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Spacelab Retrograde: The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole


By: Corey Tate
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October 10, 2013


Using words like epic, massive and bombastic to describe electronic music all could have started with the Chemical Brothers album Dig Your Own Hole. Narrowed into the genre of Big Beat at the time, the sound of the album was more than explosive and happened when electronic music was blowing up everywhere. Content to be an underground phenomenon until then, the Chemical Brothers set out to create electronic music that played like rock music and thumped like electronic music.

One can definitely say they all surpassed expectations by a long shot. The album redefined the canon of how electronic music played -- no longer confined to the club, it was also listenable. You could hear it everywhere: hip underground radio stations like Radio K, Volkswagen Beetle commercials, and every party you went to. In the pre-Internet era, the Chemical Brothers became the kind of cache that meant you all spoke the same musical language.

“Block Rockin Beats” sets the tone as fast at the start, and it never really slows down or looks back from there. “Elektrobank” is just as frenetic and phrantic. When you think they’ve already peaked, they throw down “Setting Sun” with Noel Gallagher on vocals. The beat is bigger than Big Beat and the ending explodes in a giant soundgasm of sirens and blazing stabs of bass. College Radio had its go-to track for like, a year or more and you might start thinking that the Chems couldn’t go bigger.

The album grows more focused as “Get Up on It Like This” is an otherworld of breaks and beats. Beth Orton does vocals on “Where Do I Begin,” another massive sound piece. Album closer “The Private Psychedelic Reel” chills you down and brings you back to reality ... So you can start from the beginning all over again.


The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole Tracklist

01 - 00:00 "Block Rockin' Beats"

02 - 05:16 "Dig Your Own Hole"

03 - 10:44 "Elektrobank"

04 - 19:06 "Piku"

05 - 24:01 "Setting Sun"

06 - 29:32 "It Doesn't Matter"

07 - 35:48 "Don't Stop the Rock"

08 - 40:39 "Get Up on It Like This"

09 - 43:28 "Lost in the K-Hole"

10 - 47:21 "Where Do I Begin"


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Spacelab Retrograde: The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole

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