Although British duo The Chemical Brothers are partially responsible for the birthed trend of EDM, the Manchester duo have shunned the limelight synonymous with the supposed ‘new breed’ of electronic musician and instead settled on cult-like honour. Returning with their eighth studio LP ‘Born In the Echoes’ the group’s formula remains similar to its origins yet the carefully selected vocalists chosen for this record help it cut through a sea of mediocrity.
Opening track ‘Sometimes I Feel So Deserted’ feels destined to cut through festival tents with its ominous opening alarm call and intelligent production design that denotes feelings of open spaces and frenetic closeness all at once reflective of the group’s now illustrious live performance. Welsh songbird Cate Le Bon brings disjointed and downplayed vocal to the album’s title track as whispers, orchestrated string and synth guitar crescendo perfectly as though soundtracking a descent within a haunted house harking back to the glory days of ‘Surrender’. The track also demonstrates Rowlands and Simons ability to skitter between the bold lines of creative theatre and dance floor banger.
‘Just Bang’ through to ‘Taste of Honey’ is the duo’s opportunity to demonstrate their superior production skills with the former leaving so called revivers of dance such as Disclosure and MNEK in a state of daze and disorientation. ‘Reflexion’ teeters, dwells, climbs and falls in the manner of a skilled acrobatic as length of performance is never a deterrent from the sheer fascination of the entity. ‘Under Neon Lights’ is the deceptive delight found on ‘Born In the Echoes’ as Annie Clark beckons, nay entrances you into the most stylish and seductive rave as she sings of suicide and sorrow beneath the pulsating neon lights that connect all ravers for all eternity.
This feeling of unity, mutual enjoyment of dance and inescapable desire for after dark rendezvous unite the tracks and vocalists on this album. It demonstrates further experimentation yet commitment to a cause and although the charts and tastes of the industry have changed, within an alternative universe the likes of ‘Go’ are global #1 hits and it is this sentiment that The Chemical Brothers and their fanbase silently share.