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U.K. Bros. to U.S. Bros.: Please Excuse Our Dust

May 18, 1997|Steve Hochman

The dust has settled.

The Dust Brothers--the Los Angeles team that produced Beck's "Odelay" and is currently at work on the new Rolling Stones album--have patched up their differences with the Chemical Brothers, the English electronica duo that called itself the Dust Brothers until a couple of years ago when the L.A. pair threatened legal action.

Now the rival units--both among the hottest figures in pop music--are planning to work together on a soundtrack the Dust Brothers will oversee for "Dead Man on Campus," a dark comedy being produced by MTV for theatrical release this fall.

The door was opened for the collaboration when the two camps met at the Chemical Brothers' recent show at the Shrine Exposition Hall in L.A.

"We met Tom [Rowlands], the blond one," says Dust Brother John King. "He was cool and said he was sorry about stealing our name. Said, 'No hard feelings, right mate?' We didn't say anything, but we talked to them about [their] remixing a Dust Brothers song we have for the movie and he said, 'Definitely.' "

King and his partner Mike Simpson are just starting work on the soundtrack, for which they'll serve as executive producers and music producers. They may also write and perform the instrumental score--a first for them. Another intriguing collaboration in discussion for the project: a teaming of Beck with rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg.

"We want to use the music as part of the humor, not just for dramatic underscore," says King. "We've always drawn inspiration from movie music. And we always felt that our own music, moody instrumental tracks before it gets filtered through Beck or the Beastie Boys, would be perfect soundtrack music."

Meanwhile, the Dust Brothers, fresh off their work on teen trio Hanson's hit "MMMBop," are wrapping up their work on the Stones album, due in the fall. The collection also is expected to feature tracks overseen by Don Was, Babyface and a new arrival to the project, English techno producer/remixer Danny Saber.

King disputes reports from inside the sessions that the Stones were not completely thrilled with the Dust Brothers' work. In fact, he says, after doing two songs they were asked by the band to produce a third. (A spokeswoman for the Stones confirmed that the group is quite happy with the Dust Brothers' work.)

King does admit, though, that their inclination is to be perhaps a little more experimental than the Stones desire.

"We push the songs over the edge, and then Mick [Jagger] pulls it back to where he feels comfortable," he says. "But Mick's songs are totally great pop songs. Some are dark, there's a dark edge to all the songs. But they're very pop-oriented."

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