Podcast 357: Basement Jaxx
- Words: Shawn Reynaldo
- Photo: Emma Blau
Quiet isn't a word that many people would use to describe Basement Jaxx, but in recent years, the lively UK duo of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe has maintained a relatively low profile. Still, even though the outfit responsible for international smash hits like "Where's Your Head At?" and "Red Alert" may have stepped out of the spotlight a bit, the pair hasn't exactly mellowed with age. This week, Basement Jaxx is releasing its seventh studio album, Junto; as expected, it's a madcap, genre-hopping effort that finds Buxton and Ratcliffe delivering another batch of shuffling house rhythms, soulful vocal turns, and oddball pop experiments. That being said, as inventive as Basement Jaxx's productions have been over the years, the duo first made its name in the DJ booth. (Basement Jaxx was actually the name of the pair's mid-'90s club night; it was followed by another party called Rooty, whose name was later used as the title of the group's second LP.) Curious to see if the boys' DJ chops were intact, we invited them to put together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series.
The 48-minute effort includes a number selections from Junto, but Basement Jaxx does dig deeper, tossing in everything from its 1995 single "Be Free" to tracks from Terrence Parker, Alden Tyrell, and Head High. The pair has never been shy about its love for bold, pop-leaning vocals, and that continues here, as even the tracks from other producers are frequently blended with acapellas from the Basement Jaxx catalog. The sound is primarily rooted in house, but there are frequent detours into other styles and the percussion is quite varied, as the duo often seems inspired by the sounds and rhythms of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. At the end of the day though, these details are secondary, as the mix seems to indicate that Basement Jaxx's primary motivation remains a simple one: having fun.
01 Basement Jaxx "Taiko" (Atlantic Jaxx) vs. Maya Angelou "Phenomenal Woman"
02 Basement Jaxx "Power to the People" (Atlantic Jaxx) vs. DJ Graham B "Sambamadness" (Freestyle)
03 Basement Jaxx "Power to the People (Accordion Dub)" (Atlantic Jaxx)
04 Alex Metric & Oliver "Hope" (Owsla)
05 Alden Tyrell "Wurk It" (Clone Jack for Daze) vs. Head High "Power Seat" (Power House)
06 Disclosure x Friend Within "The Mechanism" (PMR) vs. Basement Jaxx "Fall Down (Acapella)"
07 Basement Jaxx "Never Say Never (Wayward Mix)" (Atlantic Jaxx)
08 Christian Nielsen "Throwback" (Play It Down) vs. Chaemini "Untitled (Acapella)"
09 Gabriel D'Or & Bordoy "Real Diamond" (Selected) vs. Basement Jaxx "Back 2 the Wild (Acapella)"
10 Eddie Niguel "Absolute" (Midnight Shift) vs. Basement Jaxx "Unicorn (Club Acapella)"
11 Basement Jaxx "Rock This Road" (Atlantic Jaxx)
12 Terrence Parker "Your Love" (Parker Music Works)
13 Loui Fernandez "Kazuco" (Ametist)
14 Basement Jaxx "Angel Is Coming" (Atlantic Jaxx)
15 Luciaen "Origins (Wild Origins)" (Basaec)
16 Basement Jaxx "Buffalo" (Atlantic Jaxx)
17 Basement Jaxx "Be Free" (Atlantic Jaxx)
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