Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
UK DJ/production/remix duo. Combining a calculated style of musical barbarism with studio and turntable techniques which the original rock'n'rollers could not have dreamed of, the Chemical Brothers rebuilt rock from its rhythmic foundations up. After graduating with honours from Manchester U '92, Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands became ranking DJs on the club circuit under the name of the Dust Brothers, while releasing singles incl. 'Song To The Siren' '94, EPs Fourteenth Century Sky and My Mercury Mouth, all '94. Under threat of a lawsuit from an American act known as the Dust Brothers they changed their name '95. Increasingly in demand for remixing work, they serviced clients '94--5 including Primal Scream, Sabres of Paradise, the Charlatans, Prodigy, Manic Street Preachers, Bomb the Bass, Justin Warfield and Leftfield. But their own debut album Exit Planet Dust '95 placed them firmly on the map, a collection of propulsive mostly instrumental dance grooves with a surprisingly rock- friendly feel which established them as a top ten UK act. Live At The Social Volume 1 '96 was a similarly explosive collection, featuring various artists mixed by the Chemical Brothers 'live' at The Social, one of the essential ports of call in the club world since its inception in a West End cellar '94. A collaboration with Noel Gallagher of Oasis on the single 'Setting Sun' '96 provided the Chemicals with their first UK no. 1, a feat which they repeated without Gallagher on the follow-up 'Block Rockin' Beats' '97. Their second album Dig Your Own Hole '97 also topped the UK chart and reached No. 14 in America, a millennial club/rock celebration of the beat, the whole beat and nothing but the beat, confirmed them as a touchstone act of the '90s.