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Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
September 16, 2004 5:41 PM   Subscribe

'Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned' is a trashy, adrenalised, sleaze-funk masterpiece. After six years of silence, The Prodigy have released their new album. Is the electronic music finally getting its head out of its ass? Most of us think so, but some don't.
posted by orelius (47 comments total)

 
Oh, and almost forgot, featuring vocals by Juliette Lewis.
posted by orelius at 5:44 PM on September 16, 2004


Ugh. There is a lot of "good" electronic music happening right now. That being said, I liked some of Prodigy's other stuff (used to file it under "guilty pleasure"), but I listened to this new album, and it just left me feeling yucky.
posted by Quartermass at 6:06 PM on September 16, 2004


What kind of FPP is this?

It looks like an ad for a bad album.
posted by Espoo2 at 6:09 PM on September 16, 2004


Yeah, I just found it pretty boring and I loved Fat of the Land. Though now that it seems I agree with Pitchfork on something I will do everything in my power to change my opinion.
posted by frenetic at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2004


And since when has electronic music's head been in its ass?

If anything, the new prodigy album is just a rehash of stuff that has been going on in electronic music for years. It just hasn't been played on mtv and marketed to the frat boys.
posted by Espoo2 at 6:10 PM on September 16, 2004


In my opinion, Prodigy were the ones that have introduced the electronic music into mainstream, and well a lot has changed since 1997. I don't think there is an active mainstream electronic music scene going on right now, whatever is happening is just an underground and club scene, like there was when Prodigy broke out with The Fat of the Land.
posted by orelius at 6:25 PM on September 16, 2004


Ehhh. I like the first two tracks, but I could take or leave the rest. Fat of the Land was edgier and more interesting.

Electronic music has been doing just fine by itself without pundits wondering when it'll "get its head out of its ass". It's been that way for, oh, thirty years now, if not longer.
posted by neckro23 at 6:36 PM on September 16, 2004


You Americans are so cute, with your RAWK radio and your underground Dance clubs and Prodigy introducing you to Dance. From our side, Fat Of The Land was such a sellout. We're all about the Prodigy Experience.

New album isn't a Prodigy album at all, just some tunes made by the guy who did the music sitting futzing with a laptop between getting fat and playing with his new baby. No Keith? No Prodigy.
posted by bonaldi at 6:42 PM on September 16, 2004


And since when has electronic music's head been in its ass?

Let's see... I think I know this one...

Please let us know when you guys figure out that humans have evolved something beyond an autonomic nervous system.
posted by jjg at 6:56 PM on September 16, 2004


Everyone realized how bad Prodigy sucked when Aphex Twin released "Come To Daddy" as a mockery of them, which of course was a billion times better than the song it was mocking.
posted by afx114 at 7:08 PM on September 16, 2004


I really like the cover.
posted by erebora at 7:21 PM on September 16, 2004


Well, this FPP cost me $9.99 and I want my money back, you bitch.

I hadn't really enjoyed a Prodigy album since they took my brain to another dimension in the early 90s. Ever since then I keep being told that they're the next big thing in electronic music, but I'd rather listen to Dark Soho, Lemon Jelly, Infected Mushroom or Shpongle, among many others.

Electronic music is full of daring and exploration
posted by mosch at 7:36 PM on September 16, 2004


I downloaded it, and it was really boring, so I deleted it.
posted by angry modem at 7:57 PM on September 16, 2004


You Americans are so cute, with your RAWK radio and your underground Dance clubs and Prodigy introducing you to Dance. From our side, Fat Of The Land was such a sellout. We're all about the Prodigy Experience.

New album isn't a Prodigy album at all, just some tunes made by the guy who did the music sitting futzing with a laptop between getting fat and playing with his new baby. No Keith? No Prodigy.


Ummm, considering that up until The Fat of the Land, Keith was just one of the two dancers in the group and didn't sing on the albums *and* that in your own words TFOTL was a sellout, I don't get why you feel he was such a integral part of the group.

Liam Howett (the guy, as you put it, "who did the music") was really the only one in the group who was essential to its success. He *was* the group: he owns the name, he was the one with the deal with the record company. The surprising thing is that he kept the others around as long as he did.

