Thursday, July 23, 2009


Song: Raindrops
Artist: Basement Jaxx
Album: Raindrops (single)

A current staple at Blowoff, not sure if it has the urgency and power of past singles like "Red Alert" or "Where's Your Head At?," but it's really growing on me. But I was also, after loving each album before, was pretty disappointed with their last full length, "Crazy Itch Radio." I'll be interested to hear what the entire new record has in store.

"Raindrops" is the first single from the British dance/electronic group Basement Jaxx upcoming fifth studio album Scars and released on June 22, 2009.

The music video for the song was released on June 8, 2009 and it's filmed partly in a kaleidoscope style, featuring women dancing provocatively in colourful feathers, masks and ferns.

Critical reception

The song has been mostly praised by the critics. BBC rated the song whole five stars, describing it as "a slinky, pounding, twinkling, uplifting house juggernaut." Digital Spy gave the song three stars, saying that it is "warm and uplifting as a summer breeze flurrying under your skirt" and "marks a welcome, if slightly cautious, return." PopMatters rated "Raindrops" eight out of ten stars, praising both the video and the song as "deliciously disco-esque" Pitchfork also gave the song 8 stars, and described it as "one of their best songs" as well as "unashamedly psychedelic, without losing its disco heart."


Basement Jaxx started in Brixton, South London in 1994, where they held a regular night club called Rooty, the namesake of their second artist album. In 1999, the group released their first full length album, Remedy to wide acclaim. Remedy includes the single "Red Alert", which was featured in the film Bend It Like Beckham and commercials including Nickelodeon and Coca-Cola. Other singles on this album were "Jump N' Shout", "Bingo Bango" and "Rendez Vu", which is Basement Jaxx's highestUK chart entry to date at number 4. Basement Jaxx also released Jaxx Unreleased, a compilation of b-sides, remixes and other assorted material, in 1999.

Their next full length 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 a huge international hit in 2002, due in large part to its inclusion on the Tomb Raider soundtrack, and is perhaps Basement Jaxx's best known song, with a video praised by Mixmag as the best dance music video ever made. Xxtra Cutz was released shortly after Rooty, containing b-sides from this album's singles.

2003 brought Basement Jaxx's third full length album, Kish Kash, which included contributions from Lisa Kekaula (of the Bellrays), Me'shell Ndegeocello, grime MC Dizzee Rascal, Totlyn Jackson, JC Chasez, Siouxsie Sioux (of Siouxsie & the Banshees), 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 recognized the following year at the 47th Grammy awards, winning Buxton and Ratcliffe the inaugural Best Electronic/Dance Album award.

In 2005, the duo released the #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 video for "U Don't Know Me" featured a drunken, carousing and violent Queen Elizabeth II lookalike and was banned from daytime rotation on MTV. 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 the tour (2005 to Present).

Their fourth studio album, Crazy Itch Radio, was released on September 4, 2006 in the UK, simultaneously with its first single, "Hush Boy". The album features guest vocals by Dragonette frontwoman Martina Sorbara (credited as "Martina Bang"), Lily Allen and Robyn. After the release of "Hey U" as a single in March 2007, they will begin work on their fifth album, which may be released on Atlantic Jaxx Recordings. In 2006 Basement Jaxx were also one of the support acts for Robbie Williams on his 'Close Encounters' tour

In addition to their own work, Basement Jaxx have become in-demand remixers. Their more prominent work includes "4 My People" by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, "Like I Love You" by Justin Timberlake and "She Wants to Move" by N*E*R*D. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, as well as 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!" ended up being the inspiring work. 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" was featured in the Japanese CGI anime movie, Vexille.

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 is set for release in September 2009. The first single is "Raindrops" was released in June 2009. According to Portvaleonline, Basement Jaxx are behind a bid to invest in Port Vale Football Club.


Studio album



Where's Your Head At?

Oh My Gosh

1 comment:

Mike M. said...

like the new format my friend..thanks for keeping up the writing.