One thing that’s important to remember before we get underway, this is not Fatboy Slim. This is The BPA, Norman Cook’s project, and it’s in a whole new league of cool.
A passionate music fan, Cook long felt hemmed in by the Big Beat formula. And with Brighton Port Authority he recovers a little of what made him Britain’s best-loved producer as well..
He’s a canny old sea dog, that Norman Cook. By going under cover as The BPA he fooled a few people to start with. Thus giving his new project a bit of underground freshness. The cute backstory begins with a group of friends dropping by a Brighton studio for a ’70s-era jam sessions with Cook and producer Simon Thornton.
Though the timeline is fabricated, this mash of rock, soul, and rocksteady is distinctly collaborative.
Stripped down tempo yet upbeat tunes not too dissimilar to his previous work as Fatboy Slim, The BPA is slowly descends upon you with a a gentle nod, friendly handshake and devilish grin.
Iggy Pop’s deadpan delivery on “He’s Frank” sets the tone for an album. It sometimes gets a little goofy, while the danceable “Toe Jam” pairs David Byrne with Dizzee Rascal (finally!).
Its debut album as a collective, I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, features a series of popular artists. The shortlist of musical icons includes Iggy Pop, Martha Wainwright, Dizzee Rascal and David Byrne.
While each artist contributes a bit of his or her own style, the overall ’70s house approach ties the entire album together in what the group describes as a “warehouse party, testing synthesizers, shooting fireworks across the bay.”