meta-scriptBack With Another One Of Those Block Rockin' Beats: Revisiting The Chemical Brothers' 'Dig Your Own Hole' At 25 | GRAMMY.com
Back With Another One Of Those Block Rockin' Beats: Revisiting The Chemical Brothers' 'Dig Your Own Hole' At 25
Ed Simons (left) and Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers in London, 1997

PHOTO: Dave Tonge / Contributor

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Back With Another One Of Those Block Rockin' Beats: Revisiting The Chemical Brothers' 'Dig Your Own Hole' At 25

Six-time GRAMMY winners the Chemical Brothers broke into the American dance music scene in 1997 with 'Dig Your Own Hole.' Learn how tracks from the much-sampled classic, like "Block Rockin' Beats," changed the sound of electronic music and dominated MTV.

GRAMMYs/Apr 14, 2022 - 01:58 pm

Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons origins were auspicious enough: A couple of students at Manchester University in the late '80s who shared a love of American dance music and hip-hop. As DJs for a party called Naked Under Leather who also enjoyed going out dancing, they developed a sense of what made for a great Saturday night dance floor smash.

Just eight years after they met, the duo formerly known as the Dust Brothers had rebranded as the Chemical Brothers and were conquering MTV with their second full-length album. Released on April 7, 1997, Dig Your Own Hole placed Rowlands and Simons at the forefront of a renewed American interest in dance music, which had been bubbling at underground clubs and raves since the early '90s and finally boiled over.

Though it draws from the divergent sounds of psychedelic rock, hip-hop and techno, Dig Your Own Hole advanced a cohesive and bombastic sound that was unexpected in many mainstream circles. It is sequenced to mimic a continuously mixed DJ set, with the end of one song flowing seamlessly into the beginning of the next. The album’s structure and music videos brought additional visibility to the way dance music is consumed: on the dancefloor, with a DJ and lots of body shaking energy.

Directed by buzzing producers like Spike Jonze and Michele Gondry, the album's slick and visually-arresting videos channeled a rousing club energy. Videos for lead singles "Block Rockin' Beats" (which samples rapper Schoolly D, among others) and the Noel Gallagher-voiced rager "Setting Sun" were featured heavily on MTV in show bumpers, and on a music video program called "Amp." 

“These all offered a glimpse into a much more interesting world and culture that was extremely enticing and inviting to young Americans," says Errol Kolosine, then a manager at Astralwerks, the Chemical Brothers’ U.S. label.

Interest from MTV wasn’t confined to the Viacom high-rise. MTV staffers were an enthusiastic presence at label tours and parties: "They were legit fans of the music and so in that sense they were co-conspirators, with the videos being featured on 'Amp' seeping their way onto regular playlists,” Kolosine continues.

The Chemical Brothers also appeared on two successful Amp compilations, which pointed even more sales to Dig Your Own Hole. Just five months after its release, the album was certified gold by the RIAA  — a remarkable achievement for an electronic music act. Among their contemporaries in the UK, only Fatboy Slim and Prodigy achieved Gold status in the United States.

Yet as their popularity rose, Rowlands and Simons preferred to keep a low profile — even in their own videos, with the exception of a brief cameo in "Block Rockin' Beats" — and weren't exactly comfortable being the poster children for a dance revolution.

"What do you think about MTV proclaiming techno music as the next big thing?" a fan nicknamed "Plexus" asked the Chemical Brothers during an online chat on MTV.com in 1997, not long after they released Dig Your Own Hole.

"Not a lot," they replied cheekily.

"We're in this weird position of being in America and being seen as the leaders of the dance music explosion that's happening there when most of the inspiration we've had has come from America, as anyone can hear on the new album," Simons elaborated later that year in a cover story for the trendy English magazine The Face. "It's ridiculous that they see the Prodigy and the Chemical Brothers as the dance music."

Rowlands and Simons thought this adulation was absurd. They idolized visionary Black Americans like Chicago’s house music godfather Frankie Knuckles and Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins, who were major influences on U.K. dance music but hadn’t gotten their due in the States. They were also inspired by the power of beatmakers like Public Enemy producers the Bomb Squad. 

As the duo had tapped America's dance craze, the Chemical Brothers also found favor with rock fans after Dig Your Own Hole was embraced by rock radio stations (their previous album, Exit Planet Dust, didn't receive the same airplay). As a result, a sector of rock fans tapped into their electronic vibe despite a lack of the genre’s central instrument.

