Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One

         There are actually 2 different releases of
                 Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One. Originally
                 the CD was to contain many more tracks than
                 the final version. Tracks such as "Sgt.
                 Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The
                 Beatles had to be removed before the final

                 Apple Recordings does not allow any Beatles
                 song to be sampled by anyone except Apple.
                 Paul McCartney, who wrote Sgt. Pepper, actually liked the idea of sampling
                 the song and encouraged the idea.

                 A 25 edition promo CD was issued that contains "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
                 Hearts Club Band" and several other tracks that did not appear on the
                 final "street" release of the album. The final release has a different cover
                 that is made from cardboard, instead of the plastic jewel case that comes
                 with the promotional release. Although it is the same image on the cover,
                 the final release seems to be clearer, as if it were printed on a higher
                 quality printer. The final release also has a picture of Liam laying on the
                 floor with various pieces of mixing equipment and records. A small booklet
                 is inside the final version that lists the samples that appear in the tracks. It
                 also has a grungy picture of the words "IN USE."

                                                             Also, on the side of the
                                                             promo CD, it says
                 the final release of the album it says "VOLUME ONE" instead of simply
                 "VOLUME." Minor mistakes like these are relatively common on
                 promotional releases.

                 The number "1" appears on the final CD, instead of the cheap-looking
                 promo that just has text. The number "1" is the same type of number that
                 appears on the cover. I'm not sure what exactly those numbers are, but
                 they appear to be from a combination lock of some kind.

                                                             The 25 edition promo is
                                                             an acetate burnt CDR
                                                             copy. It is not a very
                                                             well made promo, and
                                                             almost looks like a
                                                             cheap bootleg. The
                 interior label saying what number it is, is a glued-on label that looks like it
                 was applied by hand. Also, the plastic jewel case is no where near as nice
                 as the cardboard fold out that was included with the final release.

                 The album is a DJ mix album, done solely by Liam Howlett of The Prodigy.
                 Originally it was a show "Breezeblock" on Radio 1 in England. After the
                 Breezeblock show Liam worked on the mix more so it could be released as
                 an actual "album." Because of copyright problems, Liam could not release
                 the entire Breezeblock set, so it had to be revised. Some of the samples
                 and songs had to be removed.

                 The promo has differences between
                 the "Breezeblock" appearance, such
                 as the very beginning of the promo
                 has an introduction that was not
                 played at the "Breezeblock"
                 performance. Also, the final CD
                 release is 51 minutes and 21 seconds
                 long, while the CD promo is slightly
                 longer at 51 minutes and 34 seconds
                 long. The promo CD is just one long
                 track, as opposed to the final release, which had 8 separate tracks. Also,
                 on the promo CD there is a 24 second intro, that was not on
                 "Breezeblock" or the final CD.

                 Intercord released a 20 minute excerpt as a promotional item, which came
                 in a standard CD jewelcase. It was extracted from the Breezeblock
                 performance. It starts in the middle of "Untitled" by Hard Noise and it
                 stops in the middle of "Hey Can You Relate," by DJ Mink. There was also
                 a similar 20 minute excerpt promotional CD that was released by
                 Masterpiece Masterings and XL-Recordings. It looks almost the same as
                 the 25 edition promo release. Both 20 minute excerpt promotional CDs are
                 white burnt CD-R acetate copies. Both CDs contain one 20 minute long
                 "song." Printed on the CD is "For promotion only!" and "20 minute outake."

                 Intercord also released "LIAM HOWLETT
                 The Interview - The Dirtchamber Sessions,"
                 which is a series of questions about the
                 making of the album. It is a 26 track CD.
                 Track number 1 is the complete interview,
                 and tracks 2 through 26 are just the
                 answers. An official German promotional
                 version was also released. The total playing
                 time is 64 minutes.

                 If you want to sell any of these promotional excerpt CDs, please email me.

