Basement Jaxx is responsible for one of the creepiest, freakist music videos I've ever seen for the song Where's Your Head At from the album Rooty. If you've not seen this, check it out here. Its guaranteed to make you squirm. Up until this track, I'd not really paid them much attention. Mine, however, was a confirmed fan of their smart dance music.
Kish Kash, their third album, changed my view of them. The single Good Luck, featuring the voice of Lisa Kekaula from The Bellrays, is an awesome slice of edgy soul/dance wrapped around a fantastic string arrangement and a huge beat. The song makes me want to dance which is rare indeed. And Lisa's voice is superb.
The album also features guest appearances from Meshell Ndegeocello, Dizzee Rascal, former N'Sync star JC Chasez and Siouxsie Sioux (from Siouxsie & The Banshees). As much as I don't want to say it, the track Plug It In, featuring the former boyband member, is actually a great piece, coming off sounding every bit as good as anything fellow N'Sync Justin Timberlake has ever done.
Siouxsie Sioux's appearance on the track Cish Cash lends a punk authenticity to the grimy, driving beat, bringing her punk aesthetic firmly into the digital age and proving old punks don't mellow, they just give less of a shit. But the real stars of Kish Kash are the Jaxx themselves, who weave a tight blend of melody and thumping beats together to create infinitely listenable, intelligent music.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
The Jaxx. Big Day Out, twice. First in 2000 (when I went with a very young boy I was using for, um, entertainment and who annoyed me no end by being impatient when the Jaxx took forever to get sorted and started) and then again in 2002. That time I sat next to a friend-of-a-friend who I'd never spent a lot of time talking to and had a really great conversation. Lost both of them when I went off to the dance stage. Married him later that year.
The Jaxx are terrific to see live, which can't be said of all dance acts, but has to be a prerequisite for the really great ones, like Prodigy and Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada. Kish Kash, coming as it did in 2003 and after my marriage, hasn't spent as much time on the CD player as it's worth. What it needs to do, is to go onto the gymPod and get a real workout.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
For more information: http://www.basementjaxx.net/
In our collection we also have Remedy and Rooty