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Surrender, The Chemical Brothers

Astralwerks , June 22, 1999

Track Listing: 1. Music: Response, 2. Under the Influence, 3. Out of Control, 4. Orange Wedge, 5. Let Forever Be, 6. The Sunshine Underground, 7. Asleep from Day, 8. Got Glint?, 9. Hey Boy Hey Girl, 10. Surrender, 11. Dream On

“Music that triggers some kind of response”

-fromMusic: Response

The response comes from sirens blasting frantic take-cover warnings.

The two-fold trigger begins with a puke green sky—an eerie side effect to be sure—reflecting and refracting hail from the massive cloud layer above, followed in short order by a monstrous swirl of grayish black that rages on like a tantrum, west to east. The sky vanishes. The sirens are the response, leaving no mistake as to the severity of the situation. This is not a test. Repeat, this is not a test. Huddle up, away from the windows, shades pulled down low. It is a strange occurrence, day or night, this convergence of thunder, hail, howling wind, and tornado sirens.

We now play the waiting game.

Knowing it is safe to stay up high on the condo building’s upper floor brings about a quick review of a very limited set of options. A route to anything resembling a basement is via an outside sidewalk along the side of the building, fully exposed to the treacherous elements. The lightning strikes are still relentless. Outside is definitely not the place to be right now—even if only for a quick mad dash to safer ground. However dumb it may seem, you choose to wait it out right where you are.

“Here we go!”

-fromHey Boy Hey Girl

Outside, the laser show’s supercharged strobes are nothing short of fantastic. Missiles shoot through the sky as if it’s the grand finale on the Fourth of July. It is an awe-inspiring display.

Surrender. You are cowering in the middle of a hallway with nothing else to do but to swallow. Swallow your fear. Gulp! Swallow with water. It starts with a tingle.

“I was under the influence I was under the influence”

-fromUnder the Influence

What exactly are these kids on anyway? Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons sound sirens to get the party moving. They are chemists, dialing up the perfect blend. Just beware of the riptide.

“The river’s running deep right through my blood”

-fromOut of Control

The thumping thundering bass of the storm splatters crash test dummies head on into bubbly walls. Without any trickle of mercy, the expanding decibels penetrate eardrums and blow away minds. With the flip of a switch you get an automated response: dancing and throbbing inside a rising tide. Floating.

“How does it feel like, to sail on the breeze?”

-fromLet Forever Be

Hands and heads bob up and down, navigating waves of twinkling cracks of light. Desperate attempts to get higher still result in mad elevation and a desire to stay on top, to never slip under, never come back down. Down.

“And it always seems we’re running out of time”

-fromOut of Control

As the last of the buzz drips out from charitable pores, the storm and rush recede, becoming nothing more than yesterday’s rumor. The dance floor empties as the club readies itself to close for another night. Strobes switch off. Sirens cease. It’s as if the scene—the club and its pumping patrons—have released one colossal exhale followed by an almost indistinguishable and empty sigh. The mass has given in to complete communal exhaustion.

“How does it feel like, to breathe with everything?”

-fromLet Forever Be

The partiers scurry home to be tucked away in their trippy dehydrated dreams. Some might even wake up and remember while the rest will simply drift about, further and further out into the vast and (at least for now) peaceful sea.

“Sleep on, dream on Sleep on, dream on”

-fromDream On

The …

“I fell asleep from day”

-fromAsleep From Day