It Began In Afrika

[ Release details ]
Released 10th September 2001 (Europe), 11th September 2001 (USA)
[ cover ]

[ Main Release ]

[ Promo Release ]

[ promo CD ]

[ tracklisting ]
UK/Europe/US CD
Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMSD 12
Astralwerks (US), ASW ????
 01 It Began In Afrika (Radio Edit) (3:35)
 02 It Began in Afrika (8:39)
 03 Hot Acid Rhythm 1 (5:04)

Foreign CD

Virgin Records (Foreign), CHEMSDE 12

 01 It Began In Afrika (Radio Edit) ( 3:35)
 02 Hot Acid Rhythm 1 ( 5:04)

UK/Europe/US 12"
Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMST 12
Astralwerks (US), ASW ????
 A It Began in Afrika ( 8:39)
 B Hot Acid Rhythm 1 ( 5:04)

UK/Europe Cassette
Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMSC 12
 Tracklisting Unknown

UK/Europe Promo CD
Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMSDJ 12
01 It Began In Afrika (Radio Edit) ( 3:35)

UK/Europe Promo 12"
Freestyle Dust / Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMSTXDJ 12
 A It Began in Afrika ( 8:39)
 B Hot Acid Rhythm 1 ( 5:04)

UK/Europe Promo 12"
Virgin Records (UK/Europe), CHEMTDJ 12
 Tracklisting Unknown

See also "Electronic Battle Weapon 5". 
[ information ]

Highest UK Chart Position: 8 (stayed on chart for 4 weeks, after entering the chart on September 22nd 2001. Single also re-entered the chart for an additional two weeks on 3rd November 2001 reaching No.53).

Track was originally released as a promo to DJ's, and was called "Electronic Battle Weapon 5". However,  as  the Summer of 2001 progressed, the track built up such hype in the clubs that The Chemical Brothers decided to give it a full release. The promo CD only contained a radio edit of "It Began In Afrika", and not "Hot Acid Rhythm 1".

The "It Began In Afrika" sample which the track is based around is from a track called "Drumbeat" by Jim Ingram.

[ reviews ]

[ fan review - plasticefx ]

1. IT BEGAN IN AFRIKA - radio edit 3m 35s - annoying vocal sample. nice tribal drums and trippy panned "efx". typical chems build into what sounds like something off of DYOH. nice splashy crashy wave sounds. not going anywhere until back into that chems techno stomp along w/lots of drums. i dig drums. the "drumbeat" sample from jim ingram off of stax records/fantasy is tucked in here somewhere. nice beakdown with the annoying "ka ka ka" thingY i've been inundated with from the major over the last 4 months since coachella or whatever. its over. give it a 6 stars outta ten.

2. IT BEGAN IN AFRIKA - 8m 39s - same vocal intro. nice electronic pulsating intro. doorbell. annyoying. reminds me of that stupid bicycle bell they used in "sunshine underground". some things sampled just dont need to be used. nice rhythmic build into that same techno stomp. now here comes a tribal break with the annoying "ka" thing. it's somewhat tolerable. i guess...lots of tom chemical divebomb effects. yes thats the term. you know the sound. breakdown with "ka" again. longer this time. out of the break into some nice techno build. waiting for the beat to drop. back into it. off and running again. its, i was expecting pure utter genius. we rave about 'em so much i just expect epic shit. now another nice break with tight high toms and squeally/squelchy shit. back into it again. YAWN... :-0,,,,, i'm sure its great live, huh phattie and mia?? context is everything, no??? break into the vocal 'KA" THING. fade vocal out. give it a 7 stars outta ten.

HOT ACID RHYTHM 1 - 5m 4s this is starting off better already. sounds like a looped bass guitar all treated w/plug ins. some nice weird electronics and trippy vocals and what sounds like brass blasts. nice techno touch. much cooler than "afrika". more like the b-sides to the music response cd singles w/shit like "freak of the weak". just cooler. that's all. grooving on the techno repeat line w/keyboard melody thing leading it. breakdown w/spacey loops and tempo slowdown into a nice fatty kraftwerky line. now some nice chems beats and space effects. much cooler. funky.. still not raw as exit planet though......sounds like they're struggling, not having fun. like they need to sound this way. cut loose fellas. now a nice old school 808 kick. nice...back into the groove. nice crashes of found sound incl. some trippy watery effects. out into the electronic bassline again. nice ending with the phat breakdown and explosion. we're done. this gets a 7 3/4 out of ten stars. all in all. decent. but i like what the plumps are doing now a little better my frenz.............

[ q magazine]

Anyone who claims that this has been a vintage year for dance music is a liar and it's a mark of how ahead of the pack The Chemical Brothers are that this limited edition DJ tool has built such a following. Originally premiered at their Glint club last year, it was released in a run of just 50 copies to selected DJs and quickly became the soundtrack to events such as the Gatecrasher Summer Sound System. Even though their fourth album is yet to be completed, public demand has forced their hand and so the year's most exciting dance record gets a full release. Its sheer momentum is staggering, as Afrobeat bongos (courtesy of former M-Person Shovel) do battle with pummelling, rush-inducing acid house. The CD gives you the radio edit, the full-length version and barmy new track Hot Acid Rhythm 1.

[ dotmusic ]

Indeed it did begin in Africa but you wouldn't necessarily know that the Chemical Brothers appreciated this fact from the monotonous thud of the kick drum that has pumped throughout their back catalogue.
Apparently the presence of bongos on top of the pumping 4/4 is the 'African' reference here which is a bit like the metronomic beep that marks time on a synthesizer being left in the finished track. All the possibilities of rhythmic interpretation in African rhythms have been reduced down to the strict foregrounding of the time signature see?
Still, mustn't gripe, this is another boshing track from the Chemical Brothers; as intense as a claustrophobic sniffing amyl in a lift. Wicked fun but more Gabba than Juju.