The Chemical Brothers: No Geography review – Back to Planet Dust

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons celebrate 30 years as dance pioneers by going back to basics

No Geography
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Artist: The Chemical Brothers
Genre: Dance
Label: Virgin EMI

They have never been short of guest collaborators throughout their lengthy career – most recently on 2015's Born in the Echoes, which saw everyone from Beck to St Vincent provide vocals – but Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons celebrate their 30th year as a pioneering dance duo by going back to basics.

Just two little-known artists – Norwegian singer Aurora and Japanese rapper Nene – contribute to their ninth album, the former softening the sharp edges of the dreamy The Universe Sent Me and providing a sultry breathiness on closer Catch Me I’m Falling.

Elsewhere the likes of the pulsating repetitiveness of Bango, the shifting rhythms of the experimental Gravity Drops and the ravey Mad as Hell are more in line with the acid house intonations of their 1995 debut, Exit Planet Dust.

We’ve Got to Try’s sampling of 1973 soul group The Halleluiah Chorus is both sympathetic and innovative, while the infectious Free Yourself plays to the pair’s strengths with its good old-fashioned build-up and dramatic beat-drop.


It’s not quite their most memorable work, but there’s just enough here to sate fans and entice the apathetic on to the dancefloor.

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. She writes about music and the arts for The Irish Times