Basement Jaxx haven't put out anything new in a minute, but they seem to be cropping up everywhere, at least by proxy: Rusko's "Pressure," off his new album Songs, is an obvious homage to the Jaxx's brand of super-sized dance pop crossover, while a wide swath of the house underground is taking inspiration from the duo's early, jack-happy fusion of Chicago house and London attitude.
In the wake of jubilant, over-the-top hits like "Romeo" and "Where's Your Head At," I had forgotten that Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe have turned out plenty of "proper," heads-down house music in their day. Oh, but have they ever: just check the dreamy "Deep Inside Your Love," from their 1994 debut EP, for soul-stirring, body-moving house that takes cues from KMS and MK, or 1995's "Deep Jackin" for relentless, stripped-down acid house.
One of the things that has always distinguished Basement Jaxx, in whatever mode they happen to be working, is their sense of swing. In cuts like "I'm Thru With You," you can hear a premonition of U.K. garage in their skipping hi-hats and rimshots; around the turn of the millennium, they dove headfirst into 2-step with remixes from the likes of Steve Gurley and Sunship, both of which you'll find here. And in a song like the jewel-toned "Twilite," you can even hear the roots of the experimental, Afrocentric house of present-day artists like Four Tet and Caribou.
Explore Basement Jaxx's late-night side in this collection of deep cuts.