"It's hard to think what components of rock music are actually in [Block Rockin' Beats]," Rowlands told the New York Times in 1999. "There aren't any. There's no guitar. There's no singer, yet somebody can hear in that record a spirit or sort of a looseness or sort of an energy or something that reminds them of rock music."

"We encountered our share of resistance," Kolosine tells GRAMMY.com. "I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that 'Setting Sun' is one of the most radical pieces of music to achieve that kind of success here, especially on the radio. But we all took a great deal of pride at achieving those successes with artists and songs we were told would never work here.

"I certainly saw it quite differently in that I considered this music to be a powerful force to bring people of different types together," he added, "so it did feel like we were moving the culture forward when we succeeded."

The success continued with a GRAMMY win and two nominations in 1998, taking home a golden gramophone for Best Rock Instrumental Performance for "Block Rockin' Beats." And Rowlands and Simons started finding out that they had a growing number of famous admirers: George Harrison, who was also sampled on "Setting Sun" and served as an inspiration for the album's Beatles tribute "The Private Psychedelic Reel," sent over a signed copy of his 1969 album Electronic Sound.

"We met Simon Le Bon," Simons told SPIN in 1997. The Duran Duran frontman was a fan, and he let them know. "He was out of his mind. He was singing us his new song, and saying he wanted a remix. He said 'Setting Sun' was the best thing he'd heard in the 1990s. Me and Tom were at a loss for words. We started mumbling about 'Rio' and 'Ordinary World.'"

Twenty-five years have passed since the release date, and Dig Your Own Hole continues to provide inspiration for crate diggers. Samples of "Block Rockin' Beats" have been officially detected in 18 newer songs, including popular tracks by Fatboy Slim, Frontline Assembly, the Hood Internet and 2K (aka The KLF). The actual number of songs that have sampled or interpolated these beats under the radar is likely to be much higher, though.

The album's seamless, DJ-minded sequencing also helped to change the outlook of electronic dance artists, who could now make cohesive albums without sacrificing experimentation (or potential for success). With Dig Your Own Hole, the Chemical Brothers opened the door for other English electronic dance acts like Groove Armada, Dirty Vegas and Basement Jaxx to set their sights on America in the late '90s and early aughts. 

The album's siren songs still have the depth to set off dancefloors worldwide. And the Chemical Brothers are still winning GRAMMYs, most recently Best Dance Recording (for "Got To Keep On") and Best Electronic/Dance Album (for their ninth studio album, No Geography) at the 2020 GRAMMY Awards. Rowlands and Simons are currently in the studio working on new music, because it's still their job to find those Saturday night smash hits.

A 25th anniversary reissue of Dig Your Own Hole with five additional tracks will be released on CD as well as 1,997 copies of limited edition vinyl on July 29.

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2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Dance Music
(From left) Dom Dolla, David Guetta, Charli XCX, Charlotte de Witte, Eliza Rose

Photos: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage, Karwai Tang/WireImage, Matthew Baker/Getty Images, Pablo Gallardo/Redferns, Kate Green/Getty Images

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2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Dance Music

From nostalgia-tinged bangers and genre-blurring releases made by women, to massive tours and high-tech performances, dance music was expansive as ever in 2023.

GRAMMYs/Dec 29, 2023 - 05:03 pm

As any fan can attest, dance music is a broad church spanning myriad micro-genres, fan communities and city-specific scenes. The genre’s reach was as wide as ever in 2023, stretching from the biggest festival stages to the most intimate clubs, with variations in moods and beats-per-minute to suit all tastes. 

Nostalgia for rave’s ‘90s heyday was everywhere, fueling big-name releases and underground club sets alike. [Surprise supergroups](https://www.grammy.com/news/coachella-2023-weekend-2-recap-skrillex-four-tet-fred-again-gorillaz-bad-bunny-eric-pyrdz-performances-surprises-video) and [long-time collaborators](https://www.grammy.com/news/skrillex-fred-again-friendship-timeline-collaborations-videos) hit big in 2023, while albums from [James Blake](https://www.grammy.com/artists/james-blake/17760), [the Chemical Brothers](https://www.grammy.com/artists/chemical-brothers/7746), Disclosure and Everything But The Girl showed there’s still power in the electronic LP format. 

