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Electronic - Released June 25, 2001 | XL Recordings

Distinctions Mercury Prize Selection
Sophomore album blues from a pair of producers who just want to party all night and make a few tracks during the day? Not a chance. Two years of globetrotting as house superstars fortunately haven't dulled the keen blade of Basement Jaxx's production style. So raw you can't believe they spent over an hour per track, so perfect you're glad they stopped noodling about long before most producers would, and so poppy they should get picked up by commercial radio in America as well as the rest of the world, Rooty is the second straight triumph from a pair of producer/DJs who look set to carry the torch for dancefloor electronica in the years to come. Titled after the duo's just-recently-closed club night, this is a true party album -- shot through with no-attention-span tangents, bridges, and interrupted samples, nowhere better than on the psychedelic soul of "Broken Dreams," with its Tijuana Brass horns and Middle Eastern flute. Though it's missing the genre-spanning flair and red-line energy that made 1999's Remedy the best dance album of the '90s, Rooty comes very close, with a similar emphasis on swinging rhythms and slapping percussion. It's much funkier than Remedy, much closer to commercial pop, and much more sensuous, with several tracks of moaning, juiced-up funk from the Prince playbook. The opener, "Romeo," is groovy and luscious enough to be the next single from Destiny's Child (with a tad more vocal histrionics), and almost every track features vocalists who sound less like professional singers (or flavor-of-the-month robots) and more like they've been tapped as finalists at a posh karaoke bar. (A few of those female-sounding vocalists are actually the Jaxx themselves, altered slightly.) Add a little filtered disco ("Jus 1 Kiss"), a track of rowdy New York house (the Gary Numan-sampling "Where's Your Head At," with background shouting from Erick Morillo and Junior Sanchez), bleepy acid house ("Crazy Girl"), and some P-Funked-up house ("Breakaway") and the result is a stunning, diverse album that's not only an immediate winner but a great album down the line as well. You can take the boys out of Brixton, but you just can't take Brixton out of the boys. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released May 10, 1999 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released March 21, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released March 21, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Dance - Released August 25, 2014 | Atlantic Jaxx Recordings

After several ambitious projects that included 2009's back-to-back albums Scars and Zephyr, the following year's collaboration with Metropole Orkest, and their Attack the Block score, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton devoted some time to their lives outside of Basement Jaxx. Their break coincided with the EDM boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s, and their return feels a little like a critique of that movement's sounds and attitudes. Unlike Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, which expressed that sentiment by diving into late-'70s and early-'80s styles that ranged from disco to AOR, Junto evokes the heyday of '90s house, a revival that was already gaining traction with new artists as well as the style's originators. Fortunately, Basement Jaxx's return to their roots never feels too self-conscious, even on "Never Say Never," a piece of piano house with the refrain "the music brings me right back." The stark, kinetic single "Unicorn" sounds as fresh and timeless as anything off of Remedy, and at its best, Junto comes off as the missing link between that album's relentless rhythms and Rooty's kaleidoscopic pop. One of the album's tours de force, "What's the News," urges the listener to "let your body be free" in much the same way "Get Me Off" did; "Sneakin' Toronto," which captures the joyous unity of a bustling dancefloor in its jostling beats and synths, is Junto's "Jump and Shout." While that track features Jaxx inspiration DJ Sneak, the album's vocalists are largely obscure, echoing Buxton and Ratcliffe's early days and letting their production take the spotlight. "Something About You" remains a delicately layered pop fantasia despite its massive rhythm section, while "Buffalo" (which features Mykki Blanco) is dark and jagged, bringing the album's brighter songs into even sharper contrast. Junto's vivid, celebratory nature is a big part of what keeps it from being mere revivalism, and its messages of togetherness from its title onward are what make it uniquely Basement Jaxx. "Mermaid of Salinas," one of the tracks that heralded the album's arrival, gleefully mixes Spanish, Latin, and African elements into an irreverent, globe-trotting Carnival. Here and throughout Junto, Ratcliffe and Buxton aren't at all concerned with seeming cool, an approach that delivers standouts like the roller skate jam "Summer Dem," where the lead singer's thick Scottish burr adds to the playful sexiness, and the alien pop of "We Are Not Alone." Even if Junto isn't quite as brilliant as Basement Jaxx's early EPs or nearly flawless first three albums, it doesn't sound irrelevant or like the duo is chasing after past glories either -- instead, it's some of their most exciting music in quite a while. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released September 21, 2009 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released October 20, 2003 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released September 11, 2006 | XL Recordings

