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The Chemical Brothers with Robin Turner
Paused in Cosmic Reflection
White Rabbit
Release Date
October 27, 2023

The Chemical Brothers are unquestionably one of the biggest electronic music acts in the world today. They emerged in the early 1990s in the afterglow of the Manchester acid house scene, an electronic music duo consisting of Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons. By 1995 they had made the leap from the underground, and their now legendarily influential residency at the Heavenly Social, into the mainstream as chief innovators of the 'big beat' genre, with the million-selling success of their debut, Exit Planet Dust. Their second album, Dig Your Own Hole went stratospheric in 1997 and they have since collectively, had half a dozen number one albums, headlined Glastonbury and Coachella and won six Grammys. They have collaborated with a host of internationally famous artists from Noel Gallagher to Beck, Q-Tip Beth Orton and Wayne Coyle.

Paused in Cosmic Reflection is a kaleidoscopic history of the band and the intoxicating world they have created, in their own words, with contributions from intimate friends and collaborators (aforementioned artists included) to Steve Dub, Adam Smith (the architect of their hallucinogenic live shows alongside Marcus Lyall), Kate Gibb and many other voices. The book is fully illustrated with photography and design work from the Chemical archives designed by Paul Kelly.

Robin Turner said: ‘Having worked with Tom and Ed for most of their thirty years, I had some small idea of how things worked behind the scenes but was curious to know more. I'd written sleevenotes and biogs for them but they only scratched the surface of what made the band tick. I was left wondering how it must feel to make records with artists that have influenced your own music - and for those records to then stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best records those artists have made? How does it feel to carve beauty out of noise and chaos? And how does it feel to take tens of thousands of people on your own trip at a gig, to bend their minds with sound and film like no other band around in modern times?

So I asked them if they wanted to delve deeper into their story for a book. That meant going back to their early days in Manchester before talking to as many of the band's collaborators as possible. And it meant spending countless hours with Tom and Ed talking not only about the process of making music, but what that magic feels like from their side.

Paused in Cosmic Reflection is the story of two best mates who quickly went from DJing together in pub basements to shifting the direction of modern electronic music, in their own words (and those of 30+ friends and collaborators) and in the stunning, mind-bending imagery they've been associated with since the start.’

Authors Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons said: ‘Robin has been part of our extended family since 1994. When he came to us with the idea of Paused in Cosmic Reflection - a book that would join the dots between us and many of the people we've worked with over the years as well as tell the stories of clubs we've played, gigs, videos and live visuals - it made total sense. Through his relationship with designer Paul Kelly and with publishers White Rabbit, we've collectively made a book that brings you right inside the world of the Chemical Brothers - our world - for the first time ever.’

Publisher, Lee Brackstone said: ‘Since my university years in Manchester in the early ‘90s The Chemical Brothers have been the constant soundtrack to my life and many a night of psychedelic epiphanies. This is not only the story of a band whose catalogue belongs in the same company as the giants of cosmische music, but also a much bigger narrative; that of how rave and acid house ambushed the mainstream and defined the sound of the 21st century. This is a visually magnificent and enlightening journey into the heart of the world of two musicians whose wildly catholic tastes and talents continue to yield irresistible music and one of the most thrilling live shows on the planet, three decades into their life as a band. It is one of the biggest and most ambitious books to emerge from White Rabbit so far and this is a very proud moment.’

Tom Rowlands was born in Henley-on-Thames in 1971.

Ed Simons was born in Dulwich, London in 1970.

Robin Turner has worked with The Chemical Brothers for almost thirty years. He was born in Wales, is the author of Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Recordings and lives in Bristol.

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons are The Chemical Brothers. In the UK, they have had six No. 1 albums and 13 top-20 singles, including two chart-toppers. They were pioneers in bringing the big beat genre to the forefront of pop culture.

Robin Turner has worked with The Chems for more than twenty years.

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