Felix Buxton (left) and Simon Ratcliffe (right)
|Genres||Electronica, house, UK garage, alternative rock, funky house, big beat|
|Labels||XL, Interscope, Ultra, Atlantic Jaxx, PIAS Recordings, 37 Adventures|
Basement Jaxx are a British electronic dance music duo consisting of Felix Buxton (born 1971) and Simon Ratcliffe (born 1 December 1969). The pair got their name from the regular night club they held in their hometown of Brixton, London, UK. They first rose to popularity in the late 1990s. As the British Hit Singles & Albums book duly noted "they surfaced from the underground house scene, are regular transatlantic club chart-toppers and won the BRIT Award for Best Dance Act in 2002 and 2004".
Basement Jaxx started in Brixton, South London, in 1994, where they held a regular club night called Basement Jaxx, which was also held in a variety of venues including The George IV, The Crypt and The Junction. They were joined by DJs including DJ Sneak, Daft Punk, and singer Corrina Joseph. They mutated the night into an equally popular club called Rooty, the namesake of their second album.
In 1999, the group released their first full length album, Remedy. Remedy included the single "Red Alert", which was featured in the film Bend It Like Beckham as well as Nickelodeon and Coca-Cola commercials. Other singles on this album were "Jump N' Shout", "Bingo Bango", and "Rendez-Vu", which is Basement Jaxx's highest UK Singles Chart entry to date at number 4. Basement Jaxx also released Jaxx Unreleased, a compilation album of B-sides, remixes, and other assorted material, in 1999. 2000 saw them release Camberwell, another release of new material.
Their next album, 2001's Rooty included singles "Romeo", "Jus 1 Kiss", "Where's Your Head At?", "Do Your Thing", and "Get Me Off". The music video for album opener "Romeo" is an homage to the Bollywood film style. "Where's Your Head At?" became an international hit in 2002, also known for its inclusion on the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider soundtrack. "Do Your Thing" was included in the video game SSX 3. Xxtra Cutz was released shortly after Rooty, containing B-sides from the album's singles. Span Thang and Junction, two EPs, were released in 2001–2002.
2003–2004: Kish Kash
In 2003, Basement Jaxx released their third full-length album, Kish Kash, which included contributions from Lisa Kekaula (of the Bellrays), Me'shell Ndegeocello, Dizzee Rascal, Totlyn Jackson, JC Chasez, Siouxsie Sioux, and Phoebe. From this album, the tracks "Lucky Star", "Good Luck", and "Plug It In" were released as singles. The track "Good Luck" was re-released in 2004, after exposure from being the theme to BBC's Euro 2004 coverage, and was also featured in the soundtrack of Just Married and Appleseed, an anime film released in 2004. Kish Kash was recognised the following year at the 47th Grammy Awards, winning Buxton and Ratcliffe the inaugural 'Best Electronic/Dance Album' award.
2005: The Singles
In 2005, the duo released the number 1 compilation The Singles along with a video collection on DVD, comprising all the singles from their previous three albums, some earlier releases (featured on Atlantic Jaxx Recordings: A Compilation), and two new tracks, "Oh My Gosh" and "U Don't Know Me", which were both released as singles. The Singles (Special Edition) was also released, which contained the original compilation along with a bonus disc entitled Bonus Traxx, containing many previously unreleased tracks, as well as remixes of existing Basement Jaxx songs. The duo appeared as a headline act on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2005 when Kylie Minogue was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with cancer. Basement Jaxx played with a live band made up of artists who recorded the album. Drumtech-trained Nathan 'Tugg' Curran was on drums for Glastonbury and has remained a constant performer.
2006–2007: Crazy Itch Radio
Their fourth studio album, Crazy Itch Radio, was released on 4 September 2006 in the UK, simultaneously with its first single, "Hush Boy". The album featured guest vocals by Martina Sorbara (credited as "Martina Bang"), Lily Allen, and Robyn. In 2006, Basement Jaxx were also one of the support acts for Robbie Williams on his 'Close Encounters' tour. For Cyndi Lauper's Bring Ya to the Brink in 2008, they produced and wrote the track "Rocking Chair". They also released a series of releases over this period of new material, entiled Planet.
In 2009, Buxton revealed in a BBC Radio 1 broadcast that Basement Jaxx's forthcoming album Scars was completed and being mastered. Buxton stated that the tracks include guest appearances by Yoko Ono, Santigold, Lightspeed Champion, and Yo! Majesty. The band was also interested in getting Grace Jones to add vocals to the new album. The album was released in September 2009. The first single "Raindrops" preceded it in June 2009. The band recorded at the Bizspace centre in Coldharbour Lane, in Loughborough Junction. Basement Jaxx also collaborated with Metropole Orkest in a new album entitled Basement Jaxx vs Metropole Orkest.
2011–present: Attack the Block and Junto
In November 2011, Simon revealed the pair were working on a new album – hinting that some tracks were already appearing in their DJ sets. At their first live show for several years at Chiswick House Festival in July 2012, the band performed some new material from their forthcoming album including the song "Diamonds". The album is being recorded in their new studio in Kings Cross, London. Possible tracks that were predicted to appear on the album according to Pitchfork include "Make.Believe", "Let's Rock this Road Together", "Back 2 the Wild", "We R Not Alone", "Galactical", "Power 2 The People", "Mermaid of Salinas", "People of Planet Earth" and "What a Difference Your Love Makes". The band ran a contest through graphic design firm JDO, where the band will use the graphic identity (including the album and single artwork designs) that the winner created for their upcoming album and consequent promotional items. "Back 2 the Wild" was released as a single on 12 April 2013, with an accompanying video co-directed by Matt Maitland and Natalia Stuyk being uploaded to their YouTube account on 16 April. "What a Difference Your Love Makes" was released as a single on 30 September 2013. The single's accompanying video was released on Vevo on 7 August 2013. It was directed by Damian Weilers and shot in South Africa. On 1 May 2014, Basement Jaxx released a new song for the album called "Unicorn" on SoundCloud.
In addition to their own work, Basement Jaxx have become in-demand remixers. Their more prominent work includes remixes of "4 My People" by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Everyman… Everywoman…" by Yoko Ono, "Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake, and "She Wants to Move" by N*E*R*D. They also collaborated with Janet Jackson on unreleased songs for her Damita Jo album. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, as well as The Botz and Garold Marks, have stated they are fans and would like to collaborate with Basement Jaxx in the future.
The duo were invited to write an exclusive piece of music to accompany a work of art they admired in London's Tate Modern museum, Karel Appel's "Hip, Hip, Hoorah!". The work is not available for sale, but can be listened to in the gallery or its official site. In 2007, their track "Close Your Eyes", sung by Linda Lewis, was featured in the Japanese CGI anime movie Vexille.
- Studio albums
- Remedy (1999)
- Rooty (2001)
- Kish Kash (2003)
- Crazy Itch Radio (2006)
- Scars (2009)
- Zephyr (2009)
- Junto (2014)
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the US dance chart
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