Tuesday, December 06, 2011

90's Hit Parade #10

Chemical Brothers w/Noel Gallagher - Setting Sun

Yeah, right around 1996. That was when I started to feel old. That's when this new music that I couldn't quite understand started taking over. And the thing about techno, or "electronica" (nobody really uses that term anymore, it's like "Japanimation") or whatever, was that it mostly seemed to be absent of songs. It was just about beats. So Chemical Brothers' "Setting Sun" was like the song that people like me needed at just that moment. It's not just a fully formed song, it's a fucking GREAT song. It makes you dizzy. It overwhelms your head. It reminds me of the one time I tried that drug, Rush, the shit in the little bottle that you sniff to get a head rush, which I didn't like, but I do like this. And it's a good song, with melody provided by Noel Gallagher of Oasis (a band I don't much care for, but he brings pretty much what a techno band lacks to the song).

Somehow, "Setting Sun" has everything great about a rock record--screaming "guitars" (even though they're not really guitars), lyrics about the devil, and of course that beat from "Tomorrow Never Knows"--but still feels like a techno record, with the crashing beat and the busy sense of chaos, the excitement of being at a rave. I suppose the evil twin of the Chemical Brothers is The Prodigy, who also combine aspects of techno, rock and hip hop, but who somehow come off as obnoxious and clumsy. Chemical Bros., at their best, get everything right that Prodigy get wrong.


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