BASEMENT JAXX with DJs SNEAK, GRYPHON, MYKA, JASON HODGES and TEE LOO'S KITCHEN tonight (Thursday, April 5) at Steamwhistle Brewery (255 Bremner). $25. Rating: NNNNN
When it was released in 1999, Basement Jaxx's Remedy debut was hailed as an instant classic, a house record that reached well beyond the conventional four-four thump.
The album featured Brixton DJs Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Bunton sculpting rough and rugged house beats that came as close as possible to the West Indian sound systems the duo heard booming in their neighbourhood. They also ventured deep into latin jazz territory, working with legendary percussionist Airto before retreating to their South London bunker to work on a follow-up.
Basement Jaxx's as-yet untitled sophomore album is due out June 26 and makes even fewer concessions to house convention than their debut. Along with the trademark Jaxx house anthems, the album finds the duo fusing their sleek, dancehall-influenced sound with jazz breaks and, on Do Your Thing, a full-throated gospel stomp, with house don Junior Sanchez and crooner Kele Le Rock on vocals.
The group's Toronto gig tonight (Thursday, April 5) should offer an intense advance preview of the disc -- expect a return gig later in the summer -- while signalling the launch of the roomy performance space at the Steam Whistle Brewery as a full-blown venue for live electronic music.
The room in the old railway roadhouse next to the CN Tower hosts austere techno giants Autechre on May 9.