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Released: 30th April 2001.

Various Artists - A Break From The NormYou could almost have been forgiven for thinking you're listening to the latest Tarantino soundtrack with this compilation, but for the familiarity of many of the tunes on offer here. The album is anything but a break from Norman Cook, being based entirely on the original versions of tracks sampled and plundered over the years by the DJ.

Camille Yarbrough kicks off with "Take Yo' Praise", easily recognisable as the source of Fatboy Slim's hit, "Praise You". The other glaringly obvious Fatboy Slim original is Doug Lazy's "Let The Rhythm Pump" - better known as "Ganster Tripping" in its Cook incarnation and, to hazard a guess, the inspiration behind the Fatboy Slim moniker.

If earlier Norman Cook ventures are represented, such as the Housemartins, Beats International or Freakpower, I have to confess I couldn't detect any trace of them. To be fair, the sleeve only mentions Fatboy Slim and many of the tracks have familiar-sounding samples.

Whether or not the recognition factor kicks in, you'll still find some real gems here from Lulu, the Just Brothers, Keith Mansfield and The James Gang, among others. The varied selection only threw up one track to annoy me - "Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya" by Stik E & The Hoodz,here demonstrating how >not to do repetition!

"A Break From The Norm" might seem like an easy way to capitalise on recycled tunes, but it lives up to its title in the literal sense and is, on the whole, very enjoyable.

* * * * (Lars Janssen)

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