Vinyl Record & CD
|No. of Discs:||3|
Double vinyl includes album CD
Basement Jaxx are on top of the world. It's a view these inveterate musical explorers have long embraced, ever since minting, at the turn of the millennium, the currently voguish, airwave-dominating pop-house sound. But as they prepare to release their earth-shaking, hip-shaking new album, that view is taking on added meaning.
The spirit of the album is there in the title. Junto means together in Spanish. It's definitely not to be confused with the name for a despotic Latin American regime. And Simon and Felix wear their heart on their record sleeve: the cover of Junto features a new logo based on "clouds and nature and sacred geometry", which was created by the winner of a design competition the duo ran a couple of years ago.
"With this album we wanted to do something that felt more at one with the world," says Felix. "Which is partly to do with my awakening after I saw a UFO from the studio..."
But let's not go there. Not today at least. ("He talks about the UFO every day!" exclaims Simon, his long-term partner, half-sceptical, half-believing "He's evangelical about it!") Let's talk instead about the album's most hardcore dance song, the heavy, grinding, throbbing Buffalo.
"In the car I was listening to some jungle on a pirate station," says Felix by way of explaining the track's genesis, "and I was thinking, ‘wow, this sound really fresh again...'"
"And we were partly inspired by Harlem Shake," adds Simon. The pair are as much the enthusiastic students of dance music's ever-evolving shapes and genres as they ever were. "So we thought it would be a good idea to do a drum and bass trap song."
Vocals are by transgender rapper Mykki Blanco. Well, some of them are. "He's pretty out there," nods Felix, and this is truer than they initially imagined. Blanco vanished before they could finish the track with him - he's currently, they think, really out there, in the desert.
It all adds to the cheerfully inventive, explosively enjoyable vibe of an album written and finessed over the last couple of years. As they've always been, Basement Jaxx are both diligent and instinctive, forever alert to the creative possibilities offered by new talent. Forget this-or-that Big Name Guest Star - what can a fresh voice bring to the party?
So Junto features walk-on vocals for singers they met in the car park of their studio (Niara, big-lunged singer of "Power To The People"), on the street at the Edinburgh Festival (Scottish rapper Patricia Panther, who's on the sexually gobby "Summer Dem"), and from amidst the ranks of their carny-style "Jaxx family" touring party (Shakka, who toplines the World Cup samba-party vibes of "Rock This Road").
|Power To The People|
|We Are Not Alone|
|Never Say Never|
|Rock This Road|
|What’s The News|
|Mermaid of Salinas|
|Love Is At Your Side|
|Something About You|