The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
Tom Rowlands and Ed Simmons, now known as the Chemical Brothers, started simply as friends who shared the same love for music. It wasn't long before they took this to the next level when they transformed their bedrooms into recording studios. Early influences of Public Enemy and My Bloody Valentine may not be distinct in the songs but the music itself demonstrates the same passion and energy which very few bands have rivalled on the platform of Electronica. Their first release in 1995 - "Exit Planet Dust", single handedly invented the style of Big-Beat but it wasn't until the follow-up - "Dig Your Own Hole" that they perfected the formula.
Blowing all stylistic boundaries, DYOH was much bigger and bolder. Combining crushing beats with the same enthusiasm and intensity as rock music, The Brothers created the first ever stadium-friendly form of dance. Eventhough it paved the way for the (probably more successful) releases of "Fat of the Land" by the Prodigy and "You've Come A Long Way Baby" by Fatboy Slim, DYOH still sounds just as, if not more powerful than it's predesesors. Unfortunatley they have never managed to better this despite heading in new directions but the problem is - how can you better something that defined it's own genre?
The album itself is thankfully as good as the hype which surrounds it. Although in saying that, it did take me a few listens to fully adjust to. It's quite easy, at first, to get lost in the big beats and fail to grasp a full appreciation for each song. You might even be a little dissapointed at first especially if your looking for something on the same level as "Fat of the Land" which automatically captivates you. Don't worry though as it isn't long before familiarity develops and you find yourself attached to it. I seriously doubt that anyone hasn't heard "Block Rockin' Beats" but suprisingly the rest of the album seems to overshadow it and ive even found myself starting the album on track 2. "Dig Your Own Hole", "Elektrobank" and "Piku" are all perfect big beat tracks that set the album off with sheer power and force. What makes this album a classic though is it's consistancy throughout. By the end with "Where Do I Begin" and "Private Psychadelic Reel" you feel like you've been taken on a journey that you don't want to get off which is something very, very few albums can achieve.
Dig Your Own Hole
- You can't not move to this song. There is such a funky feel to it, which combined with the crushing big beats makes this, in my opinion The Chemical Brothers finest hour (well at least 5 minutes 27 seconds). This is a prime example of how they managed to get their formula perfect for this album and is endlessly listenable.
- Again incredibly funky when the beat kicks in this is another defining moment of the Big-Beat genre. The vocals are the highlight which demand you to sing along to. There is a strong sense of urgency surrounding the track and functions in such a way that your desperate to hear what the rest of the album has to offer.
Where Do I Begin
- The lightest and most immediatley grasping track on the album. Weaving rhythms laced with sweeping melodies set the basis for the beautiful vocals which I think might be Beth Orton. The song eventually breaks down with some big beats but the relaxing atmosphere still remains. For an almost 7 minute long track it feels like the time swores by you making you want to listen to it again and again. Highly recommended to anyone, even if you are put off by the power of most of The Brothers other tracks. Beautiful.
Want something fresh, exciting and powerful? This is the only album you'll ever need. Very consistant throughout and endlessly listenable, "Dig Your Own Hole" is essential for not only fans of electronica but anyone with a love for great music. Block Rockin' Brilliance.