Category: The Chemical Brothers

The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole

ARTIST: The Chemical Brothers 220px-Dig_your_own_hole_album_cover

TITLE:  Dig Your Own Hole

YEAR RELEASED: 1997

CHART ACTION: #14 US, #1 UK

SINGLES: Setting Sun (#80 US, #1 UK), Block Rockin’ Beats (#107 US, #1 UK), Elektrobank (#122 US, #17 UK), The Private Psychedelic Reef

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW:  Dig Your Own Hole, Where Do I Begin

LINEUP: Ed Simons, Tom Rowlands. One cut features Noel Gallagher. One features Beth Orton.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Beats, samples, block rockin’ beats FTW!

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The place where beats, electronica, techno, hip-hop and all of the other genres like that meet? It’s here; it’s this album.

There’s a lot going on. Yeah, the beat in each song is incessant, almost to a fault. But wisely they use the beat as an easel to throw all kinds of elements on there. Being DJs and producers, the Chemical Brothers have an ear for what works together, and what will provide contrast when juxtaposed – which is just as important.

I doubt that Daft Punk would be a big thing without the Chemical Brothers blazing the commercial trail for them. This entire record is kind of their playbooks – big beats, big sounds, samples, production, repetition, hooks, guest vocals, all of it. They were contemporaries, but the success of the Chemical Brothers paved the way for Daft Punk to be received by the general populace.

Anyone who is a remote fan of techno, house, electronica, whatever you wanna call it, this is the place to start.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Two tracks, “It Doesn’t Matter” and “Don’t Stop the Rock” where the initial songs in their Club DJ series “Electronic Battle Weapons”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A. Put this on and groove, move, dance, whatever. Plenty of beats available!

The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust

ARTIST: The Chemical Brothers220px-Exit_planet_dust_album_cover
TITLE: Exit Planet Dust
YEAR RELEASED: 1995
CHART ACTION: #9 UK
SINGLES: Song to the Siren, Leave Home (UK #17), Life Is Sweet (UK #25)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Chemical Beats, perhaps?
LINEUP: Tom Rowlands, Ed Simons. Tim Burgess (Charlatans UK) and Beth Orton guest on a track each.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: UK club DJ wonderkinds run out of records to mix, so they create their own sounds to mix around. It’s really, really good.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I missed this whole UK DJ wave in the 90’s. Still being grungy, I guess. I probably should have jumped on the bandwagon, though.

The Chemical Brothers created their own sonic world, with heavy emphasis on bass, electronic drums and repeating electronic patterns. Almost every track has a great groove and beat to it, but it doesn’t get old or tiresome.

It seems they learned their lessons pretty well from all the bands that they remixed in the early to mid 90’s – what worked on the dance floor or on record. Pert near every track is great for listening, working or working out too, and that’s a hard feat to accomplish.

NOTES & MINUTAE: They were the Dust Brothers, but had to rename themselves after the US production duo of the same name found out about them.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A- : This sets the stage for their later career and the genre in general. It’s a great record to have around.