On The Money

Breathtaking third album from Brixton house heroes. Mad, actually

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Evidently, too much is never enough for Basement Jaxx. If Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton’s first two albums suggested a frantic and greedy appetite for music then Kish Kash is the delirious blow-out. It’s a high-density, higher-intensity attempt to compress a vast and eclectic selection of sounds into functioning pop songs, to overturn prissy concepts of genre. To give you an idea of the unpredictable turns Kish Kash takes, a roll call of the guest vocalists might help: boy du jour Dizzee Rascal; the enduringly witchy Siouxsie Sioux; JC Chasez, once Justin Timberlake’s oppo in N’Sync; Lisa Kekaula, a force of nature largely wasted in her day job with LA garage rockers The BellRays. The one artist most suited to this madness, Prince, chose not to return their calls. It’s a decision he may live to regret.

Kish Kash is more than a manifesto against minimalism. It’s a truly exhilarating 50 minutes of music. Once feted as Britain’s foremost house producers, a kind of Brixton correlative to Masters At Work, Ratcliffe and Buxton have moved far beyond the confines of dance music nowadays. Kish Kash remains music you can dance to?it defies you not to dance, in fact?but at the heart of all the frenzied detailing are conventionally structured songs. So opener “Good Luck” is an accelerated hybrid of ’60s orchestral soul and Timbaland’s futurist R&B, pivoted on Kekaula’s proud kiss-off to an ex-lover. “Right Here’s The Spot”, meanwhile, is a hyper-detailed update of Prince at his most gymnastic (“Housequake”, perhaps) with Me’Shell Ndeg

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