100 Best Albums of the Nineties

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

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The Chemical Brothers, 'Dig Your Own Hole'

72. The Chemical Brothers, 'Dig Your Own Hole'

In "Block Rockin' Beats" — the bulldozing fusion of high-stepping funk, twisted dub games and massed, tortured-machine screams that opened their second album — Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons of the Chemical Brothers created the "Whole Lotta Love" of Nineties sampledelia, a clubland monster with rock & roll guts and symphonic dynamics. On the rest of Dig Your Own Hole, particularly the Beatlemaniac swirl of "Setting Sun" and the Day-Glo surge of "The Private Psychedelic Reel," the British DJ duo showed that (a) playing other people's records — sliced, diced and blown to ingeniously reconfigured bits — is a valid form of composition, and (b) dance music is a matter of both mind and body.

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