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FREESTYLE DUST / VIRGIN

The Chemical Brothers

We Are The Night - 2023 Repress

    Following their fourth consecutive #1 album, the double Grammy winning "Push The Button", 2007 saw The Chemical Brothers return with their sixth long player "We Are The Night"; twelve tracks that cover psychedelic warehouse party acid music, electro-breakers, dreamy Balearica, 80s inspired alt-dance sounds and even a bit of new rave, euphorically melodic and as uncompromising as their retina scorching live shows. Trailed by the madcapped, cartoony future funk of "The Salmon Dance", "We Are The Night" set its psychedelic stall out from the off, sweeping through krautrock killers "A Modern Midnight Conversation". As ever Tom and Ed gathered together a stellar list of contemporary vocalists to add depth to their tracks. This time round guest appearances come from Klaxons, Willy Mason, Fat Lip, Spank Rock, Ali Love and Midlake's Tim Smith. Grooves, bleeps and beats that sound like robots brawling - plenty of fuel for your salmon dancing party!

    TRACK LISTING

    No Path To Follow 
    We Are The Night 
    All Rights Reversed 
    Saturate
    Do It Again
    Das Spiegel
    The Salmon Dance
    Burst Generator
    A Modern Midnight Conversation
    Battle Scars
    Harpoons
    The Pills Won't Help You Now

    The Chemical Brothers

    Further - 2023 Repress

      On "Further" The Chemical Brothers explore new grounds. From the first squeezed-out notes, those analogue dots and dashes that flash and spark from the speakers, "Further" sounds like a record that is trying to break out of its confines. Like an alien Morse code transmission, it pulses like an Earth bound signal that’s been bounced off the side of orbiting space debris. Snatches of voices found out in the ether cut through the machine fog, drifting across burbling analogue equipment lovingly kept working long after supposed sell-by date. By the time the click and thump of snare and bass drum arrive, the sounds are all encompassing, swirling around you with dizzying, disorientating effect. Noise is untethered by constraints of volume, seemingly leaping from left to right to middle with a life of its own. This was The Chemical Brothers' most psychedelic album to date, almost referencing Spiritualized's opus "Ladies And Gentlemen...." It shows Tom and Ed developing as they mature, veering away from the club and into the living rooms and coffee tables of the rave generation; music to lose your mind to, in the comfort of your own home! "Further" is the culmination of nearly two decades of psychedelic exploration, an immersive collection that sees The Chemical Brothers at their least-restrained and most free spirited, melodic best.

      The Chemical Brothers

      Born In The Echoes - 2023 Reissue

        The undisputed masters of brain-altering, transcendent electronics return with their first studio album since 2010’s "Further". Released to coincide with headline slots at Glastonbury, Sonar and Bestival, The Chemical Brothers’ eighth studio album - "Born In The Echoes" - is a magnificent 11-track collection of lean, propulsive machine driven music. From juddering robotic funk to unhinged futurist freakbeat; icy spectral psych to rhapsodic analogue synthetics; from euphoric spiritual acid to harmonic ambient distortion, the album is the sound of a reinvigorated Chemical Brothers creating some of the most mind-expanding music of their career to date. "Born In The Echoes" features a stellar cast of collaborators including previous guests Q-Tip, Ali Love (EML Ritual) as well as first time visitors to the studio - St. Vincent, Cate Le Bon and Beck (his first new music since his Grammy winning album "Morning Phase").


        Wooah there! Let's start at the beginning then. One of many CLASSIC (and I really do mean that) Chemical Brothers LPs to be reissued this week. I actually discovered "Exit Planet Dust" AFTER the critically acclaimed, much lauded, "Dig Your Own Hole" (also in this week). Once "Dig..." had its clawed its way into a young 14 year old's psyche, one had to feverishly acquire everything that was released by these kings of breakbeat. I remember a CD shop in Aflecks selling me the CD of this record, originally released in 1995 (I think I got mine in '98) along with a load of 'live', 'B-side' and 'unreleased' CD-rs (cough cough). Anyway, they could do no wrong! This was their breathtaking debut - with a title hinting at the historical law suit which meant Tom and Ed went from being called The Dust Brothers to the Chemical Brothers. Meeting at Manchester university, the pair became synonymous with that late nineties breakbeat sound - along with people like Utah Saints, Fatboy Slim, Midfield General and Freddy Fresh. However, they also adapted and collaborated, with this record featuring the Charlatans' Tim Burgess alongside the (then relatively unknown) Beth Orton - both of whom would work with the dastardly duo again over their incredibly long and fruitful career. Although later veering into lots of different styles, for me the first three albums, this along with "Dig Your Own Hole" and "Surrender" could never be topped! Like Fatboy Slim's "Better Living Through Chemistry", or Leftfield's "Rhythm And Stealth" - undeniably British and essential pieces of our rich dance music legacy. Every home needs one!

