Chemical Brothers-Born in the Echoes


The electronic music icons that are Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands – otherwise known as The Chemical Brothers return with their eighth studio album Born in the Echoes after a five-year hiatus.

Despite being together for the best part of over twenty years, Simons and Rowlands show no signs of slowing down on this release.

As soon as you hear the baseline from the first track Sometimes I feel so Deserted pumping out of your speakers, you just know you are going to be taken on a whirlwind of emotions on this crazy 52-minute adventure.

The second single released from the album Go sees them reunite with rapper Ali Love from A Tribe Called Quest, who appeared on their 2005 tune Galvanise.

While it doesn’t quite hit the heights of that track, it still carries those synths that have been a trademark of their career.

EML Ritual has a real dark 90’s minimal Techno feel to it while I’ll see you there contains a sound clash for the ages, in one word twisted, in three words- pure Chemical Brothers.

That the duo doesn’t really belong in one electronic basket is a credit to them. They push the boundaries that very few can, and manage to stay relevant in today’s EDM marketplace, which is vastly different to when they started out.

To pick a highlight from this album is hard to do, but it has to go to the seventh track on the album, the instrumental track Reflexion where it’s twists and turns, leaves you dazed and confused in places, but like other minimal masterpieces from their back catalogue such as Swoon, Electric Battle Weapon and Star Guitar puts the listener in a very happy place at the end of them.

Some critics have pointed out that the Chemical Brothers haven’t been as dynamic as their earlier releases- that may be true, but this effort sees them produce their best effort since 2005’s Push the Button album.



Years and Years-Communion


To say this reviewer had been waiting for the release of Years and Years debut album to drop would be a massive understatement

Having fallen in love with the vocals of Olly Alexander on last year’s release of The Magician’s track Sunlight, it was just a matter of patiently waiting to see when this London act would release some of their own works.

Since early last year, fans have been drip-fed tunes from the upcoming album, including tunes such as Real, Take Shelter and Desire.

They were nice appetizers to the main course- a nice electronic backdrop, with pop and even calypso undertones.

The band won the prestigious BBC Sound of 2015 award in January. The award has seen such luminaries such as Haim, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding amongst others so by winning the award they are in solid company to say the least.

Did that put more pressure on them? – Well judging by their next release you would have to say no.

When the single King dropped in March of this year, you could really feel sense the early hype of this band was justified. It undoubtedly has that feel of a new-age electronic anthem to it.

The album has a pleasant feel-good factor to it. The happy electronica feels from the tracks previously mentioned, predominantly fill the release with thoughts harking back to acts of years past. One immediately sprang to mind, was the Scissor Sisters- now what happened to them?

The trio dips their feet into slow tempo tracks with 1977, Without and Memo with mixed results. It is still a work in progress, but they have plenty of time to hone their craft in this regard.

After hearing many of these tracks before the official album release, the album doesn’t really offer any major surprises and that is the way with music these days, mostly thanks to the popularity of music services like Spotify and Soundcloud- most of the tunes are released before the album hence negating the surprise factor of years past.

That debate is one to have for another day the verdict on Communion is a very promising beginning, and there is little doubt that they will improve from here.