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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Dig Your Own Hole

The Chemical Brothers

1997

Buy At Rough Trade
Dig Your Own Hole
Album Summary

Dig Your Own Hole is the second studio album by English electronic music duo the Chemical Brothers. It was released on 7 April 1997 in the United Kingdom by Freestyle Dust and Virgin Records and in the United States by Astralwerks. The album was recorded between 1995 and 1997, and features Noel Gallagher of Oasis and Beth Orton as guest vocalists. The album became the duo's first to peak at number one in the UK, achieving this peak in April 1997. Five singles were released from the album, two of which reached number one in the UK: "Setting Sun", "Where Do I Begin", "Block Rockin' Beats", "Elektrobank", and "The Private Psychedelic Reel". The album has been included in several British magazines' lists of the best albums ever. The success of the album led The Chemical Brothers to be much sought-after remixers, and the duo released a mix album in 1998 titled Brothers Gonna Work It Out.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.12

Votes

12018

Genres

  • Electronica

Reviews

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Sun Jul 18 2021
1

“Dig Your Own Hole” by The Chemical Brothers (1997) Well, here’s an album that forces the serious listener to revisit his or her definition of “recorded music”. And since it is no doubt “recorded”, what is under examination here is one’s understanding of the term “music”. Is this “music”? Well, not in the conventional sense. It is excruciatingly repetitive, mechanical, unrelenting, static, and almost entirely at one tempo (about 120 beats per minute, but who’s counting?). It would be good background sound for a boring workout, or the first ten minutes of the evening’s endeavor to get lucky. And since The Chemical Brothers all but concede that lyrics are irrelevant, one can add meaninglessness to the list of this album’s characteristics. The lyrics to the track “It Doesn’t Matter” pretty well sum it up. But out of an artistic respect for the possibility that this is precisely the point, perhaps one can assess whether The Chemical Brothers are successful at conveying mindless alienation devoid of intelligible content or feeling of any sort. They are not. I know this album peaked at #1 on the UK charts, but maybe that says more about the UK than it does about this album. 1/5

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Sat May 21 2022
5

This took me back to my big drug taking days. What a trip. Every Tuesday afternoon we'd finish training, I'd get showered in the jizz of the entire Chelsea first team and backroom staff, take a load of pills and hit the clubs buzzin' off me tits. Eat my dick, life.

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Fri Oct 23 2020
5

A nailed-on 5 and without any competition the best dance/electronica album ever made.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Who is dis doin' this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin'? Who is dis doin' this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin'? Who is dis doin' this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin'? Who is dis doin' this synthetic type of alpha beta psychedelic funkin'?

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Tue Sep 07 2021
4

I remain on the fence about the whole DJ thing. Which is so dumb, any question of whether remix and mash up are art is very long since settled. Even mentioning it, I sound like some backwards art historian trying to get a discussion going about whether photography belongs in the study of visual arts. Even given my backwards skepticism, this is clearly at the top of the genre and in fact an album I purchased when it came out.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
2

The music was interesting but it was too long, too loud, and too intense. Almost couldn't make it through. 3

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Really liked it. Based on the album's age, I can see that this music set the precedent for other bands such as Beastie Boys.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
5

Fucking love this album. Just great song after great song, with everything being something you can move your feet too. I rarely give an album 5/5 just for being fun, but here we are 5/5

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Tue Feb 22 2022
2

I'm guessing at the right club, with the right lighting, at the right age, with the right drugs, this could be enjoyable. But without that mix, it's beyond annoying. Get off my lawn.