        The Chemical Brothers

        Dig Your Own Hole - Vinyl Edition

          Ok, onto the second release of the Chemical Brothers life changing discography and it was this one that really set the world on fire. "Dig Your Own Hole" saw the pair hit the mainstream - mainly due to the extensive licensing for advertising the album saw - forcing the pair to address the issue in interviews at the time (underground dance music doesn't belong on adverts - said the critics...). But for the less elitist this didn't bother us, it actually shone a light on this incredible act OUTSIDE of the club (remember, I was only 13 years old at the time!) meaning a whole generation of teenagers suddenly started listening to dance music and reading Ministry / Mixmag - even though we were too young to go to any of the clubs! Such was the mystic power of the Chems. Tracks off this album need little introduction. "Block Rockin' Beats" - you know that one. "Where Do I Begin" - saw the return of the fragile, Elf-like beauty that is Beth Orton on vocals and became a comedown anthem of the times. "The Private Psychedelic Reel" showed that they could do epic, festival pleasing songs - earning them regular appearance at Glastonbury and the multitude of outdoor raves up and down the country. Then there's fuckin NOEL GALLAGHER (!!!) on "Setting Sun" - instantly aligning the baggy, floppy haired duo with the massive, fledging Brit Pop scene. The rest, as they say, is history - the Chems became a global act; they headlined the Pyramid Stage about 5 years on the trot, James Holroyd (Piccadilly customer and Bugged Out! resident) became their tour DJ, again, cementing their credentials with the dance music aficionados of the day. Nine more albums were to emanate from the pair, with countless remixes and singles to boot. But to me, the first trilogy of albums, with "Surrender" following in 2001, where the absolute zenith for me, and iconic slices of UK dance music heritage that should be displayed with pride at any instance. A classic.

          The Chemical Brothers

          Come With Us - 2023 Reissue

            The Chems bring us another collision of breaks and 4/4 beats, with influences taken from acid house, electro, rock and funk. Their fourth album proper, it saw Tom and Ed deploy their tough but funky brand of breakbeat driven electronics alongside more radio friendly, dare I say it, poppier moments. Chemical Bro. favourite Beth Orton makes another welcome appearance on "The State We're In", while a newly formed relationship with the Verve's Richard Ashcroft results in album closer "The Test" seeing Brothers Chem conjure up a fiery broth of rumbling breaks and epic chord changes, with Ashcroft throwing down a very "Loaded"-era vocal. "Come With Us", "It Began In Afrika" and "Star Guitar" all ensured this would be getting maximum radio play, while tracks like "Denmark" and "Pioneer Skies" ensured those headlining festival slots would have fresh material to blow the roof off with. "Hoops" and "My Elastic Eye" sealing the deal with classic Chemical Brother breaks. Another wonderful set from the duo.

            The Chemical Brothers

            Push The Button - Vinyl Edition

              As we move through the millennial years, so to The Chemical Brothers accompanied us on our musical journey. Onto album number five, and it's another winner, jam packed with breaks, hybrids, crossovers and collaborations. Opening with the monster new cut "Galvanize", featuring a killer rap by Q-Tip (and reaching no. 3 in the charts - their highest since "Hey Boy, Hey Girl"). Next came "The Boxer", featuring Tim Burgess again, but this time ditching the 'weedy' (his words) approach, for a more ballsy, anthemic chorus. "Push The Button" positioned itself at the top of the pile of heavyweight breaks-crossover LPs. While Fatboy Slim floundered and The Prodigy got all electroclash on us, The Chems stuck to what they did best; making block-rocking, chunky tracks (which have hooks!), either on a breakbeat tip, mellower moments or 4/4 electronic drivers (techno had, of course, began to take over breakbeat as the nightclub sound of choice), all of which create a proper, cohesive LP rather than a collection of singles and fillers. Other headlining colabs crop up: Kele Okereke (Bloc Party), Anna-Lynne Williams (Trespassers William), The Magic Numbers, Anwar Superstar (Mos Def's bro') all stepping up to the mic to contribute. By now they were global superstars, but they still had a foot in the underground club scene, and were still a formidable force live. One of the truly great British bands. 

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