Release Date: 09.22.98
Record label: freestyle dut / astralwerks
Brothers Gonna Mix It Up
by: bill aicher
I hate categorization, don't you? I always run into problems when I write my reviews when I reach the part of deciding what category I want to put the CD under. Is Rage Against the Machine rock, rap, metal, or alternative? Things like this bother me, and I feel bad when I put things in the wrong category. What I am getting to is this - don't kill me for putting the new Chemical Brothers under electronica.
Brother's Gonna Work it Out is not new original material from the Chemical Brothers. Instead, it is a DJ Mixtape. This is their first DJ album, and the first album on their new label Freestyle Dust. It marks a step in a different direction for the Brothers, straying from their earlier works. The CD is a straight mix of music from various genres and time periods. (The title of the CD is taken from a song sampled on the first track - "Brother's Gonna Work it Out" by Willie Hutch, 1973). Like the Beastie Boys, they have a wide range of musical tastes and influences, all of which are included in the mix. "These are tunes that Tom and Ed will probably never stop playing and an album that we'll be pulling out in ten years time." - liner notes.
With the departure from their usual big beats, and funky flavor, the Brothers are leading the world into yet another musical area. While DJ's have been popular in the underground, this is one of the first major releases of a mixtape. (The only other big name I can bring to mind is Mixmaster Mike - who received the majority of his popularity through the Beastie Boys). While there may be plenty of people to follow suit in releases like this, the Brothers are going to be remembered as pioneers in the popularization of the art of mixing. This is one of the best mixes I have ever heard - due to the seamless changes of beat and song, as well as the wide selection of material included.