Previewing new music during DJ sets was an integral aspect of shaping the Chemical Brothers' upcoming album, "We Are the Night," according to group member Tom Rowlands. As previously reported, the set
Previewing new music during DJ sets was an integral aspect of shaping the Chemical Brothers' upcoming album, "We Are the Night," according to group member Tom Rowlands. As previously reported, the set is due June 19 via Astralwerks and is led by first single "Do It Again." Audion and Oliver Huntemann have already finished remixes of the cut.
"The way we DJ, there's always space for experimenting," Rowlands tells Billboard.com. "That hopefully makes it fun for people to come hear us. And, we can be working on something in the studio and very quickly get a reaction and see how it relates to the real world. Also, how does it make you feel when you put on your record? If you're playing a set with other people's records and you're totally killing it, but you put on one of your records and the feeling ebbs away, you know there's something wrong."
Rowlands points to the title cut, "Saturate" and "Burst Generator" as the kind of classic electronica Chemical Brothers fans have come to love. "There will always be a place on our album for music we can play in dark, sweaty places," he says. But there are also a number of vocal collaborations, with artists like the Klaxons, Willy Mason and Midlake.
"I think he sounds like Johnny Cash produced by Dr. Dre instead of Rick Rubin," Rowlands says of Mason's contribution to "Battle Scars." "That was our mindset but I don't know if we quite achieved that." The Klaxons track, "All Rights Reversed," was written during a single night in the studio. "Everybody is focusing on their music, but I was really taken by the weird concepts, which reminded me of Pink Floyd or something," Rowlands says of the up-and-coming band. "It's good, psychedelic British music."
But one new song Rowlands admits is dividing listeners is "The Salmon Dance" featuring Fatlip, which one of the more offbeat tracks ever to appear on a Chemical Brothers record. "We knew the groove had this strange, weird quality to it; like psychedelic hip-hop," he says. "We thought it could really work with a rap, but we had to find someone who could do it justice in the strangeness department. Fatlip was somebody that immediately sprang to mind."
The group conveyed some suggestions about the lyrics to Fatlip ("We were thinking about how you can float downstream and escape the drudgery of life," Rowlands says) but got a little something different. "It came back and it was all about ... salmon," Rowlands laughs. "But when we first heard it we thought it was brilliant. It's good to find new ways of doing things."
Look for the Chemical Brothers to tour North America in late summer or early fall. The duo will spend the summer performing at festivals in Europe and Japan.