes like MaritimeHey Mercedes, and The Championship. The resulting record, All Those I Know, is a dream-pop composition marked at times by lush reverb and at others, by delicate folk melodies. Released first as a free download in the late winter of 2010, it was pressed in limited-edition vinyl (Ten Atoms) the following summer.

Forever traveling, in 2011 Weber joined the Peace Corps in Kenya while Osterman relocated to Brooklyn. Apart from the inherent challenges of place, little had changed in their creative process. Still the laptops, the Internet connection, the revolving cast of musicians – this time including (amongst others) members of The DelgadosSnailhouse, and Faunts. Night Singers builds on the framework of All Those I Know, building upon the band’s hallmark vocals flush with reverb. The end result is an album full of glittering, hushed moments juxtaposed against electro-pop gems.

The coming year will see the release of Night Singers (May) preceded by an EP, the aptly titled Two Travelers. At times reassuringly uplifting while at others worrisome and haunting, Two Travelers is the culminating creative outpouring of two individuals traversing the ever-changing simultaneous multiplicity of our modern landscape.

Praise For Eric And Magill:

“Aided by a sizeable supporting cast that includes members of Dirty Projectors, Shearwater, and Headlights, Decibully’s Ryan Weber and pal Eric Osterman have focused their electronic-folk project Eric & Magill on rectifying the divide between simple, earnest, nostalgic folk-rock and highly polished, manipulated pop..” — A.V Club

“I became instantly hooked to every note, every harmonic hum, and every cavernous sung word. “ — Tympanogram

“From it’s colorful and sweeping soundscapes down to it’s quiet whispers, ‘All Those I Know’ is an undeniably gorgeous record that will have you captivated from start to finish. Imagine that you’re on a road trip with your best friend, have a light conversation and enjoying the afternoon sun… ” –Sloucher

“lustrous bedroom pop and atmospheric folk” — Express Milwaukee

Links:

Band Website

Band facebook

Band Bandcamp

‘Two Travellers’ EP Track Listing:

1. Tangled Up In Nets
2. Take On Too Much
3. I Feel Your Pain
4. Don’t Worry
5. Carried Away
6. Super Oso (Same Starry Sky)

Day Joy’s “Go To Sleep” Will Let You Do Anything But

Florida based duo Day Joy have just released a new LP titled Go To Sleep, Mess.  My only advice is not to fall asleep too quickly. While the tone and mood of this debut work is gently mellow and calming, it is absolutely riddled with delicate production nuances and rich textural harmonies. A midst the swooning and sweeping instrumental backdrop, Day Joy pulls you into a deeply personal, heartfelt, and genuinely sincere musical experience that is both revealing and enveloping.  Day Joy makes beautiful lush dream folk landscapes caressed with crooning and heart felt melodies and deep poetic lyricism.

Hailing from Orlando, FL the now five sometimes six piece was originally a two person project started by Peter Michael Perceval and Michael Serrin. Peter and Michael met in college years ago where they acoustically wrote all the songs via late nights on porches and rooftops that are just now coming to fruition and being released on Small Plates Records on their debut LP Go To Sleep, Mess. Quite aptly, they were recently hailed as one of the top 10 Florida Bands You Should Listen To NOW by Paste Magazine alongside their friends and other up and comers Levek and Hundred Waters.

Orlando, Florida’s Day Joy glimmers on a lucid dream, borne on a conscious wind, as they both adhere to the tried and true dream-pop formula and also break its clamorous mold. Carried by the pensive vocals of original members Michael Serrin and Peter Perceval, they began as a duo writing acoustic song structures for psychedelic dreams on rooftops and porches amidst late-night Floridian sunsets. As they now encompass a five–and sometimes six–piece collaboration of banjos, ukeleles, synthesizers and steady percussions, they will be releasing their debut album, Go To Sleep, Mess, on Small Plates Records.

Mirroring the mystifying image of the Floridian landscape that surrounds them, they have sought to provide a similar tone and intimate experience as their fellow Floridian friends, such as Hundred Waters and Levek. With humble origins, and brimming effectual sounds to share, Day Joy offers a reflective experience and a sobering reverence that only these South Eastern dream poppers would know how.

Day Joy have reached an emotional depth on this record that doesn’t come off as pretentious, but rather intimate and unmasked. While this album isn’t quite in the same territory as Bon Iver, there is a parallel in that I haven’t heard a debut that sounds this engaging while at the same time being so subjectively personal since I first listened to For Emma, Forever Ago. Fans of Bon Iver, The Acorn, Iron & Wine, Fleet Foxes, and the like should check this one out. Listen | Day Joy: Go To Sleep, Mess

Click Here To Watch “Go To Sleep, Mess” On Paste

Click Here To Pre-Order Go To Sleep, Mess LP 

Tour Dates

02.15 – Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL
02.16 – New World Brewery – Tampa, FL
02.19 – Burrow Bar – Jacksonville, FL
02.21 – Caledonia Lounge – Athens, GA
02.22 – Drunken Unicorn – Atlanta, GA
02.23 – Apothecary – Asheville, NC *
02.25 – Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC *
02.27 – Kings Barcade – Raleigh, NC *
02.28 – Metropolitan – Annapolis, MD
03.01 – Pianos – New York, NY
03.03 – The Outer Space – Hamden, CT
03.05 – Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY
03.07 – Empty Bottle – Chicago, IL
03.08 – Rozz Tox – Rock Island, IL

* w/ Casual Curious
(More Dates To Be Announced)

