ISSUE #8 FEB 06

David Wright

Basement Jaxx
"Kish Kash"

10th June 2005
reviewer: David Wright
rating: 3 out of 5
published by: XL Records
released: 20th October 2003
  1. Good Luck (feat. Lisa Kekaula)
  2. Right here’s The Spot (feat. Meshell Ndegeocello)
  3. Benjilude
  4. Lucky Star (feat. Dizzee Rascal)
  5. Petrilude
  6. Supersonic (feat. Cotlyn Jackson)
  7. Plug It In (feat. JC Chasez)
  8. Cosmolude
  9. If I Ever Recover
  10. Cish Cash (feat. Siouxsie Sioux)
  11. Tonight (feat. Phoebe)
  12. Hot ‘n Cold
  13. Living Room
  14. Feels Like Home (feat. Meshell Ndegeocello)

Kish Kash is the third album from the Jaxx, released in October 2003; it follows on from Remedy, which enjoyed massive success from several of the singles reaching high places in the national chart during 1999 and 2000, and Rooty, which was slightly less successful.

Kish Kash opens with a massive dancefloor tune called ‘Good Luck’ featuring Lisa Kekaula of the The Bellrays. ‘Good Luck’ is a house-influenced track and has received massive rotation on the radio and in the clubs; it was also the reason I bought the album. It’s recently been remixed by Roni Size and Tim Deluxe. ‘Right Here’s The Spot’ featuring Meshell Ndegeocello continues the standard set by ’Good Luck‘, but drawing on a more breakbeat type of sound, with a deep deep bass. After a brief ‘Benjilude’ we have the first single released from the album, featuring UK hip hop golden boy Dizzee Rascal; ‘Lucky Star’. The track has done some serious damage around clubs and radio stations; it draws on eclectic pool of influences, from Dizzee’s hip hop vocal, to a breakbeat drum pattern and an Indian electric horn. ‘Supersonic’ is another house-influenced piece, starting with a few random bleeps and squeaks, but it soon picks up with a thumping back beat and looping vocal, laid on top of a harmonica. The trouble with this track is it feels as though it's building to something, but it never happens, which is kind of disappointing; all that build-up and then the track finishes.

Which isn’t something that can be said for the following track; ‘Plug It In’, a breaks track featuring JC Chasez and Ty. It's excellently produced, incredibly funky and the second best track after the opener. After a long Cosmolude we’re greeted with a much needed downtempo track by the name of ‘If I Ever Recover’ with Felix Jaxx on vocals with a string arrangement supplied by the London Session Orchestra. It breaks the album up nicely, though could be longer in my opinion. ‘Cish Cash’ is a breakbeat track, reminiscent of earlier Chemical Brothers or recent Prodigy stuff, with vocals from Siouxie Sioux of Siouxie and the Banshees; it’s an industrial-sounding piece with an electric fuzz guitar supporting the kick drums and breaks.

‘Tonight’ is a slower track, with an acoustic Latin guitar and violin setting the tone for quite a sultry piece of music. ‘Hot and Cold’ is another dance track albeit quite a minimal one, a simple stop start beat and kick bass show what the Basement Jaxx do best: simple dance music that sounds bigger than it is. ‘Living Room’ again features the vocals of Felix Jaxx, starting with an electric guitar, building up with a great drum pattern, slowly speeding up, and then……ending!! I hope this track is released as a single or a B Side, but much much longer; it has so much potential, but ends up just taunting you. The last track is a deep atmospheric piece entitled ‘Feels Like Home’, rich pads and nicely arranged strings close the album off very well indeed.

This is a very enjoyable album, with a couple of filler tracks and some stuff that’d sound excellent if expanded on. It's solidly produced and makes for enjoyable listening in the short term. I’m not sure however if it’d be something I’d go back to in a few years. Time will tell.