With festivals and DJ touring schedules back to a pre-COVID pace, dance music also enjoyed a busy year on the road. Across North America, [ILLENIUM](https://www.grammy.com/artists/Illenium/38165), G Jones, ZHU and ODESZA (not to mention Beyoncé’s house music-indebted Renaissance tour) sold out venues across the country. In a genre that can feel impossible to get your arms around, these five trends were undeniable in 2023. 

Everything Old Was New Again

Wherever you looked this year, DJ-producers were reaching back to the racing sounds of trance, rave and Eurodance that dominated dancefloors in the ‘90s and early 2000s. David Guetta and Calvin Harris spent 2023 memorably mining this past — the latter’s "Desire," featuring Sam Smith, could be ripped straight from a decades-old pop-trance compilation. 

Meanwhile, South Korean DJ-producer Peggy Gou released "(It Goes Like) Nanana," a dance-pop earworm with shades of ATB’s late ‘90s hit, "9PM (Till I Come)." Already a hugely popular draw as a DJ, Gou’s time-warping groover became her first Billboard chart entry and ignited buzz for her debut artist album, expected in 2024. 

On the less commercial spectrum, European producers like DJ Heartstring, Narciss and Marlon Hoffstadt continued to contextualize vintage sounds for a new audience. Meanwhile, a cluster of Dutch DJs, most notably Job Jobse, Young Marco and KI/KI, played throwback anthem-fuelled sets on festival stages usually reserved for steely techno, including at Dekmantel and Time Warp. 

For some DJs, looking back to the past meant embracing the fast and furious tempos of hardstyle and hard dance, two subgenres with passionate niche followings but little mainstream crossover. Continuing a trend from 2022, speedier BPMs were very much in vogue, as DJs kept pace with fans demanding a harder, faster workout. 

Women Danced To The Front 

Many of the year’s most invigorating and genre-blurring releases were made by women. Having built a steady career as a producer and singer, Kenya Grace broke out in 2023 with "Strangers," which caught fire on TikTok and converted new fans via a sleek mix of pop, drum & bass and Grace’s hushed vocals. Peggy Gou’s aforementioned "(It Goes Like) Nanana," also captured the TikTok zeitgeist with a widely-viewed video of Gou teasing the single for a dancefloor in Morocco. 

Electronic chameleon [Charli XCX](https://www.grammy.com/artists/charli-xcx/18360) stayed squarely in the limelight, following 2022’s stellar *Crash* with the one-two punch of "In The City" featuring Sam Smith and "Speed Drive"(from *Barbie the Album*, which is nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media alongside *AURORA*, *Weird: The Al Yankovic Story*, *Black Panther: Wakanda Forever- Music From And Inspired By*, and *Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: Awesome Mix*). Meanwhile, two of the year’s standout albums came from women coloring outside the lines of their best-known projects: the xx vocalist Romy’s *Mid Air* embraced her queerness through euphoric dance-pop, while Aluna (of electronic duo AlunaGeorge) blossomed as a solo artist and activist on her second album, *MYCELiUM*

While dance music’s ranks remained largely white and male in 2023, undeniable albums from the likes of Jayda G, PinkPanthress and Róisín Murphy were a welcome counterbalance. 

UK Bass Got Bombastic

Following the runaway success of Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal’s 2022 UK garage-tinged house anthem "B.O.T.A. (Baddest of Them All)" the previous year, British bass music continued to shine in 2023. 

While still relatively niche in the U.S., the UK garage (UKG) and bassline subgenres that thrived in the Y2K era found a new generation of British converts, thanks to releases like Interplanetary Criminal’s *All Thru The Night* and Conducta’s *In Transit* EP. Elsewhere, acclaimed British singer/songwriter Jorja Smith tapped her UKG roots on the irresistible single "Little Things." 

Welsh duo Overmono weaved garage textures into their accomplished debut album, *Good Lies*, and rounded out the year with a powerful Boiler Room live set from Manchester’s Warehouse Project. The set and album cemented their bona fides as the UK’s next dance festival headliner. 

The many mutations of UK bass music shone bright all year in DJ sets from the likes of Anz, Nia Archives, Jyoty and Joy Anonymous. (The latter’s near-three-hour set with Austrian producer salute and New Jersey-born garage godfather Todd Edwards at Amsterdam Dance Event captured the jubilant mix of house and UKG that was dominant this year.) 

