The Chemical Brothers are legendary. They obviously were two very smart guys, and after ten years making music professionally, they released this compilation. Perhaps not 100% necessary a release given the circumstances, but is a great representation of what The Chemical Brothers are about. Let’s jump in and listen to their first compilation album, a limited edition release itself.
Kicking off with the original Song To The Siren which is an amazing release, recorded in a bathroom, believe it or not. It begins with a repeated siren, before launching straight into the music. It is loud, punchy and has some awesome textures and subsonic bass. The sounds are totally original, and are uplifting and clever. The cut up female vocals here are really delicious sounding. If this was their first release, it is really top to hear. The climax is pretty cool here, and the brothers here draw on a great array of sounds. An excellent tune from start to finish, and proof that these guys knew their craft from day one. Brilliant and very clever.
Up next is more familiar territory with Chemical Beats as it was on their first album. It is an excellent tune all the same, and has some badass Acid House type sounds throughout as the main melody. The beats and textures build up to an awesome climax, before going into a fairly straightforward but amazing EDM track. Nothing quite like this has been done before in the history of music, so The Chemical Brothers were treading fairly new group here. Some great and original sounds exist here, and this whole piece is marvellous. The whole thing is an artform of musical construction, better than any form of RnB Pop music today. The outro is rather subtle.
Leave Home comes next and begins with an unusual set of sounds and a classic sample stating, “The brothers gonna work it out”. It then goes into a funky bassline and some brilliant cut up beats that sound very original and fresh. This is a great Hip Hop piece for those who like EDM and drugs, simply. It sounds amazing, even today. If this were radio play today, then The Chemical Brothers would be on top of the charts, without question. An epic listen with some Psychedelic ascending/descending sound patterns that sound top. All in all, a great listen from beginning to end. The outro is very cool, with the sounds of birds chirping.
Setting Sun comes next and is a collaboration of The Chemical Brothers and Oasis’s main songwriter Noel Gallagher. It has been heavily inspired by The Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows, so much so that the living members of The Beatles decided to unsuccessfully sue The Chemical Brothers over it. The song itself is an amazing listen, and sounds really trippy and futuristic from a musical point of view. Brilliant effort and a must listen from The Chemical Brothers. Nothing sounds quite like this, and is a deeply emotional and great musical piece. Nice job.
After that is Block Rockin’ Beats which begins with a funky bass riff and some more great drum sounds and a sense of party loving rhythm. This is great, great music. Perfect for that crazy house party where everyone gets trashed and trashes things. Still, from a musical perspective, this is a wonderful and fun loving track. The drum section in the breakdowns are fantastic. The Chemical Brothers sound really like they are on an EDM mission that is original and well crafted. The outro is fully sick.
Following is the amazing The Private Psychedelic Reel which begins with a drone sound, before a sitar enters. It is a soulful and amazing listen and is a definite throwback to the 1960s. It sounds really electrified and if you ever have a good 10 minutes, you must hear this track. A truly original and imaginative piece of music that still sounds ridiculously good as it did in 1997. The whole thing has an amazing amount of layered textures, sonic sounds and excellent beats. It is a magical and uplifting extended Psychedelic music piece. There is a great clarinet sound in this piece, and the whole thing is tripped out. Clever use of sound effects, particularly delay, exist here. This is a very great listen from start to finish, and is so good your hairs will stand on end from hearing it. It gets more busy towards the end, reaching a peak where it builds up, and then falls apart. A truly great effort, totally brilliant
Hey Boy Hey Girl is the most popular track ever by The Chemical Brothers, and for good reason. It’s fairly mainstream sounding, but helped propel EDM and The Chemical Brothers into the spotlight around the time. Cleverly constructed, this time with 4/4 dance beats, this is a fun party tune to hear. Sounding very simple, yet bouncy, this is a great tune to hear. More a dancing tune than a sit down and listen tune, it is still very good. A great and melodic House based Pop music tune, there are a number of great sounds and textures to keep you interested all the way through. The outro is really awesome, with some DJ cut up beats. Great stuff.