Although I do agree with you that Experience was the definitive Prodigy album
posted by filmgoerjuan at 7:57 PM on September 16, 2004


Their last album is a total paradigm change , which is marketing for : they're trying to reinvent themselves and so far no good.
posted by elpapacito at 7:58 PM on September 16, 2004


Infected Mushroom or Shpongle

Since you have such excellent taste naming these two, I must check out the first pair you mentioned.

For the record, I thought the new Prodigy was ok. Not great in any way, but I'd put some of it on an mp3 CD for a long car trip.
posted by TungstenChef at 8:00 PM on September 16, 2004


Infected Mushroom? They are kinda like the Prodigy of psy trance, aren't they? *grin* I'm currently listening to a fantastic live fusion of dubby electronica and jazz trumpet on Nils Petter Molvaer's new album Streamer. Definitely no head up arse here.
posted by Onanist at 8:05 PM on September 16, 2004


Is the electronic music finally getting its head out of its ass?

I dunno. If corny, clubby major label Electronica™ ever had its head in its ass, I didn't notice. I did notice how electronic music hasn't stopped being great since the days of Raymond Scott. Currently, there are scads of electronic experimenters out there writing great songs which broaden the "electronic" palette (Manitoba, Jukeboxer, Mum, The Books, Rajko Müller, Tarwater, u-ziq, Mice Parade, IQU, Fennesz, Oval, B Fleischman, General Magic, UI, Pita, Kreidler, Microstoria, Matmos, Max Tundra, Lithops) and it will only keep getting better. Prodigy, to me, never seemed that special or adventurous....
posted by dhoyt at 8:18 PM on September 16, 2004 [1 favorite]


I think their new album comes free with an ice cold, refreshing bottle of Pepsi Blue.
posted by Lionfire at 8:30 PM on September 16, 2004


jilted generation was good

experience was too housey for me

they got all fucked up and put out that Firestarter crap. all downhill from that point..
posted by shadow45 at 8:54 PM on September 16, 2004


introduction into the mainstream = pulling the final jenga block

whoopdie shit.
posted by Satapher at 9:22 PM on September 16, 2004


Great taste, dhoyt. You might (if you don't already) like Octet, M83, Fennesz, Styrofoam, and possibly Patrick Wolf. ot: Did you intentionally leave Mouse on Mars out of your list?

I used to listen to Microstoria's snd and Oval's Systemisch continuously for weeks on end. I think I need to reacquaint myself with the mille plateau discography.
posted by shoepal at 9:24 PM on September 16, 2004


filmgoerjuan: You're right and wrong. One man alone does not the Prodigy make, record company or no. Because one man sitting alone with a copy of Reason is inclined to forget the sense of humour and sense of play that three friends hanging around and getting high have.

I think Keith (and probably Leroy) is like the girl in New Order: of little apparent musical input, but crucial to the group's creative dynamic. Even if it was just to keep Howlett's head from disappearing up his arse, which appears to have happened.
posted by bonaldi at 10:01 PM on September 16, 2004


"In my opinion, Prodigy were the ones that have introduced the electronic music into mainstream"

Unless, of course, you count Kraftwerk... or Tangerine Dream... or Brian Eno... or Roxy Music... or David Bowie... or Gary Numan... or (insert '80s band here)...

You're how old, orelius?!
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:07 PM on September 16, 2004


Did you intentionally leave Mouse on Mars out of your list?

(I had two albs of theirs on my work server, but my co-worker deleted them! So I haven't had much time to give them a chance. You recommend them?)
posted by dhoyt at 10:51 PM on September 16, 2004


Since you have such excellent taste naming these two, I must check out the first pair you mentioned.

Definitely check out Lemon Jelly. Dark Soho makes good tracks but they really work better as pieces of a mix, than as standalone albums. Lemon Jelly on the other hand makes really relaxed and trippy full album experiences.
posted by mosch at 10:51 PM on September 16, 2004


I think I am not understanding what is this "electronica music." Is this like unto when the people sweat close together and the speakers make the "OOM-cha! OOM-cha!" noise so loud your earwax fall out? I am surprise people say this music is good. To me, it is like my nephew Gameboy turn to 11 on my cousin stereo. Perhaps I am thinking "Home Music?" Home... or how you say "House?" Or is this what they call the "Rave?" Please help me I like make the discotheque but is not enough more earwax left until I know which is the good music to have.
posted by scarabic at 11:10 PM on September 16, 2004


I don't think there is an active mainstream electronic music scene going on right now

If I can turn on corporate radio in northern Iowa and hear trance, I have to disagree with you.