                 Important Dates:
                           "Breezeblock" is on Radio 1
                           Released in Europe
                           Released in the US and Canada

                                                             Description from XL
                                                             Recordings: "It started
                                                             life as a session
                                                             recorded for Mary Anne
                                                             Hobb's Breezeblock
                 segment on Radio One, and had since evolved into a densely-packed
                 fifty-minute trip through the sounds that have influenced Liam's music,
                 taking in raw hip-hop, edgy rock and a fine selection of prime old-school
                 beats. He delves deep into his record box, packing more than 50 tracks
                 into the 50 minute mix, cutting, scratching and crossfading in a rough style
                 that owes as much to legendary turntable maestros Double D and
                 Steinski as it does to current DJ demons like Invizibl Skratch Piklz and
                 Rob Swift. It's an exhilarating journey, and one of the finest mix albums to
                 hit the racks to date."

                 From the XL Recordings page: "Critically acclaimed mix album by Liam
                 Howlett giving insight into the sounds that have influenced Prodigy's
                 music, taking in raw Hip Hop, edgy Rock and a fine selection of prime old
                 school beats. "

                 "It is a collection of Liam Howlett's favorite hip hop
                 and funk tracks cut, pasted and mixed into the
                 most thrilling shape since God mixed the DNA for
                 Christy Turlington. 5/5" - Muzik

                 "'The Dirtchamber Sessions' is the most purely
                 enjoyable, rambunctious 50 minutes of music I've
                 heard in years. A piledriving, relentless,
                 spine-tingling meld of classic hip hop, Frankie Bones' early breakbeats,
                 indie, rock'n'roll and thrill-packed fusions like Bomb the Bass's 'Bug
                 Powder Dust' and the Prod's own 'Poison'." - Time Out

                 The "Dirtchamber Sessions" does not contain the "Dirtchamber Remix of
                 Diesel Power," that Liam did in 1998. The word "dirtchamber" is actually
                 what the name of Liam's studio is. That's the reason that the album is
                 named "Dirtchamber Sessions." If you watch the "Smack My Bitch Up"
                 video you will see that in the video, a CD with "Dirtchamber" written on it is
                 put into a radio.

                 Liam has done numerous solo DJ dates, where he highlights some of this
                 album. From what I have heard, his live appearances sometimes sound
                 even better than the album.

                                              Some tracks/samples are not listed in the
                                              album credits. One of them is on track #5
                                              of the final release. A woman's voice says
                                              "Yeah, well what do you think you have?"
                                              This is an excerpt from "Drinking
                                              Problem" on the Jerky Boys' second

                                              According to Kristian Kotta: "The first
                                              track 'Tonto's release' is actually 'Punk
                                              Shock' by Rasmus from his LP 'Mass
                                              Hysteria.'" These exemptions were
                 probably just an oversight on the production company's part. I don't think
                 that Liam would deliberately not credit the sources.

                 As far as I know, there are no plans to release a follow up to this album.
                 This is supposedly "Volume One," but due to the copyright issues, I don't
                 think that "Volume Two" will ever be released. With all of the legal fees that
                 were spent in the production of this album, it probably wasn't as lucrative
                 as XL Recordings had expected it to be. If there will be one released, I will
                 be sure to put all of the information up here.

                 I am quite proud of the fact that I
                 have number 1 of 25 of the promo
                 CD. I'd like to know the location and
                 owners of all of the copies. Kristian
                 Kotta (owner of #10) and I are trying
                 to compile the whole list. If you know
                 where any of the rest are, please
                 email me.

                           Click here to see the tracks on the FINAL release.

                  Tracklisting on the final "street" release

                  Track 1:
                  Prodigy - Intro Beats
                  Rasmus - "Tonto's Release "
                  Hardnoise - "Untitled"
                  Chemical Brothers - "Chemical
                  Ultramagnetic MCs - "Kool Keith
                  Housing Things"
                  Lightning Rod Featuring Jalal -
                  Ultramagnetic MCs - "Give The
                  Drummer Some"
                  Time Zone - "Wildstyle"

                  Track 2:
                  Bomb The Bass - "Bug Powder Dust"
                  Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five - "Pump Me Up"
                  The Charlatans - "How High"
                  Prodigy - "Poison"
                  Jane's Addiction - "Been Caught Stealing"
                  Tim Dog - "I Get Wrecked"

                  Track 3:
                  Babe Ruth - "The Mexican"
                  B Boys - "Rock The House"
                  Chemical Brothers - "(The Best Part Of) Breaking Up"
                  Word Of Mouth - "King Kut"