Let Forever Be is one of the most depressing songs ever made by any artist whatsoever. It’s another collaborative effort by The Chemical Brothers and Noel Gallagher. This is those artists answer to Grunge, and is a really good tearjerker. A great song nonetheless, and has some interesting sounds in it. Before hearing this, be in a sober and reasonable mood, it sounds very depressing. Still good quality though. There are some interesting sounds at the end, before the whole thing crashes. Great.
Following is another popular piece by The Chemical Brothers Out Of Control. This starts off with a fairly basic electronic intro with some pounding House/Techno beats that sounds marvellous. This track features Bernard Sumner from New Order on vocals, and he does the job very well. Some impressionistic lyrics are here along with the Psychedelic Electronic sound effects. A great and entertaining listen that is a club classic, this sounds amazing. “Maybe I’m just searching for the truth…” is a great sort of musing from our guest. There is a totally trippy midsection here, with Acid sounds and a great array of melodic sensibility. Great tune, well structured and thought out although a little lengthy.
The beautiful and romantic sounding Star Guitar comes along next, which is excellent from the go. It just sounds sublime, and has some stardust like sounds throughout. More EDM than Rock music, this is really awesome to hear. A piece that only guys like The Chemical Brothers would do, this is an amazing and well structured listen that sounds really great. “You should feel what I feel, you should take what I take…” lyrically may refer to drug use, but it is a bit deeper than that. Musically, emotionally and sonically, The Chemical Brothers have a great sense of mojo. Nice stuff. It’s not too lengthy either, although it runs at over six minutes. Brilliant and amazing effort.
The Test begins with some surreal electronic music textures. Before long, vocalist Richard Ashcroft (The Verve) enters the scene and kicks off this wonderful track. This is really awesome, and the collaboration is a great idea. There is a great array of samples, and this sounds very biblical in terms of reference. It will definitely put a smile on your face, and Richard Ashcroft sings about losing one’s mind and shining through things. This is another great piece by The Chemical Brothers in a collaboration sense. Magical, uplifting and great, this is an awesome track. There is a direct drug reference in it towards the end, and gives this track some interesting meaning. Excellent. Sounds really great through headphones, in particular. The outro is awesome too.
Get Yourself High is a brilliant track, although it sounds pretty weird at the start. There are some excellent sub bass sounds that are very good, and push the track along nicely. It is a great tune, although it directly refers to drug use. Loud, direct and very much like old school Hip Hop, this is super cool. This is a very strange listen, but a quality one as well. The midsection has more subsonic bass galore, with some extra cool cut up beats here as well. The climax here is amazing. A decent tune that is still very much fresh. Terrific stuff. It goes into a simple outro, awesome.
Next is The Golden Path which is actually pretty awful musically, and shows that the next decade of The Chemical Brothers being like this, lacklustre. This has featured The Flaming Lips singer, but is just terrible and shows that despite it being talking about religious influences (itself a difficult topic to sing about), it just falls apart musically. It sounds like U2 to the nth degree as well, you can easily skip this one. Although it is melodramatic, it is not very listenable. This should go somewhere else, preferably straight into the bin. Awful.
Disc two begins with Not Another Drugstore (Planet Nine Mix) which, once again, is about drugs. It starts off with some interesting Acid House style sounds and some distorted vocals. This is way better than the last track on the previous disc, and builds up gradually. Before long, some original drum beats and some excellent Rapping enter, and has some great Hip Hop lyrics by One Inch Punch. The middle section in particular sounds mindblowingly good, and this is definitely a track to take drugs to. Some ultra awesome wah-wah type sounds are here, along with a massively energetic and tripped out groove. The whole thing is a great listen. The second half has more interesting cut up vocals and beats, and sounds very incredible. A great track to listen to, even as a B-Side. Some jangly sounding beats then mix with great breakbeats to conclude this track. It has a surprise ending, listen out for it.
The Duke is next, with its strange track title. It is a great rarity by The Chemical Brothers, with some really awesome Acid House type sounds which rock hard. Some acoustic guitar samples are here as well, in amongst a colossal amount of beats, textures and clever brilliance by The Chemical Brothers. A great piece to listen to with your friends or in a car, this is really cool. Fantastic and very awesome, it is not to be ignored. Cool. A very interesting listen, although perhaps it is a bit lengthy. Still, pleasant if you can hear it.
