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Chemical Brothers - Singles 93-03

Review: Jack Foley

EVER since bursting onto the UK dance scene with their breathtaking debut album, Exit Planet Dust, the Chemical Brothers have continued to set the standard for big big/break beat dancefloor fillers.

Ten years on, they show no sign of losing the spark, or the ability to work it out, and have claimed, in interviews, that this greatest hits compilation marks something of a crossroads in their career.

Speaking to Xfm Dj, Zoe Ball, they admitted to feeling that every new album they worked on felt like it had to follow the previous in some way, whereas the forthcoming new release, which is well underway, marked something of a clean break.

As such, with one decade in the past, we can now look ahead to the future with relish, armed with this quintissential compilation as a reminder of why the Brothers remain so highly rated and sought-after by the dance crowd.

As with any greatest hits compilation, however, there is always a certain amount of surprise in seeing which tracks have been included, and which have been omitted.

Hence, tracks such as It Began in Afrika, Elektrobank or Music: Response have not made it on, and nor have the duo's breathaking collaborations with Beth Orton, such as Alive Alone or Where Do I Begin - which consistently find the Brothers at their finest.

Indeed, with this in mind, it would be interesting to see which tracks the Brothers would pick out if they weren't just concentrating on the singles, as frequently, over the years, album tracks - such as their collaboration with Tim Burgess - have produced bigger thrills than those that have been released with chart success, or big occasions, in mind.

Of the collaborations which have been selected, however, Let Forever Be, with Noel Gallagher, and The Test, featuring Richard Ashcroft, really bring out the best in both singers' vocals, while also serving to underline just how effective such partnerships can be.

Ed Simmons and Tom Rowland are also terrific mixers in their own right, and tracks such as Song to the Siren (which promises that 'the brothers gonna work it out') and Leave Home, from the first album, or the groove-tastic Block Rockin' Beats, or psychedelic Star Guitar only serve to emphasise why a Chemical Brothers track is never far from the decks of any self-respecting Dj.

Of the two new tracks, Golden Path, which features their collaboration with The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, has already been released as a single, while Get Yourself High is an enticing, albeit slightly more chilled and funky, floor-filler that points towards the future with some optimism.

And while true fans will probably shy away from owning this compilation, due to the fact they already own most of the material, this is an excellent excuse to play all the good stuff in one hit, and a downright essential album to have for any party occasion.

Let's hope the next ten years work out as well for them!

Track listing:
1. Song To The Siren
2. Chemical Beats
3. Leave Home
4. Setting Sun
5. Block Rockin' Beats
6. Private Psychedelic Reel
7. Hey Boy Hey Girl
8. Let Forever Be
9. Out Of Control
10. Star Guitar
11. The Test
12. Get Yourself High
13. The Golden Path

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