On their first full-length album, Remedy, the British DJ duo Basement Jaxx unveils a distinctive “punk garage” style that’s rooted in the fundamentals of vintage house music but filtered through the duo’s own adventurously eclectic sensibility. A longstanding institution on the London club scene, the twosome of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe has in recent months gained considerable mainstream attention.
Remedy - which more than one critic has called “the best house album ever” - covers a dizzying array of stylistic bases while transcending dance music’s traditional stylistic constraints. “We were tired of music that didn’t have any joy about being alive,” Buxton recently told Rolling Stone. “We’re happy to be alive, and we want to make music that can give you hope and dreams - something raw, something emotional, something real.”
Ratcliffe and Buxton got their start as London club DJs, building a devoted following through their monthly club nights and eventually recording their own tracks to slip into their DJ sets. They released their first EP in 1994, and have since scored U.K. club hits like “Fly Life,” “Rendez-Vu” and “Red Alert,” which plundered elements of reggae, salsa, Latin, disco, funk and jazz while maintaining a strong connection to house’s rhythmic roots. Meanwhile, Buxton and Ratcliffe have continued to work as DJ’s, deploying their turntable skills for club-goers in the U.S., Japan and Australia.
H"When we did this album, we were pretty exhausted by the whole house music thing,” Ratcliffe recently told Urb. “We weren’t particularly inspired by it any more. And we wanted to do music you could just listen to at home and it makes sense, and it has ups and downs and lots of different emotions and different feelings. And if we succeeded, then hopefully people would just get into it - not even club people, just people.”