                  Track 4:
                  DJ Mink - "Hey Can You Relate"
                  KLF - "What Time Is Love"
                  Franky Bones - "Funky Acid Makossa"
                  Franky Bones - "Shafted Off"
                  Franky Bones - "And The Break Goes Again"
                  Meat Beat Manifesto - "Radio Babylon"
                  Herbie Hancock - "Rockit"
                  45 King - "900 Number"
                  Propellorheads - "Spybreak"
                  Beastie Boys - "It's The New Style"

                  Track 5:
                  Sex Pistols - "New York"
                  Fatboy Slim - "Punk To Funk"
                  Medicine - "I'm Sick"
                  (Contains sample from "Drinking Problem" by The Jerky Boys)

                  Track 6:
                  DST - "The Home Of Hip Hop"
                  JVC Force - "Strong Island"
                  Primal Scream - "Kowalski"
                  Beastie Boys - "Time To Get Ill"
                  Barry White - "I'm Gonna Love You A Little Bit More Baby"
                  Public Enemy - "Public Enemy Number One"
                  JBs - "Blow Your Head"
                  T La Rock - "Breakin' Bells"

                  Track 7:
                  LL Cool J - "Get Down"
                  Digital Underground - "Humpty Dance"
                  Uptown - "Dope On Plastic"
                  Coldcut - "Beats + Pieces"

                  Track 8:
                  London Funk Allstars - "Sure Shot"
                  West Street Mob - "Breakdance Electric Boogie"
                  Hijack - "Doomsday Of Rap"
                  Renegade Soundwave - "Ozone Breakdown"
                  The Beginning Of The End - "Funky Nassau"
                  Jimmy Castor Bunch - "It's Just Begun"

                          Click here to see the tracks on the PROMO release.
Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One:

                      Tracklisting on the promo release

               The Prodigy    "Intro Beats"
               Dynamix II   "Give The DJ A Break"
               The Beatles   "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely  Hearts Club Band"
               Hardnoise    "Untitled"
               Chemical Brothers   "Chemical Beats"
               Ultramagnetic MC's "Kool Keith Housing Things"
               Lightning Rod Featuring Jalal "Sport"
               Unknown  "Shangrila"
               Ultramagnetic MC's  "Give The Drummer Some"
               Time Zone  "Wildstyle"
               Bomb The Bass  "Bug Powder Dust"
               Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five  "Pump Me Up"
               The Charlatans U.K.  "How High"
               Jimi Hendrix   "Little Miss Lover"
               Ghost Face Killer    "Daytona 500"
               The Prodigy  "Poison"
               Babe Ruth         "The Mexican"
               The B-Boys    "Rock The House"
               Chemical Brothers   "(The Best Part Of) Breaking    Up"
               Word Of Mouth       "King Tut"
               Run DMC      "Peter Piper"
               Rueben Wilson    "Got To Get Your Own"
               DJ Mink      "Hey Can You Relate"
               KLF          "What Time Is Love"
               Frankie Bones             "Funky Acid Makossa"
               Frankie Bones                "Shafted Off"
               Frankie Bones     "And The Break Goes Again"
               Meat Beat Manifesto         "Radio Babylon"
               Public Enemy    "Rebel Without A Pause"
               Herbie Hancock                 "Rockit"
               The Prodigy    "Smack My Bitch Up"
               45 King            "900 Number"
               The Prodigy               "Molotov Bitch"
               Beastie Boys            "It's The New Style"
               Propellerheads              "Spy Break"
               Sex Pistols              "New York"
               Medicine                     "I'm Sick"
               D.S.T  "The Home Of Hip Hop"
               Biz Markie      "Nobody Beats The Biz"
               Beastie Boys       "Time To Get Ill"
               Barry White            "I'm Gonna Love You A Little    Bit More Baby"
               Public Enemy    "Public Enemy Number One"
               JB's     "Blow Your Head"
               Chemical Brothers     "(The Best Part Of) Breaking                    Up"
               T-La-Rock      "Breakin Bells"
               LL Cool J                 "Get Down"
               Digital Underground                 "Humpty Dance"
               Uptown              "Dope On Plastic"
               Cold Cut       "Beats And Pieces"
               London Funk Allstars               "Sure Shot"
               West Street Mob   "Breakdance Electric Boogie"
               Hijack   "Doomsday Of Rap"
               Renegade Soundwave                "Ozone Breakdown"
               The Beginning Of The End            "Funky Nassau"
               Jimmy Castor Bunch        "It's Just Begun"