On the Prodigy, I always maintained that they were underrated (they might have been cheesy, but they still stand up as fun, rocking tracks). After hearing this new album, I just think he no longer makes music I want to listen to.
posted by SiW at 11:37 PM on September 16, 2004


Some prodigy tracks I straight up hate, and there are others that are great. Heh, that rhymed... riiight.

Anyway, I was wondering what other artists have nice beats, and interesting melodies and rhythms... smack my bitch up was a cool song, at least the melodical part of it.

any artists you guys think i should give a go? i like stuff like hybrid, the crystal method(their earlier work), etc

anything that i wouldnt know about but should?
posted by spidre at 1:12 AM on September 17, 2004


Music for the Jilted Generation is one of the best albums a person can own; the Prodge reached their peak with No Good.

Now all I've got are the Chemical Brothers. *sniff*
posted by malpractice at 3:39 AM on September 17, 2004


I kind of like that one about the balloon. Didn't know it was that filthy actress singing on it.
posted by ed\26h at 3:59 AM on September 17, 2004


I'm not sure which is more hilarious, the fact that this made an FPP or that the most boring, generic, repetitive, never-change 'electronic' music that is psytrance gets proffered by some as a credible alternative.

Here we have a dentist's surgery. Here we have a pond full of amazonian frogs. I've just taken 1,200 mics (ooo! good name for a band!) of acid. Let's make some noise! And then get one of our mates to whizz up some druggy 3D artwork for the CD cover. (Or in Infected Mushroom's case, some tedious attempt at being edgy.) Fuck. Ing. Shite. And I've said as much to some of these people so it's not like I'm hiding behind my keyboard here.

I s'pose that The Prodigy will always have made their mark in the US in the later 90s when they were, along with The Chemical Brothers & Fat Boy Slim, part of some kind of electronic British Invasion. They all fulfilled the need of the mainstream US music industry's need for marketable unit-shifters in the rock star mould. Don't fool yourselves that they were some kind of underground 'cos they were nothing like. And they get the blame for encouraging the utter arse that is The Crystal Method.

This doesn't mean that they didn't produce any good music or performances but the basis for a lot of the best dance music is that it isn't just about the guy(s) playing the music but how they are a part of the whole larger experience in either a club or at an outdoor party. The guys who did the lights, the AV, the dancers, the assorted performers dressed up as god-knows-what and the whole crowd were just as important as opposed to the rock stars paying lip service to the '5th member of the band - you guys!'

It was a whole different scene based on what had gone before with Disco, Nothern Soul, sound system Reggae & Hip Hop &c. instead of rock & pop. But mainstream marketing had to make it more like rock & pop & to be honest Liam would be the first to say that The Prodigy were more rock than dance.

Dance music pretty much died on it's arse in the UK recently. Which for me is a good thing as it was getting beyond what it was best at. The closure of Hooj Tunes was a big nail in the coffin and altho' the big fat marketing machines that are the likes of Cream & Ministry of Sound are lumbering on suckin' up the cash and the supermarket chain Asda-WalMart (yes USians, THAT WalMart) are advertising 'Best of Ibiza Chill Out' compilations on TV there are still good people in these fallow times doing good things.

Go & see the Plump DJs. Go find out about Pitch Black or Minuit. I could go on but I'm not sure you fuckers deserve it. ;-)
posted by i_cola at 4:17 AM on September 17, 2004


To me, it is like my nephew Gameboy turn to 11 on my cousin stereo.

It's all hairy, scary, long-haired drug music and you don't know if the boys are girls or boys or both.
posted by i_cola at 4:19 AM on September 17, 2004


Um, didn't Derrek May have something to do with it?

This record sounds like someone trying to sond like Basement Jaxx (which I really like) but not doing a very good job. It's fine, but why a FPP?
posted by n9 at 4:58 AM on September 17, 2004


Go & see the Plump DJs.

Great recommendation. Last album was a revelation.
posted by yerfatma at 5:07 AM on September 17, 2004


dhoyt, yeah, I recommend older MoM based on your list. (Check out their earlier album Autoditacker or maybe Glam)
posted by shoepal at 6:30 AM on September 17, 2004


It was absolutely horrible. I bought it, listened to it, and will now dispose of it.

