Prince Fatty is the studio alter-ego of Mike Pelanconi. As a record producer, Pelanconi has worked with a diverse repertoire of artists and labels, from the acid jazz of the 1990s to rock musicians like Graham Coxon (of Blur), reggae legends like Gregory Isaacs and Dub Syndicate, and pop singers such as Lily Allen.
In 2005, the clothing company Stüssy put together a line inspired by the vivid, rootsy styles of Jamaica to commemorate their 25th anniversary, and turned to Pelanconi to create a limited-edition single to complement it. Inspired by the optimistic, laid-back vibe of Jamaica in the early 1970s, Pelanconi created an alter-ego nicknamed “Prince Fatty,” meant as a tongue-in-cheek reference to King Tubby. The instrumental track he created for Stussy, “Nina’s Dance,” song was unexpectedly successful, getting airplay on BBC Radio 1.
Following its success, Pelanconi decided to create an album length homage to what he considered one of the most vibrant eras in Jamaican music. For the album, called “Survival of the Fattest”, Pelanconi assembled a “supergroup” of reggae greats, including afrobeat saxophonist Bukky Leo, drummer Style Scott from the Roots Radics, Nostalgia 77’s horn section, and Hammond organ by Bubblers from Ruff Cut Band. Guest vocals were provided by Hollie Cook, singer from The Slits and daughter of former Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, as well as Winston Francis, and Little Roy.
The album was recorded on vintage analogue equipment to preserve the signature sound of reggae and dub records. Pelanconi also strove to update the sound by speeding up tempos and attempting to push the boundaries of classic dub and reggae by referencing the modern influences of hip-hop (especially evident in the cover of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice”, as well as Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”).
Prince Fatty makes a rare live appearance at Wee Dub Festival with MC Horseman on the mic, who is known to many for their massive skanking version of “Insane In The Brain”.
Date: Sunday 3rd February
Venue: The Caves