Block Rockin' Beats

The Chemical Brothers

Song Review by John Bush

The breakout single that helped the Chemical Brothers' second album become one of the first electronica works to hit platinum in America, "Block Rockin' Beats" rides a Schooly D vocal sample, careening pitch-bent synth work, and depth-charge beats into a commercial, critical, and artistic home run of a single. Producers Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, influenced equally by the streamlined futurism of techno, the bracing energy of hip-hop, and the wave-of-sound atmosphere of indie rock, fused all three with the first single and first track from 1997's Dig Your Own Hole. "Block Rockin' Beats" really set the template for the funky-breaks techno heard on dozens of car commercials during the few years after its production, and though Rowlands and Simons were by no means traditional poster boys, the single put a face on independent dance music that helped many acts cross over to the mainstream.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Dig Your Own Hole 1997 Astralwerks 5:14