The Chemical Brothers
"Loops of Fury" CD EP (Astralwerks)
Slammin' groove music with a heavy beat and enough bite on it to take your head off more swiftly and with a more precise cut than a katana from feudal Japan. It's wicked dance music, all electronically generated noise, samples and programming. "(The Best Part Of) Breaking Up" especially rules with its cold, cruel, soulless introduction which sounds like a transistorized robot talking through a vocoder while running a band saw. Utterly phenomenal effort and even though it may not restructure dance music as we know it, it's still light years ahead of the current crop of unimaginative beatmasters, sequencing and synthesizing beats for no purpose other than moving people's asses. While that may be the most fundamental level dance music should operate on, the Chemical Brothers have identified a new plane on which it can exist, on which dance music is more than moving your mind or your ass. This, pure and simple, is a kinetic record which is about motion.
"Setting Sun" CD EP / "Dig Your Own Hole" CD (Astralwerks)
This would have been damn near perfect in "Trainspotting." As for "Dig Your Own Hole," it sounds much like "Exit Planet Dust" did; same stomping beats, same air raid buzzing. Unfortunately, this renders it virtually indistinguishable from "Dust," which was a vastly superior album.