The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust (1995): Review

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Produced by The Chemical Brothers
Label – Virgin

By 1995, Chemical Brothers (or Dust Brothers as they were previously called) were one the best known club mix teams in the U.K, despite having not released a complete long player. The name change was an unfortunate legal necessity, but the output resolutely adhered to their big beat manifesto that had begun in 1992. The colossal hip hop break beats, the filthy bass lines and the bursts of rock guitar samples were often used at the bequest of other artists in order to provide an alternative dimension, and integrate their music into the ever growing dance and club scene. For Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons there was never a master plan, just a growing demand from a community that grew from Heavenly Sunday Social and spread like wildfire throughout the land. Whilst their peers hid behind keyboards in their bedrooms and churned out white labels, Chemical Brothers, like The Prodigy were in your face, demanding attention, buoyed by the amyl nitrate stored under their decks. They undertook countless remix projects for acts including Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers, The Charlatans and Leftfield/Lydon, which of course, only served to expose their talents further.

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“Exit Planet Dust” plays out in three distinct phases. The opening four songs boom with the ferocious rhythms and exhilarating caustic groove that matched their live appearances, particularly the opener, “Leave Home”, a white knuckle ride steered by “the brothers” who naturally are “gonna work it out”. The bruising breakbeats and shuddering wah wah trimmings are undoubtedly the highlight of the record. What follows is the toned down, more exploratory instrumentals designed for a life outside the confinements of the party. Songs like “Chico’s Groove” and “One Too Many Mornings” are interesting in their blissed out conception, but lack the potential to keep one’s attention throughout. The duo’s pop sensibilities are explored directly via “Life Is Sweet”, which features The Charlatans Tim Burgess, and Beth Orton delivers an icily majestic performance on the closer, “Alive Alone”.

Should you want something that will engage your senses through an exhausting flux of bulked up machine beats and exploratory flamboyance that consistently appeals to club and rock fans alike, then place your orders here.

7/10

Track Rating
1 – Leave Home (8)
2 – In Dust We Trust (8)
3 – Song To The Siren (8)
4 – Three Little Birdies Down Beats (8)
5 – Fuck Up Beats (7)
6 – Chemical Beats (7)
7 – Chico’s Groove (6)
8 – One To Many Mornings (7)
9 – Life Is Sweet (7)
10 – Playground For A Wedgeless Firm (6)
11 – Alive Alone (8)

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2 responses to “The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust (1995): Review

  1. Consider my order placed!
    I think we were on the same page with its followup having moments of brilliance but going on a bit long – this one sounds more up my alley, especially any guest performance that can be described as icily majestic!

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