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The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers are a Grammy Award winning band from England that make electronic dance music. The band is a duo comprised of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, occasionally referred to by the nicknames Chemical Tom and Chemical Ed. Originally the band had called themselves The Dust Brothers but after gaining some popularity, were forced to change their name after a noted band from the US with the same name threatened to sue. The band renamed themselves the Chemical Brothers in 1995 and was one of the pioneers of the electronic dance music genre along with popular bands such as The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Crystal Method.
Ed Simons was born in 1970 in Herne Hill, South London. His mother was a barrister and his father was absent during most of his childhood. Growing up, Ed's two main interests were aeroplanes and musicals. Simons was schooled in South London and attended two private schools; Alleyn's School and Dulwich College. Here he completed 11 O levels and 3 A levels. During his early teenage he also developed a fondness for rare groove and Hip hop music, having frequented a club called The Mud Club at age 14. He was particularly fond of two Manchester bands New Order and The Smiths. After school Ed went on to study Medieval History at the University of Manchester.
Naked Under Leather
In 1992, Simons and Rowlands started to DJ at a club called Naked Under Leather, at the back of a pub. Their DJ name was The 237 Turbo Nutters named after the number of their house on Dickenson Road in Manchester and a reference to their Blackburn raving days. Here Rowlands and Simmons played hip hop, techno and house music.
The Dust Brothers
Soon after starting their DJing stint at the club, Rowlands and Simons began to call themselves The Dust Brothers, a name they took from a noted US production duo famous for their work with the Beastie Boys. When the two started to run out of suitable instrumental hip hop tracks to use in their mixing, they started to make their own using a Hitachi hi-fi system, a computer, a sampler and a keyboard. The duo recorded the tracks Song To The Siren, which sampled Meat Beat Manifesto. Song To The Siren was released on their own record label, called Diamond Records and in October 1992, they pressed 500 white-label copies.
The Chemical Brothers
Having gained considerable success and recognition for their music, The Dust Brothers began their first international tour in the United States and Europe, where they played alongside bands such as Orbital and Underworld. It was around this time that the original Dust Brothers threatened legal action over the use of their name, and so Rowlands and Simons quickly came up with a new name The Chemical Brothers after Chemical Beats.
The Album 'Dig Your Own Hole'
The Chemical Brothers released their second album in April 1997, titled Dig Your Own Hole. It was recorded at the band's own South London studio and the title was taken from graffiti written on the wall outside. The album was a success and was rated 10/10 by Mixmag, who also gave it the title of album of the month' and described it as mad enough to be thrilling, slick enough for not even remotely coffee tables.
In 1998, the Chemical Brothers concentrated more on DJ gigs rather than making new music. However, a few remixes that were released that year were I Think Im In Love from Spiritualized. The single included both a vocal and an instrumental version of the remix with each track at about seven and a half minutes long. Another remix released by the duo was Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp from Mercury Rev. Mercury Rev and The Chemical Brothers had collaborated before when Mercury Rev's Jonathon Donahue contributed to the track The Private Psychedelic Reel on the album Dig Your Own Hole.
Ten years of The Chemical Brothers
In late 2002 and early 2003, The Chemical Brothers went back to their studio to work on new material including The Golden Path. This was a collaboration with artist Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of The Flaming Lips. The track was released in September 2003 alongside a Best of album entitled Singles 93-03, which marked ten years of the Chemical Brothers releases. The album featured most of the duo's singles including two new tracks The Golden Path and Get Yourself High. Singles 93-03 was also released on DVD, with extra features such as selected live performances and interviews with Rowlands, Simons and many of their collaborators throughout the last decade. The track Get Yourself High, featuring Canadian rapper K-Os on vocals, was also released as a single later that year in November.