Saturday, August 28, 2010

90s Jams #85: The Chemical Brothers "Setting Sun" (1996)

"Setting Sun" was the Chemical Brothers' and Noel Gallagher's attempt to summon, for contemporary audiences, the intense pop supernova created by the Beatles on their 1966 stunner "Tomorrow Never Knows." Astonishingly they almost succeed, thanks not to Gallagher's whiny vocals but to the Chemicals' blazing production. Instead of the dense musique concrète of backmasked guitar and sitar, "Setting Sun" features rave sirens and head-splitting samples of Gallagher's guitar; instead of the dense rhythm section of Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, we get a bedrock of insistent, pummeling breakbeats. Gallagher's vocal is a bit forced but mostly true to the screaming production. Easily one of the more extreme singles to ever reach the British charts, "Setting Sun" hit number one in 1998, thanks in part to the quickly peaking phenomena of Brit-pop and big-beat techno. - Allmusic

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