At some point during the recording of No Geography, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons pushed the reset button. It began with the construction of a studio within a studio - a tiny makeshift room that housed the kind of kit they’d previously used to record the bulk of their first two albums; equipment that had sat gathering (freestyle) dust in Tom’s attic for the last twenty years. That experimental space offered a freedom and the chance to create music and tell their own story in a way they hadn’t done for years.
Wherever possible, things were done differently. Randomness and jagged edges were encouraged and songs were built around vocal samples; voices were wound tightly into music that Tom and Ed found themselves following wherever it led them. Snatches of dialogue from the late ‘60s experimental Dial-A-Poem project were chosen that reflected the mood in the studio. Songs were road tested in front of audiences as part of the 2018 live set (which took in two shows at Alexandra Palace - the band’s biggest UK headline shows to date) and honed in regular DJ sets the world over.
The resulting album is an extraordinary musical liberation; a record that stands alongside the duo’s classic debut Exit Planet Dust and the rabbit-hole psychedelia of 2010’s Further - The Chemical Brothers albums that respectively wrote the rules and then reimagined them entirely. Hurtling from righteous rage to wide-eyed wonder, from half-speed acid to jacking house and dreamy analogue noise, it’s nothing less than a route map to the future.
No Geography features the previously released tracks “Free Yourself” and “MAH” (“a short & bloody ride into our modern media psychosis”, The Guardian), as well as the latest single, “Got To Keep On”. Several of the tracks on No Geography feature vocals by Norwegian singer/songwriter Aurora who wrote and recorded parts in the band’s studio in close collaboration with The Chemical Brothers. Japanese rapper Nene features on “Eve of Destruction”.
No Geography is the follow up to 2015’s Grammy nominated album Born In The Echoes (their sixth consecutive UK No. 1 album).