January 1998

The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole
Astralwerks ASW 6180
Released: 1997

by Steven R. Rochlin

Musical Performance ****1/2
Recording Quality ***
Overall Enjoyment ****

[Reviewed on Vinyl]Are you ready for some of them block-rockin' beats!? Looks like industrial has now made it into mainstream music (though some call it techno for head-bangers). This new release by the Chemical Brothers titled Dig Your Own Hole has lots of good stuff to offer that even first time industrial-music fans may love it. In fact Spin magazine named this album #10 in their top 20 albums of the year! Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers... Who will be next to cross over into mainstream? Maybe Plaid as reviewed this month? Anyway, this album kicks with tunes like the famous chart hitting song "block rockin' beats" which has hit the charts hard. If you haven't heard it by now you're just not going to the right clubs, watching MTV, or listening to progressive radio. The easiest thing for me to do is basically say most of this album is fast head-bangin' techno, which some call industrial, with deep bumpin' bass hits, sampled sounds, and power that just keeps going and going and going. Electronica it is, though even the purist in me enjoys the musical creativity this album offers. The main players here are Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, with vocals by Beth Orton, Noel Gallagher, and Kool Hero. If you want to start a collage/rage/dance party, then here is a must-have choice. Funny thing is, during the song "piku," they purposely added 'vinyl clicks/pop/noise! You can especially hear it towards the end of the song where the sampled music attacks followed by the dead silence (the vinyl noise is during the music and not during the quiet breaks). Big industrial beats with breaks that just sound like, like, home to me. Then again the song "lost in the k-hole" has a very funky side to it. Ok, so I love classical and especially jazz music too, though why limit my musical pleasure? Why only enjoy "audiophile" music? Why ask why? Life's too short and the music is too good. So have at it all you freakazoid friends of mine and get yourself a copy of The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole.