8
Nov 04

THE SQUARE TABLE 20 / Fatboy Slim – “Slash Dot Dash”

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POP FACTOR: 342 CONTROVERSY RATING: 247

Simultaneously lazy and ballsy, a rum way to end a pop career but weeks away from its brief radio life at least it sounds like a footnote, so not as undignified as it might have been. As a track on one of the prime Fatboy albums it would have worked great – a little in-joke irritant to keep the party mischievous. As a stand alone – eh? 3 (Tom)

You could say this is one of the worst songs ever recorded, but it’s not really a song. It’s a bad idea, repeated over and over. It has no entertainment value, no value in being so bad it’s good, it has no meaning. It’s just terrible. 0 (jel)

Considering the likes of the Go! Team and Teddybears STHLM have recently – and surprisingly – been striking pop gold with elements of the Fatboy sound, its more than a little disappointing to see Norman Cook return with a track that fails on almost every conceivable level.

Slash Dot Dash would have sounded lame as a throwaway skit on a Rephlex release from 1999, let alone as a comeback release from the most famous face in British dance music. Who exactly does our Norm think this record is supposed to appeal to? The beat would struggle to ignite even the least discerning dancefloor, the vocal sample is too intrusive, and the guitar solo would elicit little more than a rush to the bar/toilet at your average indie disco. (Slash dash! Do you see?) There doesn’t even appear to be anything worth stealing for a decent remix. Thank heavens it’s only two and half minutes long. 0 (Matt D’Cruz)

Wire’s “Dot Dash” re-written as a wide-eyed jingle for an animated car commercial? This is the sort of pea-brain, sample-based dance track that nearly anyone with a computer and a couple of Acid loops can make nowadays. The main difference is that Norman Cook makes a living producing disposable plastic like this. “The Rockafeller Skank” might have sounded fresh to mainstream ears in 1998, but no-one asked for this carbon copy of a dim flash at the end of 2004. 2 (Michael Gill)

Go back into history, realize you left Rockafella Skank half-breathing on the dance floor. Revive it, give it a new name and serve it with an ironic vocal sample. The internet is so passe – that shoulda been “dot org” Mr Slim Not So Shady – even when it stutters around a surf guitar. The main problem I have with the song – apart from its block rocking dumbness – is that it won’t even get the lads dancing. Or maybe that’s a good thing? Dot dot dud. 3 (Stevie Nixed)

IT’S annoying IN a REALLY unsubtle WAY like A neon LIGHT flashing IN your WINDOW. slash DOT dash DOT slash DOT slash DOT com DOT com LIKE a MOUNTAIN dew AD with CARROTTOP slash DOT slash DOT and EVERYTHING everyone THOUGHT fatboy SLIM would SOUND like AND what DO you KNOW he DOES sound LIKE a REPETITIVE fratboy LET loose ON a SOUNDBOARD just MAKE it STOP now please.

It’s not so much that I hate it as that it makes me want to change the channel. But then I never cared much for that station anyway. 3 (Forksclovetofu)

There’s some XBox game – hell, there’s probably a bunch of applicable XBox games – where repeatedly pushing a button in a certain situation caused a character to repeat the same soundbite. Waiting for Player 1 to return from a potty break, or running through a boring stretch of plot-related hoohah, I’d entertain myself with a little re-re-re-r-remixing of that dialogue snippet. So, yeah – if I had access to quality recording equipment, I too would slap that jive talkin’ on top of a tepid fast beat and see how large a throng I can get throbbing and twirling with it. Norman, you lucky slack bastard, I salute you. 3 (David Raposa)

Dumbfounding. The rumbling bass is dance-inspiring, but the vocal sample eats at my nerves whenever I get going. Even without that, though, I don’t know that this functions so well even as a pop track – it’s short enough, but it’s not engaging. Feels dated too. 3 (Atnevon)

I could laugh, but it would just turn to tears anyway. This is a shockingly bad record and I say that as someone who thought the last album was great fun (I even liked the Macy Gray stuff). What happened Normy? I’ve often thought that married life just saps the creative spark from people (perhaps Liam Howlett is another example, though not even anything on the latest Prodigy album is as kamikaze yet retarded as this) and you’re only serving to prove this daft paper bag of a suggestion may actually hold some water. Riotous in a bad way, yet wretchedly predictable and formulaic much like the rest of the new album. I’ll give it something just because it reminds me of the theme from Art Attack and Neil Buchanan has more talent in his paint-drenched right thumb than Mr Cook has left in his entire self on the evidence of this cacophonous trouble gum. Oh God, I am now officially ‘teh old’… 3 (Steve M)

A stoopid surf guitar lick is the only thing that delineates what’s the chorus and what’s the verse here, and even that sounds like aimless jamming, like a misplaced band in that holistic jam that Jools Holland does as the start of each show. This is a structure on which to hang samples- I mean who LISTENS to this stuff? Yet the thing is, we all do- it’ll be ubiquitious on TV and radio trailers for ages. Cook knows this, which is why the actual track is only 2 minutes long. It’s marginally more proficient than most trash-dance singles, so it gets a slightly above average 6 (Derek Walmsley)

A comment on internet culture goes the press release. Yeah right, as if anybody will buy that crock of crap. You got bored and some PR guy told you this would be a good idea. You knocked it out in your tea-break. You know shit sells.

But this is enjoyable. Pleasingly primitive in its delivery. The Slash, Dot & Com simply and rather cleanly cut and pasted multiple times over a short guitar riff, over and over and over again. Dot com, dot com DOT COM. Completely dumb but strangely compelling. Ill happily plead musical ignorance for this short 2:20 of pleasure. 7 (MW_Jimmy)

The title and its repetition are a bit irritating, and any future-shock glamour of ‘dot com’ feels as much a thing of the past as Fatboy himself does now: but I really like the music – it sounds no more like big beat than it does like a rather old-fashioned crime movie theme, rumbling along with pace and energy, suggesting exciting gun- and car-related action, almost a modern Duane Eddy. I’m always glad to hear some prominent scratching too. Has there ever been a shorter dance music single, assuming the official version really is 2.20? I would have welcomed another minute, at least, and I imagine the release will have some lengthier mixes. Still, tremendously enjoyable, bar the lyrics. 8 (Martin Skidmore)

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