The Chemical Brothers: Star Guitar

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I tend to gravitate towards electronic music when I'm working. There's something about the order and structure of the beats that keeps me productive. And more often that not, it's The Chemical Brothers pounding away in my headphones.

Despite the name, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons aren't related. They did attend school together growing up in London, and their shared love of music led them to Manchester where they eventually teamed up as DJs, calling themselves The 237 Turbo Nutters. The name didn't stick, nor did calling themselves The Dust Brothers which led to some legal issues with the US production duo known for the Beastie Boys' brilliant Paul's Boutique.


They eventually settled on The Chemical Brothers, producing three studio albums before 2002's Come With Us arrived, including the single, Star Guitar. At that point I was only mildly familiar with the duo's work, and it was the music video for Star Guitar that blew my mind—not the track itself. Directed and conceptualized by Michel Gondry, I didn't actually understand the video until about halfway through when I realized that all of the scenery passing the train's window was perfectly synced to the beats of the song.

Even after watching the video hundreds of times I'm still mesmerized while I try to keep track of what beats match what landmarks. And I won't even get into the complicated post-production needed to re-assemble that footage to sync to the song. I'll just point out that besides being a great working companion, Star Guitar is even more enjoyable to listen to while staring out the window of a moving train. [The Chemical Brothers]