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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Basement Jaxx
Kish Kash

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
A classmate once asked me whether, in reference to the Platonic forms, something could partake in the good without partaking in the beautiful. Like most questions of the sort, it went unanswered for the time being, however Kish Kash answers the question with an emphatic, "yes".

Basement Jaxx consists of producers Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton, who integrate their eccentric production techniques with their songwriting. The music is both intricate and cluttered, with electronic samples running awry and various, processed voices fading into and out of the mix to cartoon-like effect. There's no demand for an attention span- the fast and impetuous tempos make the dance-music hit immediately.

Kish Kash scratches some impulsive itch, however in a very raunchy way. A variety of guest-singers fill the vocal range with caricature-like voices that sing low-down lyrics. In any given song, there are multiple voices battling for attention; "Lucky Star" featuring Dizzee Rascal, for example, contains low and primordial, nonsensical rapping, a sensuous female chorus and various orgasmic sighs.

At the least, Basement Jaxx is entertaining on a superficial level; each song has an impressive amount of continuously moving parts and sounds. On the best numbers, these little amoebas are combined to make a driving whole. "Good Luck" (with Lisa Kekaula), "Right Here's the Spot" (Me'Shell NdegéOcello), "Lucky Star" (Dizzee Rascal again) and "Supersonic" (Cotlyn Jackson) all march forward with a parade of ticking beeps and synths that add up to an irrepressible force. Slower numbers like "If I Ever Recover" and "Tonight" (with Phoebe) depend on more traditional songwriting techniques, ultimately lacking the above numbers' immediacy. When Basement Jaxx trims the excess production, they simply create normal dance music. "Hot 'n Cold" has a modest beat and Michael Jackson-like tenor that strike me as neutral, while "Living Room" and it's central guitar is a bland, robotic style of ska.

Kish Kash's sexual undertones give it a soulful and funky edge, while the unpolished product has an electro-punk disposition. You won't feel amazed or exalted, however the sound is quite original, as if it were emanating from the twisted underbelly of some malfunctioning machine.

Reviewed by Josh Kazman
No infro.

See other reviews by Josh Kazman



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