Out today in the US is the new release from The Chemical Brothers, ‘Further.’ From what I’ve heard so far, expect a full-bodied, raucous record of sounds, neither particularly retro nor modern. I’m withholding judgment on how successful the direction is until I spend some quality time with it. I find it interesting that the press materials suggest the result should sound a bit like a live set – and I likewise look forward to seeing the act live when they come to New York in early September.

What’s also interesting about this release is that it’s an audiovisual album. Each track comes accompanied by a film, as previewed above. It’s not a new idea, but it’s one that main gain more traction now than ever before, thanks to mobile players capable of playing both kinds of content. I’m a little disappointed that a lot of the language of the visuals is familiar, from textured dancing silhouettes to flocks of birds. But given the range, it seems likely at least one or two gems might emerge, and I love the fact that they’re giving audiovisual records a go. The visual work is by director Adam Smith, aka Flat Nose George, whose credits include visuals for this season’s Doctor Who, Chemical Brothers’ own “Galvanize,” and Lady Sovereign.

iTunes buyers in North America get a “pass” of content that includes the audiovisual download and some extra tracks. But physical media buyers aren’t left out: the deluxe edition appears to have the most content, including a ‘making of’ video. Full details:

http://www.thechemicalbrothers.com/further/

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    listened to it last week, didn't like it tho. nothing to do with CB's past output. not very danceable, nor experimental enough. still trying to figure out what the intention was. and the visuals are really lame.

  • dyscode

    funny,

    I might feel the opposite for exactly the same reasons. :D

    Listen to it 'accidentally' when they played it as BGM in some electronic consumer mart.

    I was blown!

  • http://myspace.com/kiddiekhem Lazlo

    The scene with the green binary man reminded me of washed out. Im soooo psyched about this album!

  • netch

    ohhh Rutt-Etra style, the "green man" !

    rehash visuals

    pffff

  • http://cooptrol.com cooptrol

    sadly, all electronica main acts of the 90s are incompatible with today's musical aesthetics. orbital wisely disbanded, underworld went into oblivion (with bells), the prodigy put out a decent album doing what they do best, nothing more. the chemical brothers should choose either of these ways really…

  • ideletemyself

    @cooptrol

    Why should any act consciously try to appeal to "modern aesthetics" unless that's the very thing they're trying to do, appeal to the masses?

    If everyone did that then by my estimation everyone would sound EXACTLY the same or some lame variation therein. Which, btw, is what most acts try to do anyways.

    Let people put out what they want to put out and if you like it great, if not well then that's cool too. Telling people they have to choose a sound just to appeal to people who are fickle as fuck is not the right way to go.

  • morgaen

    @cooptrol

    Just out of curiosity, define "incompatible with today’s musical aesthetics".

    I can't remember the Chemical Brothers doing anything interesting, ever.

    I have to add that I am an unashamed Autechre fanboi. While they might not be "compatible", they are doing something new. Better than basing a whole genre on a 4 bar drum solo :)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, I guess one argument could be whether there's a place in today's market for musical acts from the 90s. I don't think that's an unreasonable question to ask.

    I have a difficult time commenting on musical aesthetics in that sense, though; I tend to respond more personally. What I will say is, visuals today face some really tough competition. It seems to me that going with a different visual choice for each different track, with no common aesthetic element, is taking a big risk. It means you would have to really wow people with every single track. I would rather have seen them do something consistent through the whole album. Then, instead of facing whether it's "new" or not, you could say, okay, here's the message of this particular album. From what I can see on this preview, it'll be tough to tell.

    So perhaps the same test is true of the sound?

  • Tom

    'Interesting' work has moved on from this level – in commercial music Orbital did this kind of album on DVD in 2001 and the many other artists you feature are exploring realms that assume audio/video to be a baseline rather than an achievement.

    You could even drag out music CD-ROMs from the mid 90's by Peter Gabriel and The Residents. I know I do.

    If you like the Chemical Brothers then that's cool. In my taste the 90's were a wasteland :-)

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    @Tom: yeah, absolutely … but then, why aren't there more a/v releases, I wonder? Here, they've got iTunes doing it. How difficult is that delivery format if you're, say, an indie artist? And what would Beatportal, Dancetracks, and other stores have to do to support video?

    So, yes, I guess the questions aren't so much about Chemical Brothers than these other outlets, generally.

  • armando

    personally I think this is some of the greatest stuff I've heard since surrender. Think music needs to keep evolving, not coming around full circle. absolutely cannot stop listening to the album. Nice post man. Jazzmutant site thought wtf?!? Error messages left and right for me *ends post derailment*

  • ilia bis

    heard the whole thing from start to finish at brooklyn bowl; the visuals were decent, sometimes merely adequate, but I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed the music. probably the first CB record that connects emotionally for whatever reason.

  • http://www.lazytrap.com Aaron

    I like the sounds but the Chems haven't moved me like they did on Exit Planet Dust and the multiple eps from that era and earlier. Starting with Dig your own hole their target was understandably (given all the PR and BS marketing that went on from major labels and "electronica" back then) a more commercial listener base.. I still appreciate them though, Surrender was a indeed a good record.

    As for any electronic music fan that thinks the 90s was a 'wasteland'.. thats just completely bizarre and absurd.

  • http://www.lazytrap.com Aaron

    btw… they've always had excellent videos, even though I havent bought their latest works I always look out for the videos..

  • typodaemon

    Surrender has been my long time favorite Chem Bros album. I've given their new one a quick listen and I really like it (much more than their last album, "We Are the Night").

    It's hard for me to say that an A/V album is any better than just an album. The Bros. have had strong music videos for a long time, but music videos have always been a promotional thing. If the music can't stand on its own then it'll be forgotten as soon as the video is (2 or 3 watches for even the best videos? then look it up again when sometime next year). If I fall in love with a track it's because of the music. If it has a nice video to go with it, then that's a nice bonus.

    Also, none of these feel like full music video material — they feel like snippets they would use as part of their live visuals. Live visuals are great, but taking them down to a 3 inch screen takes out a lot of their impact. Again, I'm not sure if it's really worth it.

  • kobe

    i miss Surrender.

  • dubremix

    what do you mean went out with the 90s? what exactly is this new sound that replaces the old? are you talking about all the posers singing in trax now? I've been super unimpressed with the latest batch of "artists" because they seem to simply be repeating the 90s. there's not a lot of innovation right now, if you know of someone amazing please post, because vie gotten really despart to find some fresh intelligent electronica.

    one thing that really posses me off is the "electronic" genre on iTunes, what the hell is that? most of the time the stuff they promote I'd call pop, with a dash of synth.

    one more bit of a riff on this. think of the change in music between 1970 and 1990, pretty vast, now imagine the changes from 1990 through 2010, it's not nearly as dramatic?

    people act like lady gaga is something new and fresh. she's really just 70% Dale from Missing Persons and 30% Madonna. I won't even mention how hip hop is the most repeated genre of all time.

    please anyone is thet anything truly fresh and new?

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