Various Artists

Chemical Reaction

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After the Chemical Brothers established themselves as a pop act (at least in England) in 1997, Afrodeisa Records latched upon the ingenious concept of collecting the duo's legendary 12" remixes of other artists on one CD. Due to various licensing problems, Afrodeisa wasn't able to have Chemical Reaction feature nothing but Chemical Brothers mixes -- six of the 11 tracks are Chemical mixes, the rest being a hodgepodge of original mixes and remixes. Apart from Monkey Mafia's mix of Saint Etienne's "Filthy," those five cuts are of negligible worth, but the Chemical cuts are terrific, demonstrating their vast skill as dance producers. The duo completely deconstructs Saint Etienne's "Like a Motorway," Leftfield's "Open Up," and Primal Scream's Thin Lizzy tribute "Jailbird," turning them into completely different songs. Essentially, all of the Chemicals' mixes are big beat, but the most remarkable thing is the variety of texture, tones, and moods the duo gets out of that style. Chemical Reaction might not be the perfect way to become acquainted with these mixes, but for fans who can't find or afford the original singles, it's a worthy addition to their collections.

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