Basement Jaxx is the work of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, two dance music and electronica artists from Brixton, London, UK. This electronic dance duo was founded in 1994 and remains active today. Though they started with underground house performances, they quickly rose to popularity in the late 1990s, and became BRIT Award winners for Best Dance Act twice in the early 2000s.
The name of the group comes from a regular club night that they started in their hometown, called “Basement Jaxx”. The club night was held in a variety of venues in London, including The George IV, The Crypt and The Junction, where they were often joined by DJ Sneak, Daft Punk, and Corrina Joseph. Eventually, the club night became more popular and was called “Rooty,” which became the name of their second album.
1999 saw the release of Basement Jaxx’s debut album, Remedy. “Red Alert” became the biggest song off of the album once it was featured in commercials, as well as in the film Bend it like Beckham. The song “Rendez-Vu,” which is also on the album, ranked number 4 on the UK Singles Chart, and remains their highest UK Singles Chart entry.
Their next album was Rooty, which was released in 2001. It included the song “Where’s Your Head At?” which was featured in the soundtrack of the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. “Do Your Thing,” another song off of the album, was featured in the video game SSX3.
The next album, Kish Kash, released in 2003, included contributions from several well-known artists, including Lisa Kekaula of the Bellrays, JC Chasez, Siouxsie Sioux, and Dizzee Rascal. In addition to winning Buxton and Ratcliffe the Best Electronic/Dance Award at the following year’s Grammy Awards, the song “Good Luck,” featured in two films, Just Married and Appleseed.
After the 2005 release of their compilation The Singles, which included a DVD and several bonus tracks, they appeared as the headlining act at the Glastonbury Festival as a replacement for Kylie Minogue.
Crazy Itch Radio is the group’s fourth album, released in 2006. Guest vocalists on the album were Martina Sorbara (credited as “Martina Bang”), Lily Allen, and Robyn. The duo became Robbie Williams’ support act on his ‘Close Encounters’ tour that same year, and wrote and produced the track “Rocking Chair” for Cyndi Lauper’s Bring Ya to the Brink in 2008.
Their 2009 album Scars included guest appearances by Yoko Ono, Santigold, Lightspeed Champion, and Yo! Majesty. The same year, they collaborated with Metropole Orkest on the album Basement Jaxx vs Metropole Orkest. Soon after, the group also collaborated with Stephen Price to score the 2011 film Attack the Block.
Their newest album, Junto, was released in May of 2014, with several tracks preceding the full album’s release, both in live performances and as recorded singles. With the release of this album came music videos as well, including one for “What a Difference Love Makes,” which was shot in South Africa and directed by Damian Weilers, and one for a newly announced track off of their next album, Never Say Never, which features a twerking robot. The video, which was directed by reputable Iranian-American filmmaker Saman Kesh, is about a robot who is charged with the task of saving humanity from a world without dance.
Basement Jaxx not only have taken the world by storm with their music, but also work as remixers collaborating with Justin Timberlake, Yoko Ono, and Janet Jackson, among others.
For those of us lucky enought to have seen Basaement Jaxx Live we know they can put on a spectacular show, quite often delivering a spectacle consisting of dancers, instrumentalists and multiple vocalists. This is perhaps why Basement Jaxx is such a popular act, headlining festivals worldwide.