Down In The Dirt

                 Jayne Margetts encounters
           The Prodigy's Liam Howlett to discover
                  why he's gone solo with
                 The Dirtchamber Sessions

              email Jayne at: jayne@spikemagazine.com
              Got an opinion or a question about this article?
                Come and talk about it in the spike forum

                  There is no easy way to put this, but Liam Paris Howlett is
                  the pin-up poster boy of electronic punk. Choice doesn't
                  enter into the equation. The scions of street cred and music
                  bibles Mixmag, Loaded and The Face would fight tooth and
                  nail to boot the point home. The sneering and Lydon-esque
                  posturing of Keith Flint, for all of his arsonist threats and
                  lyrical foaming at the mouth, doesn't even come close.
                  There's only ever been one true maverick with his finger on
                  the sonic trigger, and the ability to ride the wave of longevity -
                  and he ain't got a mouthful of gold teeth...

                  If you were to drive this point home in Howlett's presence
                  he'd cringe. He isn't known for accepting compliments lightly.
                  Forever lurking in the shadows, tweaking knobs and quietly
                  moulding events as they unfold. This is always the mark of
                  the true genius. Machismo, pouting and controversy does
                  not maketh the rebel. Delivering the goods is what counts.

                  The Prodigy is currently hovering on the pause button.
                  Howlett, however, is not. The Prodigy Presents Dirtchamber
                  Sessions Remix Volume One trajectory is Howlett
                  unplugged. It's cigarettes, beer, dressing-gown and all. Old
                  skool toasting at its brashest. He flaunts, stomps and
                  mashes his way through a crusty male bonding session, the
                  ground work already laid by bosom buddies such as the
                  Chemical Brothers, Bomb The Bass, The Charlatans,
                  Propellerheads, Primal Scream, Jane's Addiction, Frankie
                  Bones, Medicine and Fatboy Slim, as well as nostalgic
                  heavy-weight cowboys of yesteryear: the Sex Pistols, Herbie
                  Hancock, Public Enemy, Digital Underground and Barry
                  White. Some will laud it as Howlett’s best 'cut and paste'
                  work to date. Others will despise its tinny vernacular, cheesy
                  B-boy shoot-out at the OK Corral and old skool mentality.

                  The Sessions are the culmination of Howlett being goaded
                  by British radio show Breezeblock to provide a mix up. The
                  Beastie Boys, Bjork, Roni Size, Spiritualized, Primal Scream
                  and Portishead had all obliged. But Howlett? Initially the
                  suggestion was greeted with a point blank refusal. But
                  challenges are the nectar of life, and slowly the boy from
                  Braintree became seduced by the idea. "I'm not a fan of DJ
                  mix albums," Howlett ventures cagily, "to be honest, y'know,
                  you hear the whole track and just at the end you get a
                  twenty-second or a ten-second mix that kind of cheats the
                  public out of what a mix album in my head should be about.

                  "It should be about something exciting, and what I tried to do
                  with The Dirtchamber Sessions was to pick out the exciting
                  parts of the records and put them in, and it was kind of
                  getting that across to certain people who disapproved of
                  tracks, then I had to speak to them and sort of tell them I
                  come from sort of Grandmaster Flash and the Wheels Of
                  Steel, Lessons 1,2 and 3, Double-D and Starnsky.

 "I can't find - especially these days -
 dance records that really inspire me"

                  "And as far as the cheesiness factor is concerned, I think it
                  is one of the good things about old skool. Certain tracks do
                  have a certain cheesiness to them that appeal to people. I
                  mean, I definitely like it. When I think of the word 'cheese' I
                  think of kind of Euro-pop and, you've got to remember that
                  the hip-hop tracks that were written back then weren't
                  written for the money. It wasn't about the money then,
                  'cause there wasn't any money in it ... even some of the
                  Beastie Boys tracks. When they came out, the lyrics were
                  humorous and offensive, but they're kind of connected with

                  "It was just like rebellious youth, going back to that again,
                  but listening to the tracks now, they still carry weight,"
                  Howlett reckons. "Some of them I'd added beats into the
                  mix. I didn't listen to the Charlatans and feel like the
                  production was weak, but I thought that by adding all of
                  these huge breaks to the track, that it would freshen the
                  track up again, somehow."

