Deriving their name from the tittle of 1993’s “Chemical Beats,” a single which helped establish their sound, the acclaimed Manchester UK-based electronic duo The Chemical Brothers — Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons — can trace their origins back to 1989, when they initially formed as The Dust Brothers. And although they were forced to change their name `in 1995, when they discovered that another act existed with the same name, the Manchester-based electronic duo are considered pioneers of big beat electronica, along with The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim and The Crystal Method.
The British duo’s debut, 1995’s Exit Planet Dust, which features the aforementioned “Chemical Beats” went on to sell over a million copies globally. They caught the attention of Virgin Records, who signed the act and released their sophomore album, Dig Your Own Hole, which topped the UK charts. In their native England, the duo have six #1 albums, 13 Top 20 singles — and two #1 hits.
Here in the States, the duo have won six Grammy Awards including Best Rock Instrumental Performance, Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronic Album of the Year, which they’ve won three times in the category’s Grammy history, including as recently as 2020.
With the forced hiatus in touring, the acclaimed Manchester- based duo have managed to remain busy: they have their own Sonos Radio HD station Radio Chemical. The station features some mixtapes that the pair have expertly and loving curated, including their latest “Early Rap and Beyond Mix.” (The mix is available both on Sonos Radio and Mixcloud, which allows anyone to listen to it.)
“In this ‘Early Rap and Beyond” mix we celebrate the moments disco met rap. All mixed from the original 12” records we take you all around the 5 boroughs whilst also finding the space to throw down some other essential b boy curveballs,” the duo explain.
Featuring some deep crate digging obscurities for even the most ardent hip-hop head, like Super 3’s “When You’re Standing on Top of the World,” Pied Piper of Funkingham’s “Clap Song,” Sweaty G’s “We Want to Get Down” and a lengthy list of others (which you can see below), the mix captures a unique moment in the beloved genre’s history: it’s pioneering first decade or so, when it was brand new, and still centered around local block parties. And as a result, each song is a dance floor banger, built around the big breakbeats meant to get the b-boys and b-girls off the wall, and popping and locking.
Super 3 – “When You’re Standing on Top of the World”
Count Coolout- “Here to Stay” (Instrumental)
Sugar Baby Weet – “Ah Bam Bam Just Jam”
Fantasy 3 – “It’s Your Rock”
TJ Swann – “Get Fly”
Jackson 2 – “Oh Yeah”
2001 Kazoos “Mr. Magic”
Harlem World Crew -“Let’s Rock”
TJ Swann – “Maximus Party”
Sweaty G – “We Want To Get Down”
Grandmaster Chilly T- “Rock The Message Rap”
Time Zone – “Wild Style”
The Chemical Brothers – “Go”
The Last Poets – “Mean Machine Chant”
Can – “Vitamin C”
Take Two – “The People’s Message”
Pied Piper of Funkingham – “Clap Song”
Xanadu – “Sure Shot”
Stack – “Win Jesse Win”
Troy Rainey “Trouble Tee Rap”