Bringing it full circle, Eliza Rose parlayed the success of "B.O.T.A." into a collaboration with Calvin Harris on this year’s housey "Body Moving," which started with the pair exchanging Instagram DMs. 

Technology Upped The Ante

In a year where artificial intelligence and rapid technological advancement were burning topics, a wave of dance music artists found new ways to embrace the future. 

The possibilities of technology to enhance live performance were on full display in two raved-about Coachella sets. Swedish veteran [Eric Prydz](https://www.grammy.com/artists/eric-prydz/5679) brought his HOLO show to the California festival, deploying cutting-edge tech to create giant holographic images that extend over the crowd. Meanwhile, inside the festival's Sahara Tent, melodic techno duo Tale Of Us completed their transition to EDM crowd-pleasers with a full-scale audiovisual spectacle that explored themes of robot-human connection. (One half of the duo, Matteo Milleri, is also all-in on NFTs.) 

Meanwhile, techno favorite Nicole Moudaber debuted an AV show in which her own movements control a towering digital avatar. The year also saw big-name DJs embracing the metaverse — from Carl Cox playing a set in the Sensorium Galaxy to Swedish House Mafia joining the Roblox platform — in a trend that’s sure to carry into 2024. 

Techno & Techno-House Go Center Stage

Continuing a trend from 2022, big room techno and tech-house muscled onto U.S. festival stages usually reserved for EDM anthems. In particular, tech-house — which in 2023 sounds a world away from the raw UK club records that birthed the subgenre — cemented its place in the mainstream with Fisher and Chris Lake’s back-to-back set at Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre. (Later in the year, the pair shut down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles for an epic street party.) 

Both coming off a star-making 2022, tech-house mischief-makers John Summit and Dom Dolla leveled up with bigger shows and feverish fan followings. Meanwhile, Belgian sensation Charlotte de Witte became the techno artist booked on the Ultra Miami main stage, scheduled incongruously alongside the likes of Zedd and Afrojack, while in Europe, techno specialists Amelie Lens and Nina Kraviz were given the same honor (and challenge) for a sprawling crowd at Tomorrowland. 

Whether mining the past or accelerating into the future, the dance/electronic genre never stood still this year, setting the stage for a thrilling 2024.  

[2023 In Review: 5 Trends That Defined Pop Music](https://www.grammy.com/news/pop-music-trends-2023-year-in-review-taylor-swift-sza)

GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Kendrick Lamar

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016

Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2023 - 06:01 pm

Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.

A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.

This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system. 

"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."

Looking for more GRAMMYs news? The 2024 GRAMMY nominations are here!

He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.

"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.

"Hip-hop. Ice Cube. This is for hip-hop," he said. "This is for Snoop Dogg, Doggystyle. This is for Illmatic, this is for Nas. We will live forever. Believe that."

To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." 

Lamar has since won Best Rap Album two more times, taking home the golden gramophone in 2018 for his blockbuster LP DAMN., and in 2023 for his bold fifth album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.

Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes. 

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15 Must-Hear Albums This September: Olivia Rodrigo, Kylie Minogue, James Blake & More
(Clockwise) Bakar, Olivia Rodrigo, Demi Lovato, Chrissie Hynde, Jalen Ngonda, Kylie Minogue, Mitski

Photos: Antoine Flament/Getty Images; Amy Sussman/WireImage; Santiago Felipe/GettyImages; Ki Price; Rosie Cohe; Edward Cooke; Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

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15 Must-Hear Albums This September: Olivia Rodrigo, Kylie Minogue, James Blake & More

Get your fall playlist ready. From pop blockbusters to the return of rock icons, check out 15 genre-spanning albums dropping in September.

GRAMMYs/Sep 1, 2023 - 01:18 pm

With summer almost in the rear view, it’s time to welcome the first must-hear albums of the fall season. With the onset of chillier days comes a genre-spanning array of new music — from R&B sensation Jorja Smith to indie-rock maestro Mitski. 

