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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dust Brothers
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1985 (1985)–present

Dust Brothers are the songwriters and producers E.Z. Mike (Michael Simpson[1]) and King Gizmo[2] (John King). They are famous for their sample-based music in the 1980s and 1990s,[3] and specifically for their work on the albums Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys, Odelay, Midnite Vultures and Guero by Beck, the soundtrack to the film Fight Club, and "MMMBop" by Hanson.[4] They are based in Los Angeles, California.



The Dust Brothers started working together in 1985 at the Pomona College radio station, KSPC, hosting a weekly hip-hop show called The Big Beat Showcase.

They developed writing and producing skills creating music for their show and DJing and rapping at parties. In 1987, they began writing and producing for the Delicious Vinyl label.[4] There they wrote and produced tracks on Tone Lōc's album, Lōc-ed After Dark, Young MC's debut album Stone Cold Rhymin, and other Delicious Vinyl releases.[4] They also worked with the Boo Yaa Tribe on the album New Funky Nation, producing several songs on that album.

Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys stopped by mutual friend Matt Dike's apartment, where King and Dike slyly played music intended to be a Dust Brothers album. Adam liked what he was hearing and asked if he could buy the music.[5] The Dust Brothers ended up co-writing, producing and mixing the Beastie Boys' second album, Paul's Boutique, which was considered one of the best albums of all time by Time in 2006.[6]


Beck had the Dust Brothers produce his album Odelay, released in 1996.[4] The album spawned the hit songs "Where It's At" (#64 on the Hot 100), "Devils Haircut" (#94 on the Hot 100), "The New Pollution" (#74) and "Jack-Ass" (#73). In 1995 they co-produced Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil's second solo album Carved in Stone.

In 1997, the Dust Brothers produced a track with Korn called "Kick the P.A." for the Spawn soundtrack; produced the #1 hit "MMMBop" for Hanson's first major label album Middle of Nowhere; and created a song on the #1 soundtrack to the Howard Stern film Private Parts named "Tortured Man", featuring vocals by Stern. They also co-produced three songs on The Rolling Stones album, Bridges to Babylon.[4]

In 1998, the duo were approached by director David Fincher to assemble the score for the film Fight Club,[4] most notably "This Is Your Life", a song featuring lines from the film, including a monologue by the character Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The same year also saw the duo collaborate with Jeymes Samuel aka The Bullitts on the soundtrack for the film Muppets from Space, recording a cover version of the Earth, Wind & Fire song "Shining Star".

In 1999, the Dust Brothers collaborated with Carlos Santana and Eagle-Eye Cherry on Santana's multi-platinum album Supernatural. They received their first Grammy for 'Album of the Year'; after having received numerous nominations for their past work with Beck and as artists for their instrumental song on the X-Files soundtrack. They also recorded, produced and mixed an album by 'hip pop' group 10 Cents named Buggin Out.[7]


In the 2000s, the Dust Brothers have had continued success, again collaborating with Beck on the album Guero;[8] Tenacious D on their self-titled debut; Linkin Park with a track called "With You" on their first studio album Hybrid Theory; remixing the Styles of Beyond track "Winnetka Exit" on their promotional CD Spies Like Us; and producing the They Might Be Giants album The Else.[9]

Controversy with The Chemical Brothers

The Dust Brothers name and trademark was used by the British duo that eventually became The Chemical Brothers as they began their career. They took it as a homage to the American group, but they changed their name when they were unable to convince the real Dust Brothers to sell the name.[4] Eventually the Dust Brothers reached an understanding with the Chemical Brothers, and the 1997 Elektrobank EP by the Chemical Brothers featured a Dust Brothers remix of the title track.


  1. ^ "Mike Simpson".
  2. ^ "King Gizmo". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Dust Brothers". AllMusic. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 137. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  5. ^ "Inside Paul's Boutique: Interview with Mike Simpson of The Dust Brothers". Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  6. ^ "Is Kind of Blue one of the All-TIME 100 Best Albums?".
  7. ^ "Buggin' Out - 10 Cents | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "Guero - Beck | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  9. ^ "The Else - They Might Be Giants | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 5, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 October 2020, at 17:22
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