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Friday, 22 June, 2001, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Back to basement
Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe are Basement Jaxx
Rooty - underground music with universal appeal?
By the BBC's Michael Osborn

The advent of the British summer inevitably brings a whole clutch of dance music albums flooding onto the market.

Their quality varies greatly and some is just the same old recycled rubbish.

But this new offering from south London duo Basement Jaxx is not something than can simply be discarded after one listen.

Producers Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe claim to come straight from the Brixton underground - but have an uncanny knack of popping up in the top ten.

Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe
Felix and Simon are not set to make regular tabloid stories
As if by magic, the first single of this album, Romeo, chalked up a high chart position, and other tracks like the infectious Jus 1 Kiss could well produce the mainstream goods for this act too.

A whole wealth of sounds and styles are peppered through the album, but these record makers have left their mark all over it.

No bad thing, since Felix and Simon are hardly names that trip off the tongue or appear in the tabloids on a daily basis.

A line-up of vocalists provide a lyrical feast on all the tracks - which means there are words to be sung as well as moves to be danced out on this album.

Kele Le Roc is a well-known name who does the honours on Romeo, while male vocalists pull the music out of the over-egged screaming diva pudding.

Deliciously salacious

Well-aired chart hit Romeo is an unrelenting stonker of a track, as is Get Me Off, which has a harder edge to accompany the deliciously salacious lyrics, and seems likely to follow Romeo onto the dancefloors of provincial clubs across the land.

Basement Jaxx have scooped up many sounds on their travels to make their songs seep beneath the skin and settle in the mind.

The gentler Broken Dreams uses a delightful trumpet fanfare straight from the Mexican football terraces.

Where's Your Head Up could be a glam rock anthem until a pulsing beat breaks it up and messes it up into another few minutes of dance.

Do Your Thing might certainly be a novelty hit with its piano riff overlaid with an almightily phat beat - but seems nothing more than a moment of comedy on an otherwise serious album.

Basement Jaxx claim to come from Brixton's underbelly, but have an uncanny talent for turning out mainstream hits. Their sound is at times less than mellow and smooth - perhaps a nod to their origins.

But Rooty shows they know how to fix a thumping dance tune, thankfully with a little thought, and something a notch above the usual seasonal mush.

Rooty by Basement Jaxx is released on 25 June by XL Recordings.

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