                  Home - usually an alien concept for Howlett - is the lush
                  English Essex countryside. Relaxation is found amidst the
                  foliage of the bonsai trees in his newly-constructed
                  Japanese garden, or mixing up The Dirtchamber Sessions
                  over the course of five days.

                  Insight into what makes the man tick is left to the spaces
                  between the lines, to the fleeting glances of the denim
                  bondage gear, studio tan, tales of a once "gifted child and
                  classically trained pianist." And although Howlett is renown
                  for warning prying eyes to keep a safe distance, he does
                  concede that The Dirtchamber Sessions are reflective of
                  him shadowing-boxing in the wings.


                  "I guess this mix album does underline the sort of love I have
                  for that type of music more than a Prodigy release would," he
                  shrugs. "I think the record kind of speaks for itself, and
                  people will get their own ideas of what it is that I am about,
                  and it should finally make people also understand what the
                  band is about.

                  "It does represent a lot of music that we're into. It's funny
                  actually, 'cause even though we're all into hip-hop, and you
                  know Keith was maybe more into rock, and Leroy into rare
                  groove, he picked up Public Enemy and stuff like that.

                  "I can't find - especially these days - dance records that
                  really inspire me, and I always go back to like old records that
                  kind of pull out certain vibes from the late eighties with the
                  hip-hop stuff. I felt like the Mexican stuff on Dirtchamber
                  was me going out on a limb, to show that the record wasn't a
                  total dance record, you know?

                  "And even sort of putting the Sex Pistols in, those are just
                  records I really like. I don't have to sort of try and be a dance
                  DJ, you know, you've got the Chemicals and Fat Boy Slim
                  doing that stuff. So I felt that, what I'm about, what music I
                  do actually like, you know, is really old school hip-hop, punk
                  and the breaks. The type of people that will buy this record
                  will be the people that want to know what goes on inside my
                  head when I'm in the studio writing the music, and so that's
                  basically the whole idea behind it, you know."


                               "There's nothing worse than a band that
                         doesn't know when it's time to say goodbye"

                  The late eighties were fertile times for Howlett and the
                  Prodigy. They quickly became the godfathers of the narcotic,
                  techno-punk brigade and the screech of the abandoned
                  generation. So when "Charly" and "Experience" slammed
                  headlong onto dance floors and reached into the synergy of
                  the masses, the cornerstone had been laid.

                  Music For The Jilted Generation with its claustrophobic slap
                  and morphic sting soared into the number one slot on the
                  British album charts, spurred a Mercury Award nomination
                  and went on to sell over 1 million copies globally. It was
                  fractious, bombastic and blatant. Dark break beats clashed
                  with maniacal acrylic guitars and gave Howlett kudos that he
                  never managed to live down.

                  As Keith Flint adapted the modern day Johnny Lydon
                  mantra, Howlett slipped quietly behind the songwriting ether
                  and shrank further into the shadows, until they released their
                  1997 masterpiece The Fat Of The Land and unleashed the
                  raw power of Howlett’s songwriting prowess through the
                  shards of acidic demons "Firestarter", "Breathe", "Smack my
                  Bitch Up" and "Funky Shit".

                  The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One, in all honesty, is
                  not Howlett’s best work. The sentiment is undoubtedly there
                  but the substance isn't. What one expects is a pioneering
                  sleight of hand. A mix-up to the beat of the new millennium.
                  But perhaps bias always lies in the eyes of the beholder. The
                  Prodigy is the first-born son, anything else lags two feet
                  behind like a bastard orphan. And the host that provides the
                  cranial sperm is only too aware of mankind's fickleness.

                  "The Prodigy will always be together as long as we feel like
                  we're fresh, being fresh and kind of coming up with new
                  ideas and stuff," Howlett adds. "I think there's nothing worse
                  than a band that doesn't know when it's time to say
                  goodbye, and they're sort of carrying on trying to
                  continuously lock on to different cultures that come in.

