White Rabbit is releasing an illustrated book of The Chemical Brother’s “kaleidoscopic” career

Penned by the band and curated by a long-term collaborator, the book will trace the duo’s illustrious past while also delving into the history of rave and acid house.

28 June 2023

On 26 October, non-fiction publishers White Rabbit will release Paused In Cosmic Reflection, the first ever book by The Chemical Brothers. The book will be told in the voices of its two members, Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, and made in collaboration with long-term friend and collaborator Robin Turner, who also penned the book Believe in Magic: 30 Years of Heavenly Recordings.

The hardback book will be fully illustrated, with photography and design work from the band's archives, paying homage to the mind-bending visuals the duo are renowned for – as created by the design duo Lyall & Smith – and will be finished in a sleek protective case. It is designed by Paul Kelly, with a bespoke cover by Kate Gibb and will be available in two special edition formats.


White Rabbit x The Chemical Brothers: Paused in Cosmic Reflection (Copyright © White Rabbit, 2023)

A press release explains that the book traces the “kaleidoscopic” history of the band, with contributions from their many friends and collaborators. “Paused in Cosmic Reflection is the story of two best mates who quickly went from DJing together in pub basements to shifting the direction of modern electronic music, in their own words (and those of 30-plus friends and collaborators) and in the stunning, mind-bending imagery they've been associated with since the start,” says the book's curator Robin Turner.

But, as White Rabbit Publisher Lee Brackstone outlines, the book also goes further in offering a unique insight into music culture of the past 30 years. “This is not only the story of a band whose catalogue belongs in the same company as the giants of kosmische [experimental rock] music, but also a much bigger narrative; that of how rave and acid house ambushed the mainstream and defined the sound of the 21st Century.” Lee continues: “It is one of the biggest and most ambitious books to emerge from White Rabbit so far and this is a very proud moment.”

On the project as a whole Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons detail their pleasure at being able to work so closely with Robin on such a vast project. “When he came to us a couple of years back with the idea of a book with a great title that would join the dots between us and many of the incredible musical and visual collaborators we've worked with over the years, it made total sense,” they say. “Paused in Cosmic Reflection tells all these stories and more. It’s an open door into our world that you’re invited to enter.”

GalleryWhite Rabbit x The Chemical Brothers: Paused in Cosmic Reflection (Copyright © White Rabbit, 2023)

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White Rabbit x The Chemical Brothers: Paused in Cosmic Reflection (Copyright © White Rabbit, 2023)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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