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Wed Jan 06 2021
5

The breakbeat drums are sick, I love how they sound. The grooves are pretty gnarly and scuzzy. Sounds a little like some of the stuff you might hear on a rage album. Explosive, dancey, groovy. The tracks are never stagnant, hardly drag, honestly I really love this

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Taking the swirling eclecticism of their post-techno debut, Exit Planet Dust, to the extreme, the Chemical Brothers blow all stylistic boundaries down with their second album, Dig Your Own Hole. Bigger, bolder, and more adventurous than Exit Planet Dust, Dig Your Own Hole opens with the slamming cacophony of "Block Rockin' Beats," where hip-hop meets hardcore techno, complete with a Schoolly D sample and an elastic bass riff. Everything is going on at once in "Block Rockin' Beats," and it sets the pace for the rest of the record, where songs and styles blur into a continuous kaleidoscope of sound. It rocks hard enough for the pop audience, but it doesn't compromise either the Chemicals' sound or the adventurous, futuristic spirit of electronica -- even "Setting Sun," with its sly homages to the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Noel Gallagher's twisting, catchy melody, doesn't sound like retro psychedelia; it sounds vibrant, unexpected, and utterly contemporary. There are no distinctions between different styles, and the Chemicals sound as if they're having fun, building Dig Your Own Hole from fragments of the past, distorting the rhythms and samples, and pushing it forward with an intoxicating rush of synthesizers, electronics, and layered drum machines. The Chemical Brothers might not push forward into self-consciously arty territories like some of their electronic peers, but they have more style and focus, constructing a blindingly innovative and relentlessly propulsive album that's an exhilarating listen -- one that sounds positively new but utterly inviting at the same time.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

This album was much better than I expected a psychedelic house album to be. Its opening track is well known, and the rest of the album is just as good. There are some low points in the middle of the album, but this is an overall fantastic album. 4.7/5 stars

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Wed Dec 20 2023
5

Where to begin with this one? Another formative album for me, so hard to judge objectively. Probably one of the first electronic records I got into as a teenager. This album, Daft Punk and Justice opened up a whole new world of music for me, even though I missed out on it the first time around (I think I was 6 when this album was released). The way the songs flow into each other is beautiful, even when they get abrasive. I especially love the last two songs, in spite of the weird lawnmower like grinding towards the end of Where Do I Begin and the possibly-too-obvious Beatles influences on The Private Psychedelic Reel.

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Tue May 04 2021
4

A little rave in my pocket. Engaging enough to be entertaining, passive enough to make work go a little smoother today. The year this was released makes me feel like this was a massive influence in the early 00s, I can point out a lot of movies that kept the same gritty hard bass sound. Favorite tracks: "Elektrobank", "It Doesn't Matter"

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Fri Mar 18 2022
4

Hooked me, lost me, hooked me, lost me. Overall charmed by it. Block Rockin Beats was one of my faves as a teen listening to Jock Jams in my room and tossing a football to myself as I made diving catches onto my bed. Never listened to this whole album before, but glad to have now.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
3

Why would they pick this album? It's like their worst one. Not to say there isn't some good tracks on here but there are much better overall albums that this one.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
2

Didn't finish. It didn't sound good but I could see it in some situations, so maybe a low 3

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Tue Aug 10 2021
2

The repetition in some of these songs makes my brain hurt. Setting Sun reminds me of Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles. Some of these songs have grooves that I can get into, but overall it's just not my thing. 2 stars.

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Thu Oct 15 2020
5

Enjoying it as good background work music.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

Fantastic but the intensity is so high its hard to power through the whole album

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Sat Apr 17 2021
5

Another one I wish I had discovered as a kid. Excellent.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Good album for energetic, highly rhythmic break beat style EDM. Puts me in the mood to kick butt.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

Bam! Te gek album! Een van mijn all-time favorites. Zo'n beetje mijn introductie in de meer electronische muziek, en na al die jaren nog altijd een erg sterke plaat.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

One of my favourite records ever

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

Takes you on a journey - builds and builds, crashes out, then you come out of the end on a euphoric note. Brilliant.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Awesome, not my usual genre.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Glad to hear more of the chemical brothers!