                  "I don't think we've ever been accused of that. I think we've
                  always had our own style, and the thing I'm most proud of
                  with this band is kind of, there seems to be this kind of path
                  that most bands seem to follow. It's a sort of road through
                  doing certain interviews, going on TV, and it's a sort of road
                  to stardom, or whatever stardom is, and we haven't followed
                  any of those. We've done our own thing and chose our own
                  path, and that's something we're most proud of ..."

                  Liam Paris Howlett proffers the poison and remedy to the
                  psycho-somatic addict in us all. The Dirtchamber Sessions
                  Volume One is just that, a old skool break beat in the path.
                  An aural sniff of narcotic bliss. The tags, the kudos and the
                  legacy matter not. Pandemonium is only ever a step away ...

                     You can buy The Dirtchamber Sessions online
                           Amazon.com in the US online and
                               Audiostreet.com in the UK

                   Related links:
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                   Jason Weaver's exclusive interview with Maoist rockers
                   Make Up

                   Linton Kwesi Johnston: Englan Is A Bitch
                   Nancy Rawlinson discovers the dub poet has not mellowed
                   with age

                   Will Oldham: Songs Of The Human Animal
                   Stephen Mitchelmore on Oldham's strange and beautiful

                   DJ Culture
                   SPIKE reviews Ulf Poschardt's secret history of the DJ

                   Radiohead: From A Great Height
                   SPIKE reviews a surprisingly good unauthorised
                   biography of Thom Yorke and co.

                   Girls Will Be Boys: Women Report On Rock
                   SPIKE's review of an anthology
                   collecting female perspectives of rawk

                   Official site

                                Liam's Dirtchamber (2/3)

                                Howlett is very private about his personal life. Mixmag had to
                                agree not to describe his house in any way in this interview. He
                                may have earned more than most people dream of, but he
                                doesn't get off on rubbing people's noses in it. "I hate it when
                                people go on about the cars they've got and that shit," he says.
                                "People know I've always been into my cars. Me and Keith have
                                always been open about that shit, but it's not really important is
                                it? I'm not the kind of person that likes to go on about my car or
                                my other possessions. It's not because I feel in any way guilty of
                                what I've achieved, it's just that I don't see the point." So success
                                hasn't changed him? "I'm lucky because I'm the only member of
                                the band that gets to hide behind equipment on stage, so I don't
                                get recognised too much. Keith has to wear his hat and stuff
                                when he goes anywhere, but I can still go down to Tesco's. I do
                                get kids asking for my autograph, but it's not been overnight
                                success, so it hasn't seemed too strange. I don't sit there
                                counting my money or anything." What has he been doing then,
                                to fill his time since the endless touring finished last August?

                                "Normal shit, you know, I had a holiday, went out a bit. I wanted
                                to get straight into the studio, but I had a few things to get out of
                                my system. "I spent some time designing my garden, which was
                                really cool. A lot of thought goes into a Japanese garden, it's not
                                something you can just randomly put together. It's all about
                                balance - different rocks have different meanings. I really
                                wanted to get that kind of vibe at this house."
                                Then he changes tack, as if interrupting himself. "The main thing
                                I've been doing, to be honest, is working on the mix album. It's
                                taken a lot of work. From putting the thing together to trying to get
                                the songs cleared. But all of this," he shrugs, looking round his
                                living room, "just isn't important. The most important thing is the
                                music. That's all that needs to be discussed." The mix was
                                originally recorded for Mary-Ann Hobbs' Breezeblock show on
                                Radio 1. For Liam, the show offered a perfect space for his own
                                eclectic tastes. The resulting session was a high-speed
                                meltdown of breaks and snippets which fused The Beatles with
                                The Chemical Brothers, Hendrix with Bones Breaks and
                                Grandmaster Flash with The Sex Pistols. It was a cut-and-drop
                                showpiece which employed all the eclecticism and roughness
                                of the old skool - listeners could almost imagine the sticky tape
                                holding it all together. The radio show drew unprecedented
                                attention, prompting Liam to rework the mix into a tighter, more
                                beat-bound version for general release.

                                "Recording it was one of the most inspirational times I've had in
                                ages," continues Liam, as we walk into the studio to listen to an
                                early mix of the album. "Just sitting listening to all your favourite
                                records over a few weeks is such a fucking brilliant thing. I'm not
                                a regular DJ, so I never sit down and listen to records that much.

