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The Chemical Brothers | No Geography

Tom Rowlands & Ed Simons return with another batch of those block-rocking beats.

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Nero fiddled while Rome burned. The Chemical Brothers are knobtwiddling while the world implodes. And what the hell, why not? After all, it’s not like anybody expects Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons to save us from ourselves. So we might as well just let them do what they’re actually good at — and what they’ve been doing for nigh on three decades: Dishing up block-rocking beats for your next (and perhaps last) rave. Truth be told, however, they haven’t done it with this much focus and gusto in some time: No Geography marks a long-overdue return to the classic form of electronica first-wave classics like Exit Planet Dust and Dig Your Own Hole. The beats are big and bouncy, full and funky. The grooves are waist-deep, relentless and overpowering. The synths buzz and bleep, pulse and percolate, growl and grind. The arrangements are vibrant, varied and unpredictable, avoiding the cliche buildups and bassdrops of contemporary EDM pandering. The dialogue samples are weird and colourful. And the vocals — mostly contributed by Norwegian singer Aurora — elevate the proceedings with melody and hooks without impeding the hypnotically unfurling tracks that are the stars of the party. And make no mistake; despite song titles like Eve of Destruction, Got to Keep On, We’ve Got to Try, Free Yourself and Catch Me I’m Falling, this 46:46 disc is a non-stop rager, with tracks that seamlessly segue into each other like a great dance mix should. See you in the dance tent.