The Chemical Brothers were asked by Planet Dust
if Jim Ingram's vocal sample in "It Began in Afrika" inspired the rest of the song:
Tom Rowlands: "The vocal helped make sense of the song. With all the twists and turns of the drums, it is like a full-on drum solo for 9 minutes. The idea was future primitive. You get loads of percussive house records that are just okay; we wanted one that was mad, using percussion in a really intense way rather than in a vibey way."
Ed Simons: "Those records never have that winding acid sound - that head element that we like. 'Afrika' started with getting a groove that [percussionist] Shovel could play to. The 303 stuff, which was done using [Propellerhead] ReBirth, is pretty simplistic, and it works in that environment. The track took ages, but the elements came together pretty quickly. The real killer was to get the right bass drum sound - one that was powerful and thick enough to cut through all the percussion and give it a four-to-the-floor feel, but without swamping the whole track. There are millions of elements, but it is basically a driving acid track with demented percussion and a powerful four-to-the-floor bass drum."
They were then asked where they found the vocal sample.
Ed Simons: "That is a spoken-word thing by this political activist, Jim Ingram, from his record called Drumbeat
. We knew it from Jungle Brothers records. We had never used samples from other people's records before, but it fit so well."
Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above