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The Prodigy: “The Fat Of The Land Expanded Edition Remixes”

XL Recordings (2012)

One of the most thrilling records of the 90s, The Prodigy’s third studio album, The Fat Of The Land, pretty much redefined dance music with its blend of break-beat, punk, electro, rock and techno whilst Keith Flint’s psychotic clown look gave an identity to a genre which was previously renowned for being completely faceless.

A number one in both the UK and the US, it remains as vibrant and exciting now as it did back in 1997, which might explain why so few have opted to take on the challenge of remixing its most iconic tracks for a special 15th anniversary edition. Indeed, while 1992’s Experience and 1994’s Music For The Jilted Generation featured a whole disc’s worth of re-workings with their bonus re-releases, only six extra tracks appear alongside the original ten here.

Considering just how lazy these new remixes are, it’s perhaps a blessing in disguise. Dutch electronic trio Noisia and Major Lazer both appear terrified to do anything at all on their respective versions of “Smack My Bitch Up,” the former taking 60 seconds to begin their monstrous dubstep makeover, the latter twice as long to substitute its propulsive beats for some rather weedy synth-snares.

Baauer’s phoned-in remix of “Mindfields,” The Prodigy’s pre-dubstep slab of dubstep that was recorded when Skrillex was still in elementary school, isn’t much more inventive either; likewise The Glitch Mob’s chopped-up slow-motion retooling of “Breathe” and Alvin Risk’s old-school version of “Firestarter,” which unforgivably trades the original’s electrifying guitar riffs for some generic ravey synths.

The innovation of The Fat Of The Land is only ever really recaptured on Zeds Dead remix of “Breathe,” which intersperses Flint’s snarling vocals and some ubiquitous filthy bass-lines with bursts of squelchy robotic electro more synonymous with Daft Punk than punk rock.

Of course, by refusing to stray too far from the source material, none of the remixes on The Prodigy’s The Fat Of The Land (Expanded Edition) can be accused of sacrilege. But for such an important album, it’s disappointing at just how lacklustre its new additions are.

 

2 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Electronic Music, Featured


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