Basement Jaxx: Junto ([PIAS] America) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Basement Jaxx


[PIAS] America

Aug 28, 2014 Basement Jaxx Bookmark and Share

What Basement Jaxx presented to the world 15 years ago beginning with their debut, Remedy, is what today’s high profile dance music artists are fervently trying to capture. Seven albums down the line, Junto verifies that the British duo is still the leader in sketching the blueprint for house music.

Bumping beats, Afro-rhythms, carved out vocals, all the Basement Jaxx identifiers form Junto‘s scaffold. Steel drums and a host of children’s voices in the chorus on “Power to the People” provide a strong start, which leads to the searing vocals of “Unicorn” recalling the timeless, polished, urban flavor established by Soul II Soul, segueing into the soul ripper “Never Say Never.” Infusion of various styles has always been a Jaxx tradition, witnessed here on the rapid-fire drum ‘n’ bass breakbeats and ragga vocals of “Buffalo,” the sped-up reggae of “Rock This Road,” and the Beastie Boys-like, DJ Sneak-vocalized “Sneakin’ Toronto.” In a change of pace “Something About You” is a twinkling ballad, and Junto gracefully switches back from it with the Latin-flavored “Mermaid of Salinas,” complete with flamenco guitars and horn blasts.

Junto stands out not because it is breaking new ground, but because it illustrates how Basement Jaxx’s patented busy-sounding tracks continue to be the superior version of what everyone else who is copying them is doing. Disclosure et al., here’s the lesson book for your next album. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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