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Show and Tell: Basement Jaxx ‘Scars’

October 19, 2009

basementjaxx-01UK dance music duo Basement Jaxx

You might remember Basement Jaxx from various ‘dance music’ compilations and the cheese that blasts out of your local aerobics studio—they’re the British electronic music DJ duo behind classics like ‘Red Alert’, ‘Romeo’, and ‘Where’s Your Head At.’

That’s not to say that Basement Jaxx themselves are cheese just because they make frenetic, upbeat and catchy dance music that sporting venue sound engineers and manic fitness instructors like. Instead, like most producers/DJs who are excellent at what they do, they’ve maintained a dedicated club following and still produce excellent songs that show they’re plugged in.

Their latest studio album Scars came out late September, and one of my favourite cuts is the Kelis-featuring title track. (Kelis herself is no stranger to club collabos—I guess that comes with having a very avid European following—and has recently shown up on a track with another UK DJ duo). On ‘Scars,’ Basement Jaxx take a super-production approach to minimalist electro: an ultra warped sample anchors and gives a really epic edge to a song that’s layered with basic drums, laser effects and myriad other electronic fixtures.

It’s a complex track, made to sound weirdly minimal. And that really gives it a hip-hop edge. There’s been a lot of fusion between hip-hop/electronic music in the past few years, and this track executes it perfectly without sounding contrived or predictable. Also featuring UK singer Meleka and rapper Chipmunk.

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