Basement Jaxx capped a run of three marvelously progressive and near-perfect albums with a singles compilation deserving of the stature shared by Pet Shop Boys' Discography, New Order's Substance, and the Smiths' Singles. Where to go from there? Away with 1999, in with Gypsy Beats and Balkan Bangers and other expectedly unexpected inspirations. Out pops Crazy Itch Radio, a disc loosely wrapped around the concept of the duo running their own station. They could have just as easily sold this as an original cast recording to a nonexistent stage production. Then again, the music is so color-packed, so off-the-wall that it could also work as the soundtrack to Rat Fink renderings of scenes from a movie dreamed by Baz Luhrmann. It's too big to fit on a stage and in an orchestra pit that would have to accommodate the Jaxx, a very active horn section, the London Session Orchestra, a Russian accordionist, a pile of vocalists and MCs -- including Linda Lewis, Biz Markie, and Robyn, along with the relatively unknown likes of Vula Malinga (previously heard on the non-album single "Oh My Gosh"), Lady Marga, Martina Bang, Skilla, Younger Sensation & Charmzy -- and 30 kids from Malawi's Nanthomba Orphan School. The album takes the form of a nearly linear narrative involving the ups and downs of an alcohol-fueled romance between a boy and a girl. Given the assorted voices and the unflagging flow of recombinant sounds, it's easy to be thrown off this trail, but there is a definite method behind the pacing and sequencing, and the emphasis on songcraft and the making of a thematic whole is more than apparent. The story begins with a dinner at an unfinished Mexican restaurant (the sparkling, hilarious, rush-inducing "Hush Boy") and moves to his place (the "Cotton Eye Joe"-destroying banjo-house jam "Take Me Back to Your House"). In "Hey U," the boy lowers the boom on the girl, tells her he'll "always be a travelin' man," and then declares on the following "On the Train," over shades of the Stray Cats' "Stray Cat Blues," that "mamma gave me dancing legs." During and after these events, there is some longing, a lot of heartache, a healthy amount of playground-style spite, and some resolution. The songs, when added up, don't amount to the heights of the previous albums. They don't pack the same immediate wallop. While they do benefit from repeated listens, that familiar urge to rewind and commit to memory isn't as powerful. The Jaxx, however, are as adept as ever when it comes to unlikely fusions and unexpected twists that lord over anything else that could be termed left-field dance-pop. At this point, it's impossible to imagine them topping themselves; an album that is merely deeply engaging and wildly entertaining cannot be considered a flop in any way. Next time out, they'd do well to further explore the direction taken by the unlisted track that closes the album. A sinuous slow jam not terribly unlike Remedy's "Being with U," its seductive simplicity is at odds with everything else in the program. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Electronic - Released April 22, 2020 | XL Recordings

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Classical - Released July 11, 2011 | Atlantic Jaxx Recordings

Having previously written a piece specially for the London Tate Modern museum, genre-hopping dance duo Basement Jaxx further establish their rather highbrow credentials with this ambitious set of orchestral interpretations, recorded with Holland's cutting-edge Metropole Orkest. Co-produced with British composer Jules Buckley, the collaborative effort -- which also features the 40-strong Crouch End Festival Chorus, cabaret act Le Gateau Chocolat, and regular vocalists Vula Malinga, Sharlene Hector, and the Bellrays' Lisa Kekaula, alongside the 70-piece orchestra -- features 15 studio recordings of tracks originally performed at their well-received live shows at Eindhoven's Muziekcentrum and London's Barbarican. Five of their six studio albums receive the classical treatment (only 2009's Zephyr is ignored), with the bouncy vocal house of "Red Alert" (Remedy) transformed into a stirring sci-fi theme; the carnival soundtrack "Do Your Thing" (Rooty) revamped into an authentic, toe-tapping big-band number; the Motown-tinged "Good Luck" (Kish Kash) turned into an anthemic piece of symphonic rock; the playful disco of "Hush Boy" (Crazy Itch Radio) given an extra Studio 54 vibe by its layers of '70s strings, and the vocodored synth pop of "Raindrops" (Scars) provided with a lush instrumental arrangement. For an act so synonymous with the dancefloor, it's surprising just how effortlessly their material transcends to the opera houses, particularly the shouty industrial electro of "Where's Your Head At," which is just as effective when the snarling vocals and buzzing basslines are replaced by operatic choirs, jaunty flutes, and even a harpsichord solo, and the summery samba of "Bingo Bango," which is re-worked into an enchanting silent movie-style number with its oompah band horns, medieval woodwind, and jazz trumpets. The four original compositions, such as the twinkling music box, fluttering violins, and plucked pizzicato strings of "Mozart's Tea Party" and the appropriately bombastic cinematic opener "Battlement Jaxx," suggests Felix Buxton could moonlight as a classical composer in between DJ gigs, but it's the more familiar works which ensure that Basement Jaxx vs. Metropole Orkest is an uplifting, feel-good record which manages to straddle the unlikely worlds of classical and progressive house with ease. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Electronic - Released May 6, 2020 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released December 7, 2009 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released April 22, 2020 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released November 24, 2001 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released May 6, 2020 | XL Recordings

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Dance - Released August 25, 2014 | Atlantic Jaxx Recordings

