Life Is Sweet

Today is the first day of my summer holidays- school finished yesterday and now seven weeks off beckons, with a fortnight in France coming up. I’m starting a completely new role in September so will have to go in for a few days here and there but still, seven weeks off.

This Chemical Brothers with Tim Burgess song from Exit Planet Dust has been getting repeated plays round here this week- cracking rhythm and noise and Tim’s nasal vocal. Tim went on to work with Ed and Tom several times, best perhaps on The Charlatans’ One To Another single.

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Go Brothers Go

The new Chemical Brothers album (Born In The Echoes) is out today and being praised as a return to form. This single, Go, came out at the start of May and has already been viewed close to five million times on Youtube which would suggest they’re got a pretty healthy surviving fanbase. Go is funky, synthy and fun with Q Tip providing the hip-house vocals- the album also has Beck, St Vincent and Cate Le Bon on microphone duties.

I was in the car the other day and Block Rockin’ Beats came on. It’s the most blindingly obvious Chemical Brothers song (Hey Boy Hey Girl excepted maybe). Massive breakbeat. Big borrowed bassline. Hip hop vocal sample from Schoolly D. SIRENS! Totally in your face. No subtlety. No nuance. It’s completely stupid. And brilliant.

Block Rockin’ Beats

Due to ongoing issues with Boxnet this is via Mediafire but I seem to recall people having some problems with it before. Is Mediafire any use?

Bring The Pain

I was never too ¬†fussed about Wu Tang Clan. Nothing against them, I just fell out with hip hop around this time. And it seemed like I needed a wallchart to keep track of all the members and their offshoots and solo projects. But I bought a 12″ of Method Man and Mary J Blige doing You’re All I Need (To Get By) and the B-side was this Chemical Brothers remix of Bring The Pain. When I mentioned this remix to my hip hop obsessed sibling he said ‘What the fuck’s a chemical brother?’

Bring The Pain (Chemical Brothers remix)

Kylie’s Gonna Work It Out

Kylie Minogue’s Slow remixed by The Chemical Brothers. What does it sound like? Exactly like Kylie remixed by The Chemical Brothers should.

Typing the words Kylie and Minogue into Google Image are a surefire way to lose some time.

Slow (Chemical Brothers Remix)

Sunshine Underground

Back to work. Harrumph.

I spent some of last week listening to The Chemical Brothers 1999 album Surrender while driving here and there in the car. Dance music can date easily, especially dance music from fourteen years ago- drum sounds, pre-sets, software- all can often quickly sound like that year. On reflection I didn’t think Surrender had dated much at all, and in some ways I was never a massive Chemical Brothers fan, but there are some belters on it (if we ignore Noel Gallagher’s umpteenth attempt to re-write Tomorrow Never Knows and the still a little over-familiar Hey Boy, Hey Girl). The guest spots work – Bernard Sumner, Hope Sandoval, Jonathan Donahue from Mercury Rev, the co-write with Missy Elliott- sounding like songs actually written together and not just guest vocal moments. This song is eight and a half minutes of 60s psychedelia crossed with 90s dance mayhem, building with several arms-in-the-air moments and though it may be Private Psychedelic Reel part 2 it is still a blindingly good track.

The Sunshine Underground

Don’t Fight Control

Claude Flight’s 1925 linocut Speed.

The Chemical Brothers (with Bernard Sumner on vocals) jemmied together with Primal Scream (with Denise Johnson on vocals). As mash ups go this is a tad obvious but good nonetheless. Whether it’s any use to you first thing on a Tuesday January morning I don’t know. You might need to save it for the small hours at the weekend when you’ve had a couple.

Don’t Fight Control

Vortex

Vortex by Cyril Power.

And a connection to yesterday’s postees The Charlatans, whose front man Tim Burgess was invited to sing with The Chemical Brothers on their Exit Planet Dust album- stands up pretty well I think. Some Chemical Brothers stuff has dated a bit to my ears, the huge drums and so on but this is good. A song that sounds like it’s title and looks like this linocut.

Life Is Sweet