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Sat Feb 26 2022
5

Still my favourite electronic album of all time. Kinda wish I got another TCB album to check out because I'm so familiar with this one, but I can take that into my own hands. Incredible production, can't help bopping to this. And Where Do I Begin still gives me chills.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Wow, this is next level electronic music! I enjoyed every second of it, despite the ridiculous loudness (loudness war?) of it. I love the beats and the hooks (is that "Tomorrow Never Knows"? they even nailed the guitar wails in it) and how the album as a whole doesn't sound like a mobile game that involves polygons. I never knew electronica could be this good. What an experience. Another highlight in this 1000+ day project.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

I love this album. It’s got so much going on. Really expressive drum patterns, fabulous melodies, perfect vocalists. And a damn fine groove all the way through.

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

love this album. i remember it at the time and was a fan of the chemical brothers. they made list of good stuff and this was right up there with the best.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

"Block Rockin' Beats" is probably what most people remember from this and that's not without reason, it's the epitome of big beat electronic music. If "Dig Your Own Hole" was just more of that it would still be one of the best of its genre but it is definitely not just more of that. Instead we get a solid dose of Beatlesque psychedelia featuring Noel Gallagher at the height of Oasis-mania on "Setting Sun" and the gorgeous journey that turns into a really bad trip (and one of the best songs of the 90s) "Where Do I Begin" with a stunning vocal by Beth Orton (where has she gone?)

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Just really interesting influential avant-garde electro!

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Fri May 20 2022
5

I don't think this is as strong an album as either Exit Planet Dust or Surrender, but the brothers Chemical sure are good enough to get one of their weaker albums into this list. Saying that - "it doesn't matter" is one of TCB's finest tracks. Bonkers, bassy, interesting enough to keep the ear and visceral enough to carry you off somewhere else. It's going to be five stars, obviously.

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Sat May 21 2022
5

A very big one from my yoof this. A life defining album for me. The first dance album I remember falling absolutely head over heals in love with. It has aged really well too which a hell of a lot of 1990s electronic albums haven't. Private Psychedelic Reel in particular still sounds absolutely humongous played as loud as your speakers can take it. It was a long slippery slope for me, from listening to this as a 13 year old to many, many a lost night spent gurning my chops off in dark, sweaty rooms in my later years. What a fucking slope that was though.

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Sat May 21 2022
5

i don't know why i've never realised it before but the chemical brothers are fucking brilliant. no idea why listening to this album sat at home on my own is the thing that has sparked my epiphany and not the times i've seen them live and countless times i've listened to albums and loved it. This album is 25 years old. madness. i'd be surprised if anything released this year will sound as good in 25 years.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Amazing album. High energy music that is infectious and more catchy than it has any right to be. The experimental production, rap samples, and hooks elevate this above being an ordinary electronica album.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

Actually goated. I need to rave to this

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

I was all about this album back in the day! The Private Psychedelic Reel is one of the best tracks on the album.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Dig Your Own Hole is the most complete recorded album I've listened to this journey so far. The entire album is covered in 90s grime. If you looked up the inspiration to this ad, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veTl59Klc5Q , you would see that it was the Chemical Brothers. They somehow make noise sound good. Best Songs: Setting Sun, Lost In The K-Hole, Elektrobank Worst Songs: NA

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

This record was my first introduction to The Chemical Brothers and it blew me away at the time. Innovative, stylish, and focused (even though it kicks off with the all-out frenzy of "Block Rockin' Beats"). It doesn't restrict itself to a specific genre of electronic music, spanning big beat, drum n' bass, breakbeat, and even some psychedelic rock. Amazing record all around.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

90s dance techno at its best. Every song drew me in, and few times I stopped what I was doing to dance. Some of these tracks had some super funky beats, which is next level techno mastery. I'm adding this album to my favorites. 5 outta 5.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Did not know they went this hard

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

Love that stuff. It's definitely not something I can hear all the time, but when I'm in the mood it slaps.

