The Chemical Brothers

Brothers Gonna Work It Out

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To buy time after the success of Dig Your Own Hole, the Chemical Brothers released their first DJ mix album, Brothers Gonna Work It Out. Dig Your Own Hole was one of the handful of electronica albums to find a wide audience in both the U.K. and the U.S., largely because of its gigantic, straight-ahead beats. Whether by design or not, it was electronic music that could reach a wide audience because it was about what all rock or pop music is about at its core -- rhythm. To their credit, the Chemicals viewed themselves as part of a continuum, not as ambassadors of techno, which is presumably why they used their elevated profile to showcase a style of music unfamiliar to a mass audience with songs unfamiliar to a mass audience. That might lead to the preconception that Brothers Gonna Work It Out is a chore or an educational lesson, which couldn't be further from the truth. Brothers Gonna Work It Out is a rush, pure and simple. Using their own songs, plus a huge selection of other records and remixes, they've created a relentless, frequently exciting record that pushes forth on the momentum of unpredictable juxtapositions and big, big beats. During the course of the 70-minute disc, the Brothers spin everything -- Willie Hutch, Meat Beat Manifesto, Spiritualized, Renegade Soundwave, Manic Street Preachers -- which only emphasizes how they've created their own identity through piecing together remnants of pop and DJ culture, from forgotten favorites to cult classics. Artistically, it doesn't quite match their pair of studio efforts, but it's a nice stopgap for fans awaiting their third full-length album.

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