Introduced with a flimsy and fairly nonsensical invented back story about some long-lost tapes discovered in a dockside warehouse, the Brighton Port Authority is in actuality a new project spearheaded by Norman Cook, the electronic producer better known as Fatboy Slim.
After achieving notoriety as perhaps the most visible proponent of Big Beat electronica, Cook kept a low profile since his late-'90s heyday, releasing only one (generally disregarded) Fatboy Slim album in the 2000s, but the BPA marked the return of his goofy humor and affable good-times vibe. In keeping with the loose '70s-era timeframe of the backstory, the new material was relatively light on electronic breakbeats and heavy on collaborations with (as Cook put it) "real musicians," though his sonic fingerprints were still readily recognizable. The lengthy roll-call of participants included Cook's longtime co-conspirator Simon Thornton, fellow '90s electronica stalwarts Justin Robertson (of Lionrock) and Ashley Beedle, rappers Lateef and Dizzee Rascal, singer/songwriters Martha Wainwright, Jamie T., and Jack Peñate, and up-and-comer Emmy the Great, along with genuine legends Iggy Pop (on a cover of the Monochrome Set's "He's Frank," supposedly recorded four years before the original) and David Byrne (on the sprightly single "Toe Jam," which earned some pre-release attention for its clever, faux-risqué video.) The BPA's debut I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, a hodgepodge of classic pop/rock, soul, ska, reggae, punk, and hip-hop, was released in early 2009. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi