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Video of the Moment #2916: Chemical Brothers

 
By on Tuesday, 8th January 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

Have you been wondering what happened to Chemical Brothers? I did. Apparently, I completely missed ‘Free Yourself’ unveiled last autumn. Or maybe I just wiped it out of my consciousness? No matter. This first full week of 2019, they have for us another tune to whet our whistles. ‘MAH’, which allegedly stands for ‘mad at hell’, has a disconcerting music video to go with it, filled with masked men and a room crammed full of dancers under a strobing light show. Word on the street is that the single appears on the electronic pioneers’ new album ‘No Geography’, expected to drop later this year. For now, you can grab ‘MAH’ from Astralwerks and groove with it in the comfort of your own home; stay tuned for more from the Chems. Past articles on the Chemical Brothers on TGTF are through here.

 

Chemical Brothers / December 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 7th September 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, better known as the influential English electronic duo Chemical Brothers, have announced a small handful of live dates in the UK for the middle of December 2016. These shows will conclude the pair’s world tour that takes them through Europe, Asia and the Middle East before returning to blighty. They’ll be supporting their incredible 11th album ‘Born in the Echoes’, which has had legs since its release in summer 2015. Tickets have already gone for Blackpool and the first London date revealed, but tickets are still available for Glasgow and a second London date has gone on sale as well. To read our past articles on TGTF on the Chemical Brothers, follow this link.

Wednesday 7th December 2016 – Glasgow SECC
Friday 9th December 2016 – Blackpool Empress Ballroom (sold out)
Saturday 10th December 2016 – London Hammersmith Apollo (sold out)
Sunday 11th December 2015 – London Hammersmith Apollo

 

Video of the Moment #2000: Chemical Brothers feat. Beck

 
By on Thursday, 28th January 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

The Chemical Brothers have joined forces again with their director friends dom&nic, responsible for the legendary Chems videos ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ and ‘Setting Sun’. This time, it’s for the stunning new promo for ‘Wide Open’, featuring Beck, off their summer 2015 #1 album ‘Born in the Echoes’. Through the video, a young female dancer interprets the Chems’ song, gradually changing from her human flesh form into something decidedly less…human. Watch the video below.

Our past coverage on TGTF on the groundbreaking duo Chemical Brothers is this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC2dRkm8ATU[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1891: Chemical Brothers

 
By on Tuesday, 18th August 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Electronic pioneers The Chemical Brothers returned this year after a 5-year LP drop since 2010’s ‘Further’, releasing their eighth album ‘Born in the Echoes’ last month. Their newest video is for ‘Sometimes I Feel So Deserted’, and it’s just as desolate as you might imagine. It’s got its gross moments too, so if you are in any way OCD, you might want to skip this one. Still, the bad guys (I think they’re the bad guys?) get their comeuppance at the promo’s conclusion. Watch it below.

For more on the Chemical Brothers on TGTF, you can read our archive on them this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saZVNLMMmmo[/youtube]

 

(Olympics 2012 flavoured!) Single Review: Chemical Brothers – Theme from Velodrome

 
By on Wednesday, 18th July 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

It seemed quite interesting to me that of six bands that have been tapped to have a hand in official Olympics tuneage, half of them are from Manchester: BBC Olympic theme writers Elbow, single-providing Delphic and the subject of this post, single providers Chemical Brothers. ‘Theme from Velodrome’ had its first play on Zane Lowe’s Radio1 nighttime show this past Monday and the single was then available for purchase from that point forward. A velodrome, if you were wondering, is not a made up word at all but actually the proper name for an indoor arena designed specifically for cycling events.

This is the first real release from Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons since 2010’s disappointing ‘Further’ album and their foray into film soundtracking for the Natalie Portman film Black Swan in the same year. Despite all the time that has passed, some longtime fan commenters on YouTube are already complaining in droves that the single is about as boring as wiry-framed men and women riding their wiry frames of metal with two wheels attached in a circle again and again: “‘Pain and tedious’ sums up cycling perfectly!” writes Paul Whelan. Rowlands has been quoted by the Guardian as having said this about their participation: “I have loved cycling since I was a boy. I have always made a connection between electronic music and cycling repetition, the freedom and sense of movement. Kraftwerk obviously cemented this connection with their Tour de France track. For us to create the theme for the Velodrome is a great honour and we’re really excited to hear it in situ.” And indeed, a top comment by darthdevil reads “Kraftwerk mode on”. That leads to another Manchester reference: Kraftwerk played the Manchester Velodrome during the 2009 Manchester International Festival.

I have to say, I like this. It begins with strings and sounds a bit stuffy before a robotic voice intones the three syllables of the venue where this song will feature. Then the music ups in tempo and the melody (if you could say that) in the background goes frenetic. This has all happened before the 1 minute 30 second mark, when the backbeat finally worms its way into the song. For an electronic band, it’s relatively understated and does what it needs to do: build up anticipation for the main event(s). I even like the unusual fade out at the end; not what I would have expected, which is a plus.

While it’s a definite improvement on ‘Survival’, the official Olympics song written by Muse (watch that video here), it leaves the door somewhat open for the remaining two songs – contributions from Delphic and Dizzee Rascal follow in the next 2 weeks – to take the brass ring. Which song will be the most remembered from London 2012? We’ll have to see in the coming weeks.

