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The Chemical Brothers
It feels almost like yesterday when a video showed grooving skeletons swinging to the sound on the dance floor (and two of 'em getting noisier in the toilet!). The energy of Hey Boy Hey Girl can still get you moving today. But then, that's what the Chemical Brothers' music is about. They're back again, after a two-year hiatus with a superb album Push The Button, with tracks like Galvanise already having taken off in a big way. What's next in line from Chemical Brothers? Well, Push The Button to know more.

Push The Button:
The album kicks off with a Middle Eastern influenced storm, Galvanize, featuring Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest. The Boxer and Left Right feature old-time Chemical Brothers favourites -- Tim Burgess and Anwar Superstar respectively. The best way, probably, to hear this album is to listen to it immediately after it ends. The chants by Kele Okereke on Believe are to watch out for, when you're on your second round. It's no wonder why he's amongst the most exciting vocalists in Britain. Push The Button gets infectious. Bold. Here's what Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons have to say about their new album:

The Record (TR): What is different about this album?

Tom: When we make a record, we don't want to destroy everything that our band stands for… we've done that thing where we've got a band with a real sound and feel to all the music that we've made, and we want to continue that. We want to make our record and in doing that, we want to innovate, and we want new sounds and new feelings - that's part of the thing that's about being in our band. There's the pressure to make something fresh, and I really felt it with this album, we wanted to feel that the record felt invigorating… new and fresh… different. I think it did help putting out the singles compilation because it made us think about the music we've made, we're intensely proud of the music we've made, and we love it… and it really was a spur to make this record… the defining Chemical Brothers record.

TR: Galvanize: Is this to be taken as 'to excite' or as 'to coat steel with zinc'?! And The Boxer?

(Tom and Ed Laugh)… Ed: Both! Well, it's a call to arms and a definite starting point for an album. We went to New York and hooked up with Q-Tip, and I think 'galvanize' was just something he said in passing when he was in the booth, and we liked the word… we were excited by the word and he said it a lot. So he wrote a rap around it, about a call to arms at a party.
Ed: The Boxer was probably one of the earliest tracks that we got going when we started writing again after Come With Us, and we just got those things to fit with each other, and we were really excited. I remember being in the studio and got working with those drums, and Tom was singing on it for most of the time… with levels… you know, it's good… (Ed's mumbling causes them both to laugh)… Tim, of all the people we've collaborated with, is the person that's remained a close friend - if he's in London then we'll probably have a drink together, or if we're in LA he'll come to our gigs. So we've always been friends and I suppose for this song, we just had a chorus that was set in stone and then we thought that he could just write some words around that. We worked together, very collaboratively, and it was great when he came down. He sings pretty differently to how he sings in The Charlatans and the last album, we're just happy to work with him again.

TR: Tell us about Believe, with Kelle Okereke from Bloc Party
Tom: We've been working on it for a long time, and it had always been in our heads that it was going to be a vocal track, but we'd been through different ideas of people to work with and we just couldn't get something that seemed to work naturally. He came down to the studio, and we'd really liked this EP of theirs that we'd heard, and he seemed to have a really strong identity and really good voice and good spirit, and we got together in the studio just to see what we could make happen. It was a track that once we got into the studio it totally changed and he got in front of the mic and had worked out some words at home and was singing them and adding some different bits. It's a process we like - collaborating with people, different people coming in and bringing what they do in the studio to what we do in the studio and hopefully something exciting happens. And he had this fire in his voice that really came across in the track. We ended up changing the track and it was a lot tougher than it had been originally - it was just the track that came out of the studio session really.


You can read the rest of our feature on The Chemical Brothers in the May 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
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Joe Satriani
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Audioslave
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The Darkness
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