                                "One of the best things about DJing with breaks is that you can
                                find a break anywhere," he says, as the mix cheekily moves
                                between the Prodge's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and The Beastie
                                Boys' 'It's the New Style'. "I'd listen to these rock records and
                                hear a fucking awesome break and use it in my mix. Then I'd
                                listen to the whole track and realise it was a fucking dope tune.
                                Breaks aren't just from 70s funk, they come from country and
                                western, rock, everywhere really. I've used country and western
                                breaks that are tuff." Howlett's experience of working on the mix
                                album has had the effect of making the new Prodigy stuff "more
                                funky and much deeper", he says. "I reckon the next album will
                                put a lot of people off, but I know it's time to take the music in a
                                different direction. This doesn't mean I'm going to start doing
                                Massive Attack-type stuff just because they're my favourite
                                band. I still want to keep the energy there. What I don't want to do
                                is to start making music people would expect from me. There
                                were a couple of times on that last album when I fell into that trap
                                which, in the end, I wasn't happy about."
                 Liam's Dirtchamber (3/3)

                 'Dirt Chamber' certainly isn't what most people would expect the Prodigy to put their
                 name to. It's more like the end of a chapter in their career, crediting the people
                 who've massively influenced Liam and the Prodge to date. And it certainly isn't a
                 straightforward dance mix. "I'm from hip hop," says Howlett, dismissively, "and it's a
                 hip hop mix. I know hip hop fans will get it even if dance people won't. This mix isn't
                 me pretending to everyone that I was into old skool so I can be cool," he continues,
                 as the raw funk of 'Its Just Begun' by the Jimmy Cast Bunch brings the album to a

                 "That fucking old skool revival was a piece of shit man. It was just people who don't
                 know more than fat laces and Run DMC. My mix is supposed to be an education for
                 those people who think they know what it was about, but didn't really. It's me saying
                 'this is actually what I used to do'. I was a b-boy and I can do those old skool mixes. I
                 was into it at a young age. I know the music, I know the breaks. "If commercial DJs
                 dropped an old skool mix they'd use all of the tunes that were crap, but people who
                 wanted to seem like they were down would always be into them," he laughs.

                 "Whenever people talk about old skool they always name Run DMC's 'Walk This
                 Way' or that Jason Nevins shit. I reckon Pete Tong would drop both of those tunes in
                 his old skool mix. When I say Pete Tong, I mean every single one of those
                 commercial DJs. They're not fit to wear fat laces. They'll never know what old skool
                 is about." Liam Howlett - telling it like it is. "Absofuckinglutely. That's what this album
                 is all about. Telling it like it fucking is."

             Howlett's howlers

                 Liam Howlett is probably the highest-earning dance music producer of all time. So
                 what does he spend his money on?

                          1. Ninja suit "When I was 13, I saved up for months to buy this Ninja
                          suit. I reckoned hanging out with my mates being a Ninja would be dead
                          cool. But I never actually wore it. I was gutted about that for years."



                           2. Jacuzzi "When the Prodigy started getting some real success I
                           bought this jacuzzi - because I was on a rock star trip and imagined
                           myself lying back with the champagne and all that shit. But it was such
                           a hassle, because of all of the chemicals you have to use, that I sold it
                           to my manager."




                               3. Lotus Elan "After our first album came out, I bought a brand
                               new Lotus Elan. I only kept it for about three or four months
                               because it was shit. The gears fucked up - in fact everything
                               started to fuck up on it. Complete waste of money."



                           4. Exercise bike "A couple of years back, I started to get a bit of a
                           spare tyre and the band were taking the piss out of me. So I bought the
                           bike. It just sat there until I finally gave it to my dad. I don't think I used it



                            5. VIBRATING bed "This geezer came round to my place to sell
                            me a double bed that vibrates and raises up at each end. He
                            brought the massage bit with him and it was like a giant dildo that
                            was put under the chair and made the whole thing vibrate. So I
                 bought the bed and when it arrived it was just two single beds that you shove
                 together. It cost me ?5,000 and two months later I found the same one in a shop for
                 half the price. That salesman had me for a complete sucker."