I can't believe this is the same creative genius that brought us Fat of the Land.

Oh, and this definitely should not be a FPP!
posted by eas98 at 6:50 AM on September 17, 2004


dhoyt, also check out the label Gooom
posted by shoepal at 7:14 AM on September 17, 2004


Next, somebody'll be posting about how great the Orb's last album was.....sheesh.

Good post i_cola.
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:41 AM on September 17, 2004


spidre - yes

I can't tell you what you will like, soulseek may help. Check out scene.org as well. There are whole genres of breakbeat based music to explore (at least 20 years worth), some of which is actually quite good.

Personally, it is a type of music which I particularly like, though I haven't liked a prodigy release since the Charly EP (which makes me feel quite old). The Prodigy have never really progressed since then, at least not in a way that I would listen to by choice.

Some breakbeat artists/labels:

Pepe Deluxe
Tummytouch
Jackknife Lee
The Bird
Tru Thoughts
Sir Drew
Freddy Fresh

(Much better than any Prodigy album - New York Noise 1978- 82, and some great tunes to namedrop ; )
posted by asok at 7:42 AM on September 17, 2004


This doesn't mean that they didn't produce any good music or performances but the basis for a lot of the best dance music is that it isn't just about the guy(s) playing the music but how they are a part of the whole larger experience in either a club or at an outdoor party. The guys who did the lights, the AV, the dancers, the assorted performers dressed up as god-knows-what and the whole crowd were just as important as opposed to the rock stars paying lip service to the '5th member of the band - you guys!'

I completely agree with you on this point. Dance music isn't so much about the music as it is about the entire experience. I've been to a number of absolutely incredibly psy parties, so I have a tendency to mention psy groups like Infected and Dark Soho in my lists of interesting music, even though they're really meant to be mixed and played live in an interesting setting.

But that being said, I think dance music is the least interesting genre of electronic music anyway, no matter which flavor you're talking about, it's just almost never made to be listened to as an album.

Plump DJs and Pitch Black are both decent, but I have trouble thinking of either of them as being anything other than club music or that they're "better" than the psy stuff you disparaged in your post.
posted by mosch at 8:41 AM on September 17, 2004


Prodigy Remixed is a better effort than the official one, for which a torrent can be found here.
posted by punilux at 9:03 AM on September 17, 2004


SpaceCadet, I actually vaguely liked the new Orb album, albeit the Japanese version that came out a year ago, and not the watered-down rearranged U.S. version with the utterly regrettable hip-hop track thrown in. I think The Orb is struggling to find it's place in the whole post-rave scene, and while it's not really a huge success, I think it's about as good as "Cydonia" was. It's at least nice to see them acknowledging the Kompakt-esque microhouse sound. And really, the party that was the whole "Ultraworld"-era Orb wasn't going to last forever, anyway, if that's where your sympathies lie. Personally, I've always thought Paterson and crew were rather chameleon-like in that every album tends to shift in sound. The huge differences between "Orbus Terrarium", "Pomme Fritz", and "Orblivion"(my personal Orb favorite) for example.

On the topic of electronic music that DOESN'T suck, M83 played here in Chicago last night and it was truly awesome. Bit of a shame that opener Ulrich Schnauss(more electronc music that doens't suck) broke his hand and was thus unable to, er, open, but it was still a good time for 12 bucks overall.
posted by 40 Watt at 9:08 AM on September 17, 2004


For those interested, these five microhouse mixes are pretty great listening.
posted by dydecker at 4:23 PM on September 17, 2004


Skinny Puppy and The Prodigy with new records this year, it's been a good year. I think AONO will shake off the bandwagoneers and give the real fans some new and excitinf music.
posted by joemeek at 8:50 PM on September 17, 2004


I'm so glad Chinese Democracy has finally come out. Yay Axl!
posted by monkeymike at 2:25 PM on September 18, 2004


asok - The Bird are fantastic live.

They are slightly different to other breakbeat artists due to the fact they use a real drummer rather than a drum machine.

I'm going to see them this friday night.

Only Ju Ju Space Jazz was better live, and that was because they had a 16 piece band with FourPlay as the string section, a fantastic trumpeter and a slew of singers who jumped up on stage from the dance floor.
posted by burnside at 5:53 PM on September 19, 2004


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