Fatboy Slim To Release Big Beach Bootique 5 CD/DVD Out February 19th On The End Records

1. Fatboy Slim: Right Here Right Now
2. Fatboy Slim: Praise You
3. His Majesty Andre: Clubs
The Black & White Brothers – Put Your Hands Up
Fatboy Slim: Fucking In Heaven
4. Chuckie: Who Is Ready To Jump?
2Symmetry: Lollipop (New Thomas Mix)
5. Firebeatz : Where’s Your Head
John Dahlback – Grunge
6. Bingo Players L’Amour
Chuckie & LMFAO : Let The Bass Kick In Miami, Bitch
7. As Tequileros Do Funk : Surra de Bunda (Sidney Samson Remix)
Tocadisco: That Miami Track
8. Nari & Milani vs Maurizio Gubellini : Up
Fatboy Slim : Right Here, Right Now
Felguk vs Tim Healey: Score
9. Fatboy Slim vs Riva Starr feat. Beardyman : Get Naked  (Fatboy Slim vs Futuristic Polar Bears Remix)
10. Bart B More : Traction
Tittsworth: WTF
11. Lazy Jay – Reflux
12. Nari & Milani – Kendo
13. SYMPHO NYMPHO (Erick Morillo, Harry Romero, Jose Nunez) – Build It Up
14. Soul Central : Strings Of Life (Supernova Remix)
15. Fatboy Slim : Star 69
16. Sidney Samson & Steve Aoki – Wake Up Call
Armand Van Helden: NYC Beat
Fedde Le Grand/Mitch Crown: Rockin’ High (Nicky Romero Mix)
Incredible Bongo Band: Apache
17. Seductive – Take Control
Fatboy Slim – Sunset (Bird Of Prey)
18. 68 Beats – Noise (Robbie Rivera Mix)
19. Fatboy Slim – Praise You

Rarely is one able to sum up an album with simply a phrase, a word, or even better a number. On Fatboy Slim’s most recent outing, it seems that time has come: 303. That’s right. TB-303 to be exact. This album is absolutely melting with dripping 303 lines that harken back to the golden age of Acid House music. And it is full of bangers! The squirming, squelching chirp, originating from innovative Chicago house music pioneers in the 1980’s experimenting with the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer, is so contagious and energizing that even the stiffest wallflower at the party might just have to get down and shake it.

What better time for Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim to blow minds with such a jumping set then at a mega-gig at Brighton, UK’s Falmer Stadium. Cook said that this gig was special –  “I was involved with the fight to get Falmer built – I took a petition to Downing Street, I went on the marches – so it’s a celebration of Brighton, it’s a celebration of getting the stadium, it’s celebration of my links with the Albion, it’s the icing on the cake for all of us”. Though Cook was integral in getting Falmer built, that didn’t stop him from tearing the walls down with his schizophrenic house-rocking mixes. It’s all here – classic Slim tracks, cut, snipped, mashed, and mixed along with unheard bits and other party anthems (“Put your hands up for Detroit”,  “In The Annex”, and “Bird of Prey” to name a few).

This set is also a bit of a symbol, epitomizing  just one in a litany of amazing-sounding shows that Cook has played recently, a faintly deranged global journey stopping at all points from the Big Brother house in Brazil to the Great Wall Of China.Playing a DJ set there, he says, was “one of those boxes that needed to be ticked off”, as if everyone has a to-do list stuck to their fridge with PLAY DJ SET ON GREAT WALL OF CHINA just below GET MORE BIN BAGS and DENTIST’S APPT. “Everyone said it was like playing at an M25 rave. It was in the middle of nowhere, two hours outside of Beijing, right by the Mongolian border, in the car park of the tourist center. There’s nobody there at night. We’d had our gear impounded at customs, we were fully prepared for the idea that it might not happen. And 5000 people turned up. Projecting lasers onto the Great Wall Of China! I don’t know how we got away with it.”

He still heads into his studio to chop up other people’s tracks for use in his DJ sets, to which end, he clicks a button on his laptop and out bursts a highly improbable mash-up of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Armand Van Helden’s New York City Beat, The Incredible Bongo Band’s Apache and Prokoviev’s Peter And The Wolf, which is simultaneously brilliant, entirely ridiculous and the kind of idea that only Norman Cook would have. But at the moment, he’s concentrating on DJing rather than making records. “I did 70 gigs last year,” he says. “I’ve never done that many before. I’m just really enjoying doing the gigs, as a career. This is my job, I love doing it, I still seem to be getting away with it.”

These days, Cook’s show involves not just playing his own patented brand of “party acid house”, but a complex audio-visual production. “I’m technically a video jockey now. We write scripts for all the tunes, make films. In the past, I used to have to literally hold up the next record I was going to play to the guy who does my visuals, and he’d have to find the images to match it. And they were never synched. But now, because of the technology, no matter what speed I play at, even if I just chop quickly into it, the visuals are all synchronized. It’s a show.”

There’s more: DJing back to back with Carl Cox, unwittingly becoming FA’s “official World Cup DJ”, a forthcoming tour of “nice characterful old ballrooms in Britain”. It goes on and on: it shows no sign of stopping. “Oh no. I love it too much. I can still get away with it. It doesn’t matter that you’re old and bald and grey and fat, because you were never a sex symbol in the first place. We’re pushing new limits. No one knows what the cut-off age limit of a DJ is. And apparently, it’s not yet.” Norman Cook roars with laughter. “I take great delight in that.”