At one point, The Prodigy was one of the biggest band in the planet. During the first wave of electronic music invasion in America in the late 90’s they made history by becoming the first electronic artist to debut their album ‘Fat OF The Land‘ at number 1 in US Billboard’s Album Chart. Huge hits such as ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘, ‘Breathe‘ and ‘Firestarter‘ made them a household name and it’s suddenly cool to listen to electronic music in America, all thanks to The Prodigy. 15 years after the release of ‘Fat Of The Land‘, they release a new remix EP titled ‘The Added Fat‘ in an attempt to modernize the three hits I mentioned above and reintroduced The Prodigy to the current generation of clubber/raver/music fan.
For ‘The Added Fat‘ they recruited the service of current hottest electronic artists such as Noisia, Alvin Risk, Zeds Dead, The Glitch Mob and Major Lazer. Remix album is never an easy thing to pull off though, especially when songs that are considered classics. As a remixer, you will always be facing dilemma on much of the original materials you want to keep. Keeping too much of the original and you’ll appear lazy while keeping too little might ruined the already classic tunes. I definitely didn’t envy those guys. They got tough assignment.
The results of the remixes are somewhat mix bags, where some remixes totally enhance and modernized the tunes while some are really cutting close to ruining it. The Dutch Dubsteb/drum & bass trio Noisia is up first with their take on ‘Smack My Bitch up‘. I’m glad these guys managed to turn this into a slamming dubstep tune without ruining the original. They kept the entire iconic intro intact and just smack you in the face with their signature growling bassline when it drops. Up next is Alvin Risk whose take on ‘Firestarter‘ is to take it into the drumstep/drum & bass territory. I’m a drum & bass guy so I might be a little bias about this remix. Despite completely mangling the original, I find that Alvin Risk take still maintain raw energy of the original. Samples of the original is sprinkled sparingly throughout the remix yet its very effective. Zedz Dead take is when things starts going downhill. His take on ‘Breathe‘ is somewhat lacking. Despite heavy use of original elements, the track simply lacks raw energy and ferocity that is associated with the original. Next in line is a a Trap remix from Baauer of ‘Mindfields‘. The original is one of the more hip-hop sounding tune in ‘Fat Of The Land‘, therefore I was not surprise with how well this remix has turned out. Up next is another remix of ‘Breathe‘ from The Glitch Mob. This remix started well, keeping the original intro while introducing new drum pattern. Despite its 4/4 pattern it works surprisingly well, until the main drop where it turns into a really boring tune. Its a shame because it started out so well. Last but not least we have Major Lazer with another take on ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘. Major Lazer kept the entire iconic intro untouched then drop it into an all out trap version that is just as raw and dirty as the original, taking it into completely different direction at the same time.
As always the case with remix album or EP, they always have some hits and misses. Major Lazer and Noisia did awesome job while Alvin Risk and Bauuer did pretty good (not as good as Noisia and Major Lazer) job. Meanwhile, Zeds Dead and The Glitch Mob were totally off the mark. These 2 guys shows that 4/4 electro style doesn’t work with The Prodigy’s material. Should you get this? If you’re a prodigy fan then there’s no doubt it. Otherwise you can skip some of the tunes and just buy the one that you like.
‘The Added Fat EP’ is due out on Dec 3rd. The Noisia, Major Lazer & Zeds Dead remix are available exclusively now at Beatport.