New mixes of classic Basement Jaxx not up to scratch…

Do you remember an era when Basement Jaxx used to pleasantly surprise us each time they turned up with a new release? Ears To The House most certainly does – most of us can still recall the first time we heard records such as “Flylife”, “Red Alert, “Jump And Shout” and “Get Me Off”. For a while, they were one of the better things Britain contributed to the house music world.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, of course – because both men had worked throughout the 90s to get there. Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe had been putting out music under the Basement Jaxx name since 1994 – Ratcliffe had also done tracks and remixes as part of Helicopter with Dylan Barnes. Anyone going through their discography from that time will notice a distinctive but consistent sound.

Sadly, the same cannot be said of the Basement Jaxx of today. We notice a lot of their upcoming gigs in the next few months are of the classic variety – things like 90s Fest in Rotherham or Haçienda Classical. With this in mind, they’ve decided to commission remixes of several of their archive tracks – and judging by the efforts now appearing on streaming platforms, standards have really fallen.

Grant Nelson, for example, turns up with an unusually sub-par remix of “Red Alert”. Marco Lys does the tech-house by numbers job which nobody asked for on “Rendez-Vu”. Or there’s “Do Your Thing”, remixed poorly by David Penn. Compared with the remixes Basement Jaxx themselves did in the 1990s, they are simply terrible.

For instance, take their 1996 remix of “I Need You” by Nikita Warren. The original relied heavily on a classic piano chord progression sampled by Ralphi Rosario on “An Instrumental Need”. Buxton and Ratcliffe made the risky decision to ditch the piano and create a moody, darker version – which worked. And would their version of “We’re Rocking Down The House” by Adonis see the light of day today?

Let’s just hope those listening to these new versions discover the old ones – because the newer ones do their legacy no justice…

Ears To The House Team

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