September's first big release comes from rock royalty the Pretenders, who return at the top of the month with their twelfth studio album, *Relentless*. The following week, pop firebrand [Olivia Rodrigo](https://www.grammy.com/artists/Olivia-Rodrigo/38411) will reveal *GUTS*, the feverishly anticipated follow-up to her 2021 debut, *SOUR*

Rodrigo shares a release date with star-studded company, including disco queen Róisín Murphy, dance veterans [the Chemical Brothers](https://www.grammy.com/artists/chemical-brothers/7746), shapeshifting singer/songwriter [James Blake](https://www.grammy.com/artists/james-blake/17760), and soul newcomer Jalen Ngonda. Elsewhere in the month, there’s something for all tastes, from the pop-rock reawakening of [Demi Lovato](https://www.grammy.com/artists/demi-lovato/19851) to the noodly electronics of Animal Collective.

As we gear up for a season packed with musical highs, we’ve put together a handy guide to the 15 must-hear albums dropping in September 2023.

The Pretenders -  *Relentless*

**Release date:** Sept. 1

For a band that released its debut album in 1979, the Pretenders still sounds remarkably vital 44 years on. Led by iconic songwriter and frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, the band is back in full force this September with the appropriately titled Relentless, which follows 2020’s on-form Hate for Sale

The Pretenders announced their twelfth LP with a rousing-yet-poetic lead single, "Let the Sun Come In," and the album closes with an intriguing collaboration with [Radiohead](https://www.grammy.com/artists/radiohead/8042)’s [Jonny Greenwood](https://www.grammy.com/artists/jonny-greenwood/11632) on strings. 

"I think anyone in a band is constantly questioning if they should keep going," Hynde said of the album’s title in a statement. "It starts as a youthful pursuit and eventually, it makes you wonder, why am I doing this? It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless."

Speedy Ortiz - *Rabbit Rabbit

**Release date:** Sept. 1

Philadelphia rock quartet Speedy Ortiz has kept fans waiting five long years for a new LP, having released their pop-inflected Twerp Verse back in 2018. This September, the band returns with Rabbit Rabbit, its first album on mercurial frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’ label, Wax Nine. 

To record *Rabbit Rabbit*, Speedy Ortiz jumped between two locations steeped in rock lore: Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree and Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas. The band has already shared a few songs so far, including the spiky "You S02" and the crunching, cathartic closer "Ghostwriter." The album also opens with a song called "Kim Cattrall."

"I turned 33 while writing this album, a palindrome birthday and a lucky number associated with knowledge," Dupuis said in a statement. "I wanted to mark how I was making better choices as I got older, letting go of heedless anger even when it’s warranted."

**Olivia Rodrigo - *GUTS***

**Release date:** Sept. 8 

As far as breakout albums go, Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR was about as good as it gets. Powered by the stage-setting singles "drivers license" and "deja vu," the album dropped in May 2021 as a balm for dark pandemic days. Coming in at a lean 34 minutes, SOUR was all killer, no filler— and went on to pick up Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2022 GRAMMYs, alongside Rodrigo’s wins for Best Pop Solo Performance ("drivers license") and Best New Artist. 

With Rodrigo now a bona fide pop superstar, she’s readying her second album, *GUTS*, for a buzzy September drop. [Lead single "vampire"](https://www.grammy.com/news/breakup-songs-like-olivia-rodrigo-vampire-taylor-swift-miley-cyrus-kelly-clarkson) arrived back in June with a lush, swelling sound (producer Dan Nigro makes several appearances on *GUTS*) and score-settling lyrics that cut like a knife. Rodrigo followed this strong return with "bad idea right?," a gleefully fun throwback to the pop-punk and grunge that soundtracked her teens.

In [an interview with the ](https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/24/arts/music/olivia-rodrigo-guts.html)*[New York Times](https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/24/arts/music/olivia-rodrigo-guts.html)* ahead of *GUTS*, Rodrigo enthused about embracing crunchy guitars and big emotional swings: "\[I\] always loved rock music, and always wanted to find a way that I could make it feel like me, and make it feel feminine and still telling a story and having something to say that’s vulnerable and intimate."

James Blake - *Playing Robots In Heaven* 

**Release date:** Sept. 8 

Following 2021’s acclaimed Friends That Break Your Heart, which featured guest turns from the likes of SZA, JID and Monica Martin, James Blake is stripping it back to basics on his sixth studio album, Playing Robots Into Heaven

This time around, the etherally-voiced singer has seemingly gone back to the electronic roots of his earlier works that emerged as part of the UK’s post-dubstep scene. 

