Chemical dependence

Further Chemical Brothers—Further
Released June 22, 2010

I can’t remember where I first heard their music, but I can remember where I first heard about their music. It was in a year end issue of the NME in 1996. It was actually the year-end issue for 1995 and there was the standard year-end review of the 50 best records. I remember there being a ton of great records that came out in 1995. This probably was the beginning of my ear listening to the sounds coming from across the Atlantic rather than on our shores. I think Exit Planet Dust was the 22nd “best” record of the year. The gap between reading this and actually having the disc is of an unknown length. What I do remember is ordering it for the store as a ‘B’ Title and hard-selling the disc. Probably sold two, three copies a week. When I moved to another store I continued to push it, buying all their associated releases, all the while playing and hard-selling the disc. Eventually it entered the ‘A’ System; I credit my hard-selling. I called the label, I may have even emailed or called them, and got mainlined into the promo network. The greatest coup was scoring a copy of the awsome dj mix called the Anti-Nazi Mix. It was great. Their next two CDs were greater and greater. Their fourth disc was a grower but my ears were changing. Their fifth disc I think I have, their sixth disc I don’t. They lost me, as happens with many artists we fall for. Sometimes the band gets boring. Sometimes your tastes change. The Chems got boring, relying on what felt like a myriad of vocalists. where previous discs had the occasional singing these later discs had too much.

I happened upon a new song, on YouTube—like you do nowadays—titled “Escape Velocity.” It was eleven minutes long. I clicked the link. It was GREAT. I listened to it again and again and again until it was pulled that evening. I found a soft sounding live version and a radio rip. I ran to it, found it again on YouTube, played it again and again. With each play came a fear that the song would kill the rest of CD. It didn’t.

By the time I got a promo of the CD I had listened to an online stream of the album on NPR’s web site. I listened while working and retained very little. When I got the CD and could listen in the car, only then did I play the disc repeatedly and found that it contained many strong tracks. Granted, I kept coming back to “Escape Velocity,” but there are songs just as great found on the CD. “K+R+W” is my favorite, a real pinnacle of their career in my eyes. It feels like a song but still a dancer song. It shimmers and smiles. I love it. And I love the disc. Would it have been stronger with the two iTunes exclusive tracks (“Don’t Stop” and “Pourqoui”)? Probably not. I love both of those songs too, but they just wouldn’t have fit in my mind.

Listening to the disc and loving it soade me feel both old and new, young and old. I know I can’t feel both but sometime I do.

(Clue: one of the short films accompanying the songs gave this album its cover, that of a woman seemingly underwater)

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  1. […] for 2010. I had a snippet column where I gave some hints and I have talked about three of those four releases. But as I approach the fourth mix I do need to let you all in on a little secret. In my […]

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