Top Tracks: Chemical Brothers

After the birth of acid-house and once the ravers had returned from the fields and began venturing to the superclubs, Manchester needed an alternate underground beat. That new way to move your body came in Bugged Out! in 1994, born in the then industrial warehouses of the UK’s northern capital by a few Detroit techno obsessives and a loyal crowd. Over 23 years later and after more than a few ups and downs, Bugged Out! remains one of the UK’s greatest clubbing exports, famously hosting everyone from Daft Punk and Justice to TNGHT and Juan Atkins throughout its illustrious lifetime.

The relationship between Bugged Out! and The Chemical Brothers goes way back, back to the days when the pivotal UK duo were known as The Dust Brothers and headlined small capacity basements in ‘90s Manchester. Perhaps, the Bugged Out! team know more about the Chems than the duo themselves, so as Bugged Out! take the reins at In:Motion on Friday 1st December with The Chemical Brothers, Erol Alkan, Nathan Detroit and the long-standing Bugged Out! resident Lemmy Ashton, Lemmy delves into the dance music giants extensive back catalogue and fuels his fandom with his top five Chemical (Brothers) Beats.

Chemical Beats

This twisted, gnarly broken beat acid flecked track was birthed by a duo known as the Dust Brothers in the early ‘90s, before some NYC production duo came to spoil the party. This is one of the later tracks of The Chems I’ve been introduced to but is undoubtedly one of my favourites. Sampling The Beatles, extra cowbells and a twisted 303 are just the tip of what makes this track great. Also, keep eyes out on discogs for the extended version with the “Take This Brother” intro.


Galvanize came out while I was navigating the minefield of early teenage life, and the video was an MTV2 staple of which I was a dedicated follower. It was the first time I remember liking a ‘band’ but having no idea what they looked like, and with the dial up internet I had out in the sticks, I wasn’t any closer to finding out either. Q-Tip on form, incredible sampling and an iconic video are the three pillars to a great Chems track, which this delivers in spades.

Star Guitar

Star Guitar is another track I came to more recently than others, the phaser on this track is unbelievable. To me this is one of the all time classic Chems tracks. My boss Johnno Burgess goes misty eyed when talking about it, talking long about the fabled Glint room residency at Bugged Out in Heaven, a 500-capacity side room where this track became folklore.

Electronic Battle Weapon 8 / Saturate

2006/7 marked the start of when I really began to get into electronic music and this track couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d see references to Electronic Battle weapons on music blogs before but this was just something else, it exploded onto every outlet I followed. This huge, live drum filled chest rattler just made me want to move to London and go to any club that would let me in, all six minutes and thirty one seconds of it. Seeing them play it during one of their superb Bugged Out! Weekender sets was glorious, the smoke machine working overtime and the biggest lazer I’d ever seen threatening to tear a seaside Butlins apart.


We’ve been lucky to put on a few Chemical Brothers’ shows in our time, but the one in late 2014 at Area (London) was a special one for us as we were treated to some demos of what would end up on their last album ‘Born In The Echoes’. Whilst keeping a watchful eye over the proceedings, I heard a smattering of live drums and guitars coming through the smoke, followed by the unmistakeable sounds of Q-Tip. A Michel Gondry video to follow and we had ourselves another Chemical Brothers classic.