Iconic British dance outfit Basement Jaxx have been releasing music since 1999 and DJing in London since 1994 – that’s 22 years of influencing a genre, which they would prefer you put into the niche category of ‘punk garage.’
Basement Jaxx are perhaps often mistaken for the incredible singers that they feature on some of their most well-known tracks, people like Lisa Kekaula (Good Luck, 2003), Kele Le Roc (Romeo, 2001) and Vula Malinga (Oh My Gosh, 2005). However, the producers behind the seminal beats are Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, who met in a pub in Clapham in 1993. After both having dropped out of university previous to this, they bonded over their love of New York house music and started the Brixton club night ‘Basement Jaxx’, which became their own moniker once they started releasing music.
Their first full album was Remedy, 1999 with XL and it instantly took off, leading to a Brit Awards nomination, number four album chart position, featured tracks in Bend it Like Beckham and Pepsi commercials. They also headlined the second stage at Glastonbury in 2000 at the same time as David Bowie, in which their huge percussion line-up and Rio carnival samba dance troupe stole the show.
Since that first album they have released six other offerings in 18 years, as well as releasing their Singles, album in 2005 featuring some of their incredible work up to that date, a go-to album for anyone looking to have a successful house party or bring some salvation to a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Their most recent album Junto, 2014, definitely has a more modern sound, yet it seems safer than some of their previous work and its roots in dance and garage are strong. A couple of tracks like Unicorn and Rock this Road bring back distinct tones that Basement Jaxx are well-known for and these are amplified during their live sets.
So whether you are a new fan or re-discovering Basement Jaxx, you know that their set will compel you to dance, and it will most definitely satiate your need for ‘punk garage.’