So, 17 years later, they’re still here, the Rolling Stones of dance – a tag with all the same associations of cred-yo-yo-ing, borderline ridiculousness and begrudging likeability.
And having long ago abandoned breakbeat thrills, The Chemical Brothers are now producing epic, fine-tuned songs like Swoon.
Swoon sounds remarkably like Orbital’s Lush 3.1. This is almost certainly deliberate, and frankly, is to be applauded – and yet it’s also their undoing. Listen to the two back-to-back – and, emerging from a nagging, submerged state, the flaw in the Chem’s shtick becomes apparent. There’s no – yikes! – soul.
Orbital’s music seems so much more human, organic, pliable. Compared to Lush – and, remember, it wants to be – Swoon is robotic, clinical. A floor-filler for car production lines.
Claiming a band has ‘soul’ leaves me feeling a little icky, and yet I’m about to apply that assessment to a second band in as many minutes. Urgh. But listen, and you’ll here it in Wild Nothing‘s gorgeous Cloudbusting, pulsing, alive, awake:
Te softer-than-snow sound: now that’s Lush, too, in every sense. Layered, creamy, sweet and light – this song is the the perfect pudding. You’d lick the bowl clean.
If this is dream-pop, then I envy the man whose dreams are all as beautiful as this. Gorgeous.
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