It appears the Chems have come over all experimental on “Further”, their 7th studio album. Firstly the eight tracks presented all come with a track of visuals from regular visual collaborators Adam Smith and Marcus Lyal. Secondly, the tracks feature no Manchester-based rock star vocals, being mainly instrumental in nature, as in the old Dust Brothers days. Depending on where you are also, iTunes has special tracks for those who do the download thing.
Onto the album - “Snow” isn't the type of track you would associate with the Chemicals of old – oh no, this is a different beast entirely. At first I thought I was actually listening to a scrambled copy of the album. A choir boy-like vocal sang over looping static noises - very unexpected. “Escape Velocity” starts to veer towards more recognisable territory, but takes its time to get there – the track is over eleven minutes long.
There seems to be a much more mature style at work on this album. The overriding sense is of dreamy, synthetic noises, combined with natural almost angelic voices over them.
“Horse Power” is probably the most typical Chemical Brothers track here, though samples of wild horses are probably something nobody predicted ever hearing on a dance track. I have to say “Swoon” sounds vaguely 808 State-like to me; not a negative but not too original either – a minor criticism to an otherwise flawless album. “Wonders of the Deep” round things off; the former sounding like a 'Who' album outtake.
So, an album that just keeps getting better and better as you progress through the tracks, from a duo who seemingly keeps getting better and better as time progresses.