I still remember when I first heard Hot Chip: a friend tipped me off to their 2004 album, Coming on Strong, while it was still on import, and neither of us could quite figure out how we were supposed to respond to the band's strange amalgam of hip-hop tropes, pop chops and naïve electronic production.
That's clearly the way the band must have wanted it, because Hot Chip have gone on to confound expectations with every record, developing into one of the most complex acts in the alt-pop sphere (yet without ever losing sight of the catchiness that keeps you coming back to them). But the band's four full-length albums only tell part of the story. In recent years, its members have spun off a slew of side projects, all of which feed back into the master narrative while complicating the picture even further.
For starters, Joe Goddard's solo project extends the band's remit to dance music's avant garde; his duo The 2 Bears (with Raf Rundell, one of his colleagues at the Greco-Roman label) goes even further in expressing its affection for the deepest dance music. Their recently released debut album wraps a big, goofy bear hug around club culture at its sweatiest (and smiliest).
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs' Orlando Higginbottom isn't a member of Hot Chip, but he's one of the flagship artists on Greco-Roman, and his own oddball, dancefloor pop is clearly a kissing cousin of Hot Chip's style. Actual H.C. member Alexis Taylor, meanwhile, makes up one-quarter of the improvising rock quartet About Group, along with members of This Heat and Spiritualized, and the pianist Pat Thomas; he's also made dance tracks with his bandmate Felix Martin in the duos New Build and Silent Jeffs.
Read on to explore the contours of Hot Chip's extended universe across select releases, and listen to the above playlist of Hot Chip remixes and side projects, including reworks by Caribou, Fred Falke and Supermayer -- even more chips off the old block.