Single Review: Basement Jaxx – ‘Never Say Never’ (Feat. ETML)
A couple of months back we had a look at Unicorn – the third track to be pulled from Junto, the forthcoming seventh album from UK dance juggernaut Basement Jaxx. It was a fairly clubby affair and this month, they drop what will probably be the last single before the album in Never Say Never featuring up and coming Londoner ETML.
Opening with some deceptively cinematic strings and piano, the track unfolds with all the momentum you’d expect of a Basement Jaxx tune but with a bit more of a sentimental bent. The vulnerable sensuality in 19-year-old Elliot Marshall’s voice is definitely the centerpiece of Never Say Never with the Jaxx’s production heading more into cruisy atmospheric mode rather than aiming for another dancefloor banger.
Like Unicorn however, there’s definitely a loyalty to the ‘90s dance sound that was forged in part by Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe themselves nigh-on two decades ago now and it’s definitely a good thing. It’s interesting that on almost all fronts, the culture cycle seems to be coming back around in 20-year increments and Basement Jaxx, while always pushing the envelope and making something cool (they wouldn’t survive in EDM nowadays if they didn’t), have managed to stay true to the sound that earned them their place with fans worldwide but without sounding dated.
Judging by the four songs released from it so far (Mermaid of Salinas, What a Difference Your Love Makes, Unicorn and now Never Say Never), Junto is shaping up to be a pretty killer dance record. With its release on August 25th just around the corner, only time will tell.