The Chemical Brothers have announced details of a 25th anniversary reissue of their visionary breakthrough second album, Dig Your Own Hole, which was recorded and road tested in the underground. On its release on April 7, 1997, the duo’s second album immediately redrew the boundaries of the mainstream.
What had been created as a relentless, rapturous soundtrack to basements and backrooms entered the UK album charts at No 1 on the back of two No 1 singles (“Setting Sun” and “Block Rockin’ Beats”), and the US Billboard charts at No 14. The first British electronic record to crack the US rock charts, it would go on to sell half a million copies in the States in six months.
Dig Your Own Hole always was, and always will be, a total trip. Painstakingly constructed like a mixtape, Dig… is an hour spent travelling through a kaleidoscopic tunnel; a tumble into a rabbit hole, destination unknown and light source not always visible. Once on the journey, gear changes shift the music’s speed without warning; bass and drums lock into a metronomic union, vocal samples fly in and out of the darkness. And it all builds, and builds, towards a giant, deeply psychedelic crescendo, a chaos cascade of woodwind and distorted noise.
There are myriad voices and musical contributors woven into the sonic fabric of the record – Oasis’ Noel Gallagher on “Setting Sun”, regular guest Beth Orton on “Where Do I Begin”, fellow astral travelers Mercury Rev on “The Private Psychedelic Reel”, samples of rapper Schooly D and DJ Kool Herc, liquid bass from Segs and Ali Friend – yet each individual melds into the artistic greater good. No one reroutes the Chemical Brothers’ distinctive direction of travel. How could one even begin to try to?
The 25th Anniversary edition of Dig Your Own Hole features five previously unreleased tracks and alternate versions from the recording sessions. The first of these – a frenetic demo version of “Elektrobank” – is digitally everywhere today; the other four tracks (previously unreleased recordings “Cylinders” and “I Love Tekno” and alternate mixes of “It Doesn’t Matter” and “Where Do I Begin”) will follow in the coming weeks.
Dig Your Own Hole will be available as a brand new three 12” vinyl edition featuring the original album and the five unreleased tracks. The vinyl edition will be limited, with each copy uniquely numbered up to 1,997. The album will also be available as a CD with the 5 new tracks.