With no big hits, Basement Jaxx's Junto misses the mark [Review]

By Sam Gusway
By Sam Gusway |

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Basement Jaxx started out, as their name implies, in the basement. From the bowels of London's darkest clubs, they were pumping out underground house music for serious party people. Later on, big hits like Romeo and Where's Your Head At? (and its disturbing video) cemented their status as dance kings.

With the release of their seventh album, Junto, it's plain to see that the duo is tired. But who wouldn't be after 20 years of hardcore partying?

Junto is a big offering, a two-disc album featuring cameos from a new generation of vocalists. The songs cover a wide variety of electronica subgenres, from acid house to jungle, with even a little bit of synthy '80s R'n'B thrown in.

The problem is that none of the songs really hit their mark. With no songs that are major standouts, the album is destined to become background music at a generic cafe instead of a dance-floor filler at a thumping club.

Truth be told, the album sounds fantastic, but just because it sounds beautiful doesn't mean the songs are any good. Basement Jaxx are obviously now more at home in a studio than a nightclub, turning in their DJ headphones to become producers instead. And that's a pity, because at one time the band were making genuine hits that would go straight from your ears to your feet.