8/10

‘Theme from Velodrome’, the Olympic contribution by the Chemical Brothers, is available as a single for purchase now.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwZOid42f2g[/youtube]

 

Homegrown British Talent to Shine at London 2012 Summer Olympic Games

 
By on Friday, 29th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Seeing that everyone around the globe will have their eyes fixed on London next month with the start of the summer 2012 Olympics there, it’s only appropriate that we at TGTF Towers get involved with a post of our own. Regarding the musical selections for the Games, of course. Britain being Britain, the Olympic organisers were spoilt for choice on which artists to tap for this international showcasing event. Just in this week, we’re getting more names and details on what to expect ahead of the official start of the Games. (This post is mainly about the expected Olympic-related releases, but there is also word that there will be surprise gigs in London, which is another ball of wax entirely.)

The news of what we would hear to herald in the 2012 event started last winter, when in November 2011, it was revealed that Manchester’s Mercury Prize-winning and reigning (no longer) indie band Elbow (pictured above) would be providing the song ‘First Steps’ to soundtrack the BBC’s coverage of the momentous occasion. The song in its finished form made the rounds on telly in this promo advert in May to coincide with the Olympic torch relay that made its was all over the country.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSW8Ng-Skgk[/youtube]

For ‘First Steps’, Elbow decided to use a recorded choir vocal instead of Guy Garvey’s, presumably to make it more about the public and less about Elbow. In his typical self-deprecating style, Garvey has said of their contribution, “for our music to be sound-tracking it, there was a big feeling of responsibility but also we’re just dead proud to be doing it. And strange as well with none of us really being athletic.”

On Wednesday, the BBC reported Muse would be providing the Games’ official song. Called ‘Survival’, it’s already proving to be as polarising as the strange dubstep-infused trailer they released as a teaser for their next album, ‘The 2nd Law’. While there is no argument that there is an incredible amount of tradition, pomp and circumstance surrounding the XXX Olympiad, what strikes you first about this this new song ‘Survival’ is how un-Muse it is. To me, it sounds like they are trying far too hard to sound like a 21st century Queen, emphasising on making a more bombastic sound that embraces the theatrical instead of either going for something poppy, which might make it all the more enjoyable for the masses, or staying true to the Muse vision.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO61AdifK9k[/youtube]

But beyond what we have heard in full from Elbow and Muse are all the other question marks: what are the contributions from other artists going to sound like? The BBC also let loose on Wednesday that special singles from Elton John vs. Pnau, Dizzee Rascal, the Chemical Brothers and Delphic will also be released during July and August.

Let us first consider the first of these. Pnau is an Australian dance duo whose song ‘Sad’ “includes elements from a number of Elton John original sound recordings including ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’, ‘Crazy Water’ and ‘Curtains’ to name but a few”. Before hearing it, I thought well, this could go either way: it could be a horrible, ill-advised sampling experiment gone wrong, or it could be something refreshingly new and different. Then I found the official video. What is this? It reminds me of Empire of the Sun in a way, and not in a good way. In any event, remember them, because you can expect Pnau to become a household name; how they (or their management) was able to score Olympic promotion just in time for the release of their debut album is quite a marketing coup.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=froqs4giHBg[/youtube]

Dizzee Rascal needs no introduction. He’s been making the rounds at many summer festivals, including both Evolution and Beach Break Live that we’ve managed to cover. As you might have already expected, Dizzee surely knew he was going to have this honour long ago, as the below ‘Your Britain’ video shows him talking about his childhood and having a look round at the stadium where presumably he will be performing on opening night. I think it’s safe to say we can expect a high-octane, bounce-a-minute stonker from him that will get people bopping all over the world.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN2S505jwFA[/youtube]

Then we are left with the Chemical Brothers and Delphic. This is where we only guess what will happen, which is rather interesting because the two bands, while both dance-oriented and from Manchester, are at opposite sides of the career spectrum. Neither band has released anything since their last albums in 2010: ‘Further’, the Chems’ seventh, and ‘Acolyte’, the debut for Delphic. While there has been a long time of incubation, shall we say, since we last heard anything new from either of them, they have probably only had the last 6 to 8 months, at most, to think about how they want to be remembered with the memory of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Chemical Brothers have not talked publicly about their involvement, but Delphic excitedly Tweeted “We cant [sic] tell you how much it means to be involved with a world spectacle so great it only comes around every 4 years. this time on our patch”, which says to me not only have they given this a great deal of thought, but they also considered the gravity of the situation and what it means when the eyes of the world (or, perhaps the ears are better suited in this case) are put squarely on you.

We here at TGTF will be looking forward to the coming weeks for word on all these official releases. This is definitely one Olympics where the excitement regarding the music specially made for the event equals or exceeds the excitement for the actual sport. Reuters has reported the remaining releases are scheduled to drop as follows: Elton John vs. Pnau on 16 July, Delphic on 23 July, Chemical Brothers on 30 July and Dizzee Rascal on 6 August. The Muse single ‘Survival’ is available for purchase now.

 
 
 

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