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Single Review: Basement Jaxx – ‘Unicorn’

2 min read

Over the course of six albums Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe – better known as UK dance powerhouse Basement Jaxx – have kept sweaty clubs and massive festival stages alike churning for an unbelievable 20 years now with massive tunes like Red Alert, Good Luck and Do Your Thing. Their funky, pumping house vibe, usually with the focus on a soulful pop hook has had audiences smitten from the beginning and after nearly a 5-year drought between records, this month they return with another taste of their as-yet-untitled 7th LP in club-banger Unicorn.

BasementJaxx-UnicornAs opposed to the Latino flair of last year’s Mermaid Of Salinas or the futurist disco of What A Difference Your Love Makes, Unicorn is a little more loyal to the down-the-line UK big-beat sound of the mid-to-late ‘90s (when the pair were cutting their teeth in clubs around London). It seems a little strange that there’s been essentially nothing but radio silence from such electro royalty with EDM extending its influence to the farthest reaches of music of late. Amid the film scores and orchestral projects with which they’ve busied themselves in the last few years, you get the impression that Buxton and Ratcliffe have been keeping a quiet tab on the deadmau5es and Aviciis of the world, stroking their chins while they formulate the best way to re-enter the music scene and show the kids how it’s done.

While Unicorn may not have the instant infectiousness of a Where’s Your Head At?-level crossover smash, its stabby-synths, adorable female hooks and huge 4-on-the-floor momentum show that after a couple of decades in the game, Basement Jaxx are still more than capable of getting you out of your seat. Marking the third standalone track that’s popped up online in the last few months, Unicorn is a pretty good indicator that album #7 is going to be something special and shows the value in taking a step back to assess your strategy when you’ve been at it for so long.