After several ambitious projects that included 2009's back-to-back albums Scars and Zephyr, the following year's collaboration with Metropole Orkest, and their Attack the Block score, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton devoted some time to their lives outside of Basement Jaxx. Their break coincided with the EDM boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s, and their return feels a little like a critique of that movement's sounds and attitudes. Unlike Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, which expressed that sentiment by diving into late-'70s and early-'80s styles that ranged from disco to AOR, Junto evokes the heyday of '90s house, a revival that was already gaining traction with new artists as well as the style's originators. Fortunately, Basement Jaxx's return to their roots never feels too self-conscious, even on "Never Say Never," a piece of piano house with the refrain "the music brings me right back." The stark, kinetic single "Unicorn" sounds as fresh and timeless as anything off of Remedy, and at its best, Junto comes off as the missing link between that album's relentless rhythms and Rooty's kaleidoscopic pop. One of the album's tours de force, "What's the News," urges the listener to "let your body be free" in much the same way "Get Me Off" did; "Sneakin' Toronto," which captures the joyous unity of a bustling dancefloor in its jostling beats and synths, is Junto's "Jump and Shout." While that track features Jaxx inspiration DJ Sneak, the album's vocalists are largely obscure, echoing Buxton and Ratcliffe's early days and letting their production take the spotlight. "Something About You" remains a delicately layered pop fantasia despite its massive rhythm section, while "Buffalo" (which features Mykki Blanco) is dark and jagged, bringing the album's brighter songs into even sharper contrast. Junto's vivid, celebratory nature is a big part of what keeps it from being mere revivalism, and its messages of togetherness from its title onward are what make it uniquely Basement Jaxx. "Mermaid of Salinas," one of the tracks that heralded the album's arrival, gleefully mixes Spanish, Latin, and African elements into an irreverent, globe-trotting Carnival. Here and throughout Junto, Ratcliffe and Buxton aren't at all concerned with seeming cool, an approach that delivers standouts like the roller skate jam "Summer Dem," where the lead singer's thick Scottish burr adds to the playful sexiness, and the alien pop of "We Are Not Alone." Even if Junto isn't quite as brilliant as Basement Jaxx's early EPs or nearly flawless first three albums, it doesn't sound irrelevant or like the duo is chasing after past glories either -- instead, it's some of their most exciting music in quite a while. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Dance - Released August 25, 2014 | Atlantic Jaxx Recordings

After several ambitious projects that included 2009's back-to-back albums Scars and Zephyr, the following year's collaboration with Metropole Orkest, and their Attack the Block score, Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton devoted some time to their lives outside of Basement Jaxx. Their break coincided with the EDM boom of the late 2000s and early 2010s, and their return feels a little like a critique of that movement's sounds and attitudes. Unlike Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, which expressed that sentiment by diving into late-'70s and early-'80s styles that ranged from disco to AOR, Junto evokes the heyday of '90s house, a revival that was already gaining traction with new artists as well as the style's originators. Fortunately, Basement Jaxx's return to their roots never feels too self-conscious, even on "Never Say Never," a piece of piano house with the refrain "the music brings me right back." The stark, kinetic single "Unicorn" sounds as fresh and timeless as anything off of Remedy, and at its best, Junto comes off as the missing link between that album's relentless rhythms and Rooty's kaleidoscopic pop. One of the album's tours de force, "What's the News," urges the listener to "let your body be free" in much the same way "Get Me Off" did; "Sneakin' Toronto," which captures the joyous unity of a bustling dancefloor in its jostling beats and synths, is Junto's "Jump and Shout." While that track features Jaxx inspiration DJ Sneak, the album's vocalists are largely obscure, echoing Buxton and Ratcliffe's early days and letting their production take the spotlight. "Something About You" remains a delicately layered pop fantasia despite its massive rhythm section, while "Buffalo" (which features Mykki Blanco) is dark and jagged, bringing the album's brighter songs into even sharper contrast. Junto's vivid, celebratory nature is a big part of what keeps it from being mere revivalism, and its messages of togetherness from its title onward are what make it uniquely Basement Jaxx. "Mermaid of Salinas," one of the tracks that heralded the album's arrival, gleefully mixes Spanish, Latin, and African elements into an irreverent, globe-trotting Carnival. Here and throughout Junto, Ratcliffe and Buxton aren't at all concerned with seeming cool, an approach that delivers standouts like the roller skate jam "Summer Dem," where the lead singer's thick Scottish burr adds to the playful sexiness, and the alien pop of "We Are Not Alone." Even if Junto isn't quite as brilliant as Basement Jaxx's early EPs or nearly flawless first three albums, it doesn't sound irrelevant or like the duo is chasing after past glories either -- instead, it's some of their most exciting music in quite a while. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released April 19, 1999 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released August 2, 1999 | XL Recordings

Dance - Released August 25, 2014 | Atlantic Jaxx Recordings

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