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

Some great classic electronic beats

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Tue Oct 25 2022
5

This album is the heart of the party. It came out when I was 24, travelling Europe. It along with Daft Punk's Homework soundtracked my adventures. Even after 25 years the music on hear still gives me e-like chills and tingles. One highlight etch in my brain was having this album on an inflight channel for my flight home. The Private Psychedelic Reel coming on as my plane circled Sydney on approach to landing. The plane tilted and banked giving me rarely experienced view of my hometown

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

What an amazing start to an album! I really loved the first four tracks and then felt like the album gets a little repetitive and hit a bit of a lull. Then, I feel like it picks right back up. 'Where Do I Begin' is such an unexpected, beautiful change of pace that still totally fits in to the album and works great as a penultimate track. This is a super solid album, will definitely add to my library and continue listening. Standout Tracks: Block Rockin' Beats, Dig Your Own Hole, Elektrobank, Piku, Get Up On It Like This, Where Do I Begin, The Private Psychedelic Reel

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Tue Nov 15 2022
5

90s drugged up Britain strikes again, and I eat this up every time. It balances the psychedelic sounds with big beats really well, and despite being over an hour long, it doesn't drag due to the nature of the album as more of a dancefloor piece, a place where time dissolves. Love both the vocal tracks, great in different ways. This is to me is a club album, but with different stages of the night out. For some reason, I get a basement club atmosphere for this. The last two tracks feel like the quiet walk back, and the planning for the next night out respectively. 14/11/22

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

I would like to do chemicals with these brothers

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Fri Jan 06 2023
5

I guess I’m a Chemical Brothers person now.

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Tue Jan 17 2023
5

Where do I start, where do I begin? I always liked this album, but now - with the perspective of time - I can confidently say this is not only the best album to come out of The Chemical Brothers, this is also my vote for best ever of its genre. Powerful and relentless, exactly what the genre calls for. What genre, exactly? Electronica? Dance? [How do you refer to music where no instrument is actually played by the musician?] I prefer to look at it as electronic rock.

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Fri Feb 17 2023
5

Great tunes, still sounds great

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Absolutely bangin'. An A-1, tip top clubbing jam fair. It was a sandwich of fun on ecstasy bread, wrapped up in a big bag like disco fudge. It doesn't get much better than that. Fave tracks - "Setting Sun" is great, even with Gallagher involvement. Really, though, it's the one-two glide of "Where Do I Begin" followed by "The Private Psychedelic Reel" 😍

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Mon Feb 20 2023
5

Love this album, and always been a big fan of The Chemical Brothers. It was hard to choose favourite tracks as I've listened to this album many times over the years. But for the purposes of this review I'm going to say my faves at Where Do I Begin (also a big Beth Orton fan), and The Private Physchedlic Reel just puts me in such a good mood.

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Sat Feb 25 2023
5

Though it may not be their most sophisticated album, it's the ultimate expression of their early Big Beat phase. Block Rockin Beats, Setting Son are both immense, and Where Do I Begin an early sign that they might have more conventional song structures under all the dj action. Five stars, and six if possible for Psychedelic Reel which which has one of the best drops in recorded music.

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Mon Mar 20 2023
5

The c the h the e the m the i the c the a the l the brotherrrrs! 5/5

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

Really solid piece of 90s Electronic music I hadn't really heard before. Consistently great throughout, solid variety ranging from exciting and danceable to atmospheric and dream-like. Fucking amazing closing track. Despite its longer run time, I ended the album wanting to hear more, and if that doesn't warrant this being the first 5/5 of this whole run so far, I don't know what does. Definitely joining my regular rotation, needs to be the soundtrack to my next acid trip

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Sun Mar 26 2023
5

This is a better album than I remember. each listen provides a different experience and feeling.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
5

Always preferred both the all uk before and after this. On listening back it’s just as bloody good.

