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The Chemical Brothers: ‘When we used to go to raves, we felt a real sense of belonging’

The Chems have recounted their early experiences of raving in a new interview...

The Chemical Brothers have opened up about their early experiences of raving and the “sense of community” in the ‘90s rave scene.

The duo were speaking in a new interview about their forthcoming album, ‘No Geography’, which was released earlier this month (April).

“I feel like movement and being together is something that is declining,” The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons told The Guardian. “For me, growing up, dance music was a way to socialise. It’s how I found Tom, it’s how I found a lot of friends, a sense of community. It was about creating something that brings people out, that brings people together. Loneliness is difficult, it’s a real struggle for people now. When I used to go to raves, I felt a real sense of belonging, dancing on a stage with people I would never see in my day-to-day life. People can be dismissive of all that, but it’s really liberating.”

The Chemical Brothers made ‘No Geography’ on much of the equipment they made their seminal 1995 album 'Exit Planet Dust' with.

“It wasn’t a plan – ‘We’re only going to do this with old-fashioned things’,” The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowland told The Guardian. “It was just fun to be in that 94-era machine area – where the restrictions are liberating. A lot of our records are made by shunting things together, which meant something interesting came out of it. Now technology means you can practically make anything fit with anything. Whereas then, it would be more like you get a weird place in the middle where two or three things are meeting. They’re not quite in right, they’re not quite in tune, but the sound they’re making is more interesting than something pristine. It’s so easy to make a good record that sounds like another record now.”

In March, The Chemical Brothers were locked to perform at Glastonbury, alongside Stormzy, Hot Chip and Jon Hopkins and many more. The duo also shared behind the scenes footage from their 'We’ve Got To Try’ video last week.

You can read our review of 'No Geography' and then reflect on the impact of their classic LP, 'Dig Your Own Hole'.