Scorching times demand scorching tracks. Hardcore temperatures sizzle sweetly with hardcore beats – and maybe a bit of acid squelch. Who better, then, to roar in out of the sun and soundtrack summer ’18 than the original electronic music trailblazers?
Presenting ‘Need Some1’, the frankly pounding first single from The Prodigy’s forthcoming album. It is, if you like, vintage futurism, a banger that features a classic house diva vocal sample from Loleatta Holloway (the original “voice” of Black Box’s ‘Ride On Time’). “I wanted to write something that had downtempo swagger, but still felt dangerous,” says the band’s Liam Howlett, introducing the single alongside an explosive video shot in Manila by Paco Raterta. “After being sent loads of pedestrian video director showreels,” says Liam, “Paco’s style stood out and punched me in the face: just so raw and original-looking, I knew he was the man for us. The finished video has such violent edge and style and looks like nothing else we have seen – to us it’s only worth doing a video if you can make something original and exciting, which this is.”
“Need Some1’ is the perfect opening salvo from The Prodigy’s newly-announced album ‘No Tourists’, which has been written, produced and mixed over the last year by main man Howlett in his studio in London’s Kings Cross. Though this is – Liam notes – “very much a band album”. Maxim and Keef Flint are very much present and correct, each supplying their legendary vocal skills on this, the Essex machine’s seventh studio record. Yes, there are one or two collaborators, but fundamentally this is the sound of the central Prodigy three, bringing their riotous sound to audiences old and new, two decades since they changed the face and sound of electronic music with epochal album ‘The Fat Of The Land’. For a band who’ve sold 30 million records and won multiple honours (two Brits, two Kerrang! awards, five MTV awards, two Grammy nominations), this is next-chapter and next-level Prodigy.
“Need Some1 demonstrates the thing about our band that I love: it’s multi-sided,” says Howlett. “We have the freedom to drop a tune like this alongside tracks led by Keef and Maxim, and still represent what we are about in the same way.” Referring to the Holloway sample, Liam adds that “there’s always one element in our tunes that looks back to where we came from. When asked what the new album sounds like, my response is: Evil Rave. We own that sound “
With production completed, the band have broken cover from the studio to shed further light on ‘No Tourists’. Expanding on the general shape of the project, Liam says: “this album is equally aggressive as the last records – but in a different way.” A musician, songwriter and studio maestro, Howlett is as rigorous and righteously Up For It as he was when he formed his 28-years-young band. He explains that, as ever, the new songs “are built to play live”. This summer, true to form, The Prodigy can be found out and about across the globe, hitting festivals week in and week out, with album tour dates to follow towards the end of the year. “That’s the one thing that brings everything together. I couldn’t write this music unless it has that outlet on stage. That helps write the music. This is what I do it for: the live thing. And until we feel like we can’t do it, or the buzz goes, we won’t stop.”
It’s that sense of do-or-die commitment that is reflected in the album title. “To us, ‘No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed. Don’t be a tourist – there is always more danger and excitement to be found if you stray from the set path.”