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Tue Apr 04 2023
5

This good album, i wanna listen this many times

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Fri Apr 28 2023
5

I love The Chemical Brothers so today was easy listening (especially compared to yesterday's Tori Amos). “It Doesn’t Matter” was the standout track for me. Gonna keep this one on my phone.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
5

Fantastic album. My buddy Dave was working at tower records outlet when this came out, and this hot french girl came in and was looking for this album. He had to tell her that they didnt sell it at his part of the store and sent her to the other building. He was so bummed that he didnt get to sell her this album - I was intrigued enough to buy it myself. I mean, if this album gets hot french girls to tower records, dont you want to have it on repeat? 5/5

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Fri Jun 09 2023
5

Great electro beat and danceable beats

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Wed Jun 21 2023
5

Great to listen to this again, it's been years. I think Surrender is my favourite Chemical Brothers album, but this is brilliant and the cover takes me back. Love Setting Sun, Get Up On It Like This, and Lost In The K-Hole.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

A Fantastic debut album with some surprise artists. I need to listen to this album more.

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Fri Oct 20 2023
5

altså jeg er jo meget gammel så jeg er lidt nostalgisk om elektronisk musik der lyder sådan her. Ikke så cool som Fatboy Slim eller The Prodigy var men det her album er en banger

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Wed Oct 25 2023
5

I was only familiar with the first track on this album, but I've been a long time fan of The Chemical Brothers in general. This was a cool look into their older material. I really liked the use of the "slap bass" element throughout as a melodic instrument in tandem with the more traditional bass. Seems to be a bit of a signature on this album and it was a solid choice. I'm not a big fan of electronic music that becomes too repetitive and doesn't seem to go anywhere. This was the furthest from that. There were a lot of section breaks and return back to earlier sections that helped keep the music fresh and seem more exciting. These guys are pros. The songs moved seamlessly into one another, so much so that I sometimes lost track of where one started and one ended. The entire album felt akin to an orchestral suite, where there are separate movements but they all feel attached to a bigger whole. A solid album. Stand out tracks: Block Rockin' Beats, Setting Sun, Lost in the K-Hole, Where Do I Begin

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Tue Oct 31 2023
5

Iba para 4, pero de pronto aparece Where Do I Begin y ...

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Mon Nov 20 2023
5

Love it, multiple replays. 5/5

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Thu Dec 21 2023
5

Used to love this fucker back in the day. Now he’s a big time racist, elitist piece of shit. Had stopped listening by the time this one came out. There’s nothing necessary about this one. There’s no reason this should be on a list like this.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

This is my favorite electronica album, and I listened to this a lot in HS and college. I don't listen to much of this type of music, but when I do, this is the one album I tend to put on.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

I've listened to this a lot of the years. Good beats and interesting samples.

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

One of the best if not the best big beat album.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

Dig Your Own Hole My fave chemical bros album, containing my fave chemicals tune (lost in the k hole - complete with backwards bass and vocals that is as close to being lost in a k hole without the titular chemical!) I’d argue that this album would be better without Noel Gallagher’s ‘setting sun’ which feels like a bit of a play for mainstream airplay and sales (how many oasis completists bought this album just for that song?) but the gamble paid off and paved the way for continued growth. For me, the tunes without ‘guest’ vocals shine brightest (electrobank) and the second half of the album is sublime from ‘it doesn’t matter’ through ‘don’t stop the rock’ and ‘get up in it like this’ which combine techno sounding synths with breakbeat samples and drum loops to create some fierce sounding electro - recommended 🤘🏽

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

Found a hidden (from me) gem! Cool music!

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Sun Feb 04 2024
5

Block party starter Driving beats that move your feet Dance until you’re dead

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Thu Mar 28 2024
5

When it comes to electronic music, it doesn't get much better than this.

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Thu Mar 28 2024
5

I realized I've been a "real instruments only" snob for a long time. I wanted to hate this. I loved it.

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