If You Kling To Me, I’ll Klong To You is next, with some strange cut up textures at the start, before a haunting melody enters. It is quite emotionally powerful, being a very intense and deep sort of listen. This slowly builds up, and goes into some spacey sounds, before kicking into an unforgettable groove with some great subsonic bass in it. Various melodies and beautiful textures come through this piece. A very interesting instrumental, and very underrated. Some awesome beats then follow, and this piece builds up to a great release of emotion towards the end. Great stuff, and very enjoyable. There are some theremin type sounds at the end, nice to hear.
Next up is Otter Rock which is awarded points for such a weird track title. Nonetheless, it is a good, but not great, listen for those who need a more laidback sort of tune from The Chemical Brothers. This is good to hear once in a while, yet not all the time. Still, it has a retro feel about it. Some good beats are throughout this though, but otherwise, fairly forgettable. It’s okay, but not amazing.
After that is the really cool Morning Lemon which starts with a quick vocal sample, before going into some really excellent beats and textures. This is a great trip through what The Chemical Brothers do best. There are some Kung Fu style sounds in the breakdowns, before continuing through beats and some really awesome textures. This has some well programmed loops and original sounds throughout. In the midsection is a very electrified (guitar?) sort of sound. It gets better around this part of the track, and just sounds original, well thought out and very artistic. Cool and clever, The Chemical Brothers do well here. Ending with a basic percussion loop, this is great.
Galaxy Bounce is next, with a sort of James Bond intro about it, which is unusual. It then breaks into a cool groove that is just great with some soulful vocal samples and a great sense of musicality. Although this is not as good as some of the other tracks on Disc Two, it is still listenable and enjoyable. It goes into an interesting breakdown with some cut up female vocals and more juicy textures. A nice listen throughout, especially with some of the bass in it towards the end.
Loops Of Fury comes next, and is a real highlight of this album. Designed to be played at full volume whilst speeding down a highway, this is amazing and brilliant. It consists of a load of well recorded, sampled and modified loops. This is awesome, and mindblowingly good. The sounds are mostly very percussive, and is a great reference for EDM and Electronic Music in general. There are many exciting twists and turns throughout. This is really top quality, and goes into a massive breakdown towards the end. An electrifying experience to hear, if you like The Chemical Brothers and have not heard this, do so. A gem, and has a tripped out ending.
Next is Delik which is very science fiction like and spacey, especially to begin with. It then goes into some loud beats, and there is a strange industrial sound throughout. It then goes into some awesome harsh wah-wah Acid sounds as well. Although this track would have been rarely heard over time, it is solid gold. It goes into a clanging beat driven alternation, which is great. There are many textures and beats here that would have had many hours spent working on it. Samples from an earlier track by The Chemical Brothers are here as well, guess which one? Still, all in all, this is a very good track. Worth listening to. The outro is super awesome, too and must be heard to be experience. Great stuff.
The version of Elektrobank (Live) here is amazing. Although it is highly repetitive and basically a remix of the original on Dig Your Own Hole, it is incredibly simple, yet thoroughly listenable. It just sounds really great, and is a super listen from start to finish. Seek out this one if you can find it, it is loud, heavy and exciting. Great stuff.
Under The Influence (Mix 2) is next, and surprisingly about 10 times better than the original ever was on the Surrender album. It begins with some subtle sounds and bass, before going straight into a trippy and awesome piece to listen to. This is a version that is a huge head rush and is an underrated EDM gem. This is a blood pumping and awesomely exciting listen, even at the time of writing. Some great beats are here, too. This version should have been on the Surrender album, it is amazing. Sounding very strange at times, but an excellent listen. Good to hear. It ends quietly.
Piku Playground (Live) is the last track on this double album, and it is an interesting mixture of things musically. Sampling a variety of tracks by The Chemical Brothers, this is really amazing, even as a live piece. Very few people in the 1990s could touch The Chemical Brothers musically, and this is a great way to finish off this double album. Definitely worth hearing. The ending is insane.
This is quite a nice collection of tracks and songs by The Chemical Brothers that is extremely rare today to find, even not being on Spotify or a similar platform of music listening. If you are truly keen on listening to this album, look around for a copy online as a CD or you can find a botched job done of these songs on YouTube. Still, a good effort from a great duo.