With no featured guests, the tracklist includes the already-released singles "Big Hammer," which is all chopped-up samples and low-end frequencies, and "Loading," which recalls the vocal manipulations of the producer’s self-titled debut LP. Blake also shared the ambient title track, which will close the album in perfect contemplation. 

Jalen Ngonda - *Come Around and Love Me

**Release date:** Sept. 8

Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Jalen Ngonda was immersed from an early age in soul music, courtesy of his music-obsessed father. Fast forward to 2023, and Ngonda is himself a talented soul artist signed to the revered Brooklyn indie label Daptone Records. 

The singer's debut album, *Come Around and Love Me*, features lushly arranged singles "If You Don’t Want My Love" and "Just Like You Used To," which showcase his timeless vocal prowess.

In a statement announcing the album, Ngonda revealed, "To a stranger, I’d describe my music as modern soul and R&B, while trying to fit in the [Beach Boys](https://www.grammy.com/artists/beach-boys/609) and [the Beatles](https://www.grammy.com/artists/beatles/16293) somewhere in between."  

The Chemical Brothers - *For That Beautiful Feeling*

**Release date:** Sept. 8

On their ninth album, 2019’s No Geography, UK electronic duo the Chemical Brothers sounded thrillingly energized. Now, after weathering a global pandemic, the veteran producers return with their tenth studio outing, For That Beautiful Feeling

The album features a new version of the duo’s cautiously hopeful 2021 release, "The Darkness That You Fear," alongside the propulsive, classically-Chems single, "No Reason," and collaborations with indie darling Beck and French singer/songwriter Halo Maud. 

The duo is set to follow the album in October with a career-spanning retrospective book, *Paused in Cosmic Reflection*, that’ll have fans clamoring. 

Demi Lovato - *REVAMPED* 

**Release date:** Sept. 15

Already an experienced master of reinvention, Demi Lovato is continuing her rock era with REVAMPED 5. On last year’s Holy Fvck, the pop chameleon wholeheartedly embraced hard rock and pop-punk, including collaborations with Yungblud, Royal & the Serpent and Dead Sara. 

While touring *Holy Fvck*, Lovato also played heavier versions of her earlier songs, and discovered her fans loved it. This inspired her to re-record rock versions of ten songs from past albums, including *Demi* and *Confident*, which are now brought together on *REVAMPED*

On the evidence of early singles like "Heart Attack (Rock Version)" and "Sorry Not Sorry (Rock Version)", the latter featuring [Guns N Roses](https://www.grammy.com/artists/guns-n-roses/7805) shredder Slash, Lovato is relishing the chance to rock out. 

Mitski - *The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We*

**Release date:** Sept. 15

Back in July, ever-inventive singer-songwriter Mitski sent a voice memo to fans via her newsletter. "Hi, this is Mitski, and I’m at Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville, where we recorded my new album that’s coming out," Mitski revealed. "It’s called The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, and its first single is coming out on Wednesday." 

That beautifully elegiac first single "Bug Like An Angel" suggests a heart-rending album to come from one of the boldest voices in indie-rock. The single also features a surprising (and powerfully effective) appearance from a 17-person choir that’s likely to appear elsewhere on *The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We*. As Mitski teased in a statement, "This is my most American album." 

NEEDTOBREATHE - *CAVES *

Release date: Sept. 15 

Following 2021’s Into The Mystery and its country-rock crossover hit, "I Wanna Remember," featuring Carrie Underwood, Christian rock troupe NEEDTOBREATHE returns with their ninth album, CAVES

As documented in an intimate making-of video, the GRAMMY-winning band assembled in a house overlooking the majestic mountains of Utah to begin writing the album, which they completed while on the road with OneRepublic

"We always believed we could make a record that would feel at home on the world’s biggest stages," the band wrote in a statement announcing CAVES. "It was important to us to prove that we could. This is the most ambitious record we’ve made in a really long time."

Kylie Minogue - *Tension*

**Release date: **Sept. 22

Thanks to the runaway viral success of her dance-pop earworm "Padam Padam," 2023 has already been a triumphant year for Australian pop veteran Kylie Minogue. Released in May, the single went on to vie for song of the summer status, powered by countless dance videos on TikTok and its warm embrace as a Pride anthem. 

