The Prodigy’s ‘The Fat of the Land’ Gets Reissued, Remixed
Hear Noisia, Zeds Dead remix those ol' firestartin' classics
It might be hard to believe, but it’s been 15 years since the Prodigy smacked their way onto the American scene with The Fat of the Land, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and promptly turned pop culture upside down. (As SPIN’s September 1997 cover story on the group noted, Helena Christensen, Cameron Diaz, Bono, Chris Rock, Diddy, and even Jerry Seinfeld all turned up at the after-party for the group’s New York show.) Long before American promoters reconfigured “EDM” for the American festival landscape, the Prodigy brought breakbeats to the rock-club circuit, sowing the seeds for this decade’s explosion of ‘roid-raging rave. If you want to know how we got where we are today, thank/blame Liam Howlett and his band of not-so-merry pranksters: As Skrillex told me when I interviewed him for SPIN last year, “One of my first albums was The Fat of the Land. I got it for Christmas. I begged for it. If you wanted to talk about the incarnation of what I’m doing now, that’s the closest thing you could pinpoint. It’s rock and it’s electronic and it’s visceral and it’s emotional — it’s everything, you know?”
Now, since everyone loves a crystal anniversary, XL is releasing a 15th anniversary edition of The Fat of the Land on December 4, in three formats: digital, double CD, and, in a nod to an era when the Technics 1200 MKII still reigned supreme, double LP. As a way of demonstrating how the Prodigy fueled the fire, the deluxe edition will include new remixes from six artists who have all, at one time or another, huffed the band’s diesel fumes: Noisia, Alvin Risk, Zeds Dead, Baauer, the Glitch Mob, and Major Lazer.
Last week, XL released Noisia’s “Smack My Bitch Up” remix and Zeds Dead’s “Breathe” remix as a digital single. The Dutch trio Noisia play up the Prodigy’s influence on dubstep’s harder, uglier strains, while keeping the essentials of the original intact; Toronto’s Zeds Dead twist the phased guitars of “Breathe” into a nail-bitten foray into super-compressed electro house and FM-synth squeal. Listen to both mixes below; they’ll be out on 12-inch vinyl, along with Alvin Risk’s “Firestarter” remix and Major Lazer’s “Smack My Bitch Up” remix, on December 4.