The Brothers Can't Be Beat

Most U.K. Big Beat music is inspired by '85 to '88-era hip-hop, with its big-as-buildings breakbeats.

This various-artists mix album doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Is

Chemical Reaction a compilation of Chemical Brothers remixes? Or is

it simply a Big Beat collection -- Big Beat being the underground dance

genre associated with the Chemical Brothers?

Of the 11 tracks, six are Chemical Brothers remixes of Deeper Throat,

Sabres of Paradise, Primal Scream, St. Etienne, Leftfield and Swordfish.

The other tracks include a Monkey Mafia remix and other, un-remixed Big Beat

stars such as Dirty Beatniks.

You see, the great thing about Big Beat, and Chemical Brothers remixes in

general, is that they can and usually do mean different things to different

people. For some ecstasy-fried raver, the Sabres of Paradise track, "Tow

Truck," might evoke a transcendent, hypnotic state of techno-induced nirvana.

The rock dude or chick could easily dig that song because its beat is as

hard as John Bonham could ever play for Led Zeppelin. And the hip-hop head

is also just as likely to get down to the Sabres of Paradise song, because

most U.K. Big Beat music is inspired by '85 to '88-era hip-hop, with its

big-as-buildings breakbeats.

The Chemical Brothers' remix of Primal Scream's "Jailbird" kicks it even

harder than the original, and they do the same to St. Etienne's "Like a

Motorway." Their remix of "The Get On" by Swordfish is equally great, with

its rolling bassline and layers of electronic bleeps and blips.

Bottom line: just hit play and dance.