Buoyed by her surprise chart hit, Minogue will release her sixteenth studio album, *Tension*. As suggested by the glossy cover art, and the presence of producers such as Oliver Heldens and Biff Stannard, Minogue is ready to reclaim her electro-pop crown. 

"I started this album with an open mind and a blank page," Minogue said in a statement. "Unlike my last two albums, there wasn’t a 'theme.' It was about finding the heart or the fun or the fantasy of that moment and always trying to service the song." 

Bakar - *Halo*

**Release date:** Sept. 22

Acclaimed British artist Bakar will help kick off the month in style with his second album, Halo. The sophomore release is billed as a sonic counterpart to his genre-hopping 2018 mixtape, BADKID. Like that breakout release, Halo is set to blend indie, punk and hip-hop, with Bakar’s beguiling voice at front and center. 

Ahead of a busy summer jumping between festival stages, Bakar dropped a mood-lifting single, "Alive!," accompanied by a music video featuring the artist bringing traffic to a standstill (for real) in Central London. 

Animal Collective - *Isn't It Now?*  

**Release date:** Sept. 29

Following 2022’s Time Skiffs, experimental pop four-piece Animal Collective returns with its most expansive album to date. With a total runtime of 64 minutes, Isn’t It Now? will explore a rich sonic palette, as suggested by the layered and hypnotic single, "Soul Capturer."

Co-produced, mixed and recorded with GRAMMY-winning producer Russell Elevado, Isn’t It Now? reportedly finds each band member digging deep into their current musical whims — such as multi-instrumentalist Panda Bear focusing more on drumming. 

The centerpiece of the album is "Defeat," a 22-minute epic that captures Animal Collective at its most exploratory. 

Jorja Smith -  *Falling or Flying* 

**Release date:** Sept. 29

As one of the brightest stars to emerge from the UK in the past decade, Jorja Smith has already put together an accomplished discography. Following her 2018 debut, Lost & Found, and 2021’s three-track EP, Be Right Back, Smith will release her most complete artistic statement to date. 

Like her previous releases, the singer’s long-awaited second album, *Falling or Flying*, will connect the dots between soul, R&B, UK garage and house, with a song for every mood and situation. 

"This album is like my brain,” Smith said in a statement. “There’s always so much going on but each song is definitely a standstill moment." So far, Smith has given us two standout singles — the garage-tinged "Little Things" and the more contemplative "Try Me" — so anticipation is sky high. 

TINASHE - *BB/ANG3L

**Release date:** TBD 

While it’s yet to lock an official release date, the hype is building for Tinashe’s sixth studio album, BB/ANG3L — her first under a new deal with GRAMMY-winning hitmaker Ricky Reed’s record label, Nice Life. 

"I’ve enjoyed stripping back layers of aesthetic fluff, smoke & mirrors, and white noise to get down to the core of myself," the alternative R&B star said of the album in a statement. 

On lead single, "Talk to Me Nice," Tinashe’s indelible smoky vocals are offset by skittering, seductive production from hip-hop beatmaker [Scoop DeVille](https://www.grammy.com/artists/scoop-deville/18109) and electronic artist Nosaj Thing. Follow-up single "Needs" is another undeniable bop, setting the stage for a standout album.

(G)I-DLE - *HEAT*

**Release date:** Oct. 15

Prolific K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE is set to release its first English language project, HEAT

*HEAT* follows the group’s 2022 debut album, *I Never Die*, which opens with the pop-punk-influenced single, "TOMBOY." While little has been revealed about *HEAT*, the project comes via the Asian market-focused U.S. music company 88rising and South Korean label Cube Entertainment, and will showcase the songwriting prowess of group leader Jeon So-yeon. 

(G)I-DLE has released one single from *HEAT* so far — the highly polished synth-pop love song, "I DO" — and the anticipation has K-pop fans feeling giddy.

[50 Artists Who Changed Rap: Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Dr. Dre, Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem & More](https://www.grammy.com/news/50-artists-who-changed-rap-list-years-hip-hop)

A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
Franc Moody

Photo: Rachel Kupfer 

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A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea

James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.

GRAMMYs/Nov 25, 2022 - 04:23 pm

It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.

Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.

Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.

In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.

Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.

There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.

Say She She

Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.

While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."

Moniquea

Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.

Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.

Shiro Schwarz

Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.

Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.

L'Impératrice

L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.

During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.

Franc Moody

Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.

Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.

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