Words: Jon Sidwell
Chemical Brothers - 'Further'
Imagine being referred to as pioneers of what is arguably the most successful strand of electronic music, ever. The 90’s saw a young British duo take their form of dance music, now commonly known as “big beat dance”, to mainstream success not just in the UK but across the globe. That sort of tagline or billing has affected many artists before; they simply cannot live up to their former glories and slide away into the musical abyss. It is no small feat then that 15 years since the release of their debut album 'Exit Planet Dust', The Chemical Brothers return with a brand new album for 2010, still pushing boundaries and certainly all the right buttons.
'Further' is their seventh studio album, and I see it as their most melodic record to date. Synths are stretched out and taken to places you won’t have imagined before. Take the stupendous 'Escape Velocity' which is one of the most well thought out and near perfect beat-led electronic tracks I think I have ever heard. It builds slowly to a triumphant and really quite euphoric feeling which I’m sure is felt even greater when performed live. In contrast, you have 'Horse Power' which is a rather blunt and abrasive track with harsh samples and repetition, but when wedged between the softer 'Dissolve' and 'Swoon', it really works well to break things up and you can actually appreciate more of what their trying to achieve with each track.
The Chemical Brothers rarely disappoint and can never be accused of standing still. With each album they bring something new to the table, taking risks and experimenting is in their nature, it’s what’s led them to where they are now. 'Further' might alienate some fans who just don’t quite get the more melodic based, vocal-less record and prefer their 'Block Rockin’ Beats' but for me, this album will be one of the stand outs of 2010.
'Further' was released in June 2010 digitally and on CD, with a special edition also coming with DVD.
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