The Chemical Brothers: “We played in America & Every Record Sounded Like Benny Benassi”


The Chemical Brothers are the latest to voice their opinion on how a lot of EDM today sounds the same, With many songs all about high pitch repetitive melodies leading into huge very predictable DROPS that keep hitting you over the head again and again.

Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands told The Guardian (Observer) how they have been playing and producing electronic music together for 20 years, And also talk about EDM in America, what it is, and if they played in Las Vegas.

Rowlands says that the Chemical Brothers’ records “live in their own world”. The duo emerged during British club culture’s 90s boom, weathered its post-2000 bust, witnessed the rise and fall of countless new subgenres, and carried on regardless. In 1997, alongside Underworld and the Prodigy, they were the shock troops of the so-called “electronica” revolution that was supposed to convert Middle America to the joy of rave and transform rock’n’roll. Newsweek predicted “Electronic Eden” while New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani warned darkly of electronica’s “cold, distinctly anti-humanistic agenda”. For two young men steeped in British club culture, it was all a bit odd.

Now, at last, America has well and truly “got” dance music. Rebranded as EDM, it’s become a glossy multibillion-dollar industry. I jokingly suggest that the Chemical Brothers should bid for a DJ residency in Las Vegas and make a killing.

“Can you imagine?” says Rowlands. “Not your archetypal EDM DJ look.” He ponders it for a second. “If we really wanted to we probably still could but I think it would be soul-destroying. It’s a mad old world, that world. It does feel alien.”

The Chemical Brothers are ambivalent about EDM. On the one hand, they are firmly in favour of young people having fun on dancefloors. On the other, they don’t like the grim efficiency of what Rowlands calls “pie-chart music”.

“We played in America recently and every record sounded like [Italian DJ/producer] Benny Benassi,” says Simons.
“I know that sounds like your dad wandering into Top of the Pops and saying it all sounds the same, but it did all sound the same. There’s just one feeling: very triumphant, very celebratory. We like the sense that you go through different experiences.”

“The one-dimensional sound is quite effective but it doesn’t seem to have that magical, transporting quality,” says Rowlands. He shrugs. “But if I was 18 in Orlando and I’d just finished my exams, maybe it would. I don’t know.”


Ever since the EDM industry was hijacked around 2011 with ghost producers that created the  high pitch melody-DROP trend we have today, It looks like EDM is actually moving towards the right direction now.

Their new album ‘Born In The Echoes’ is due out via Astralwerks on July 17 2015.

Astralwerks is an American-based record label primarily focused on electronic and dance music. Parented by Universal Music Group and distributing through Caroline Distribution, some of the label’s most popular recent releases have come from deadmau5, Mat Zo, Porter Robinson, Empire of the Sun, and Nervo.

Source: The Guardian (Observer)

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