With a career spanning a total of twenty years, experience is something Basement Jaxx definitely aren’t short of. Working themselves up from modest beginnings in 1994 to achieving chart domination in the early 2000s and to then fade from the Top 40 spotlight, the dance duo have observed numerous faces of dance music. Junto, the seventh album to come from the pair, presents the latest rebirth of Basement Jaxx, showcasing that the producers still easily hold a dominant position in the ever-changing face of dance music.
Already supplied with cuts beforehand of the album through singles such as ‘Never Say Never’ and ‘Mermaids of Salinas’, Junto (Spanish for ‘together’) arrives as the act’s first album for four years.
The introduction to the album is provided by a stuttering robotic female voice welcoming us to the “world of the Basement Jaxx” in initial track ‘Intro’. Composed of tribal drumming and chants, this continues as ‘Intro’ blends into ‘Power To The People’ after a short harp interlude, used to create the effect we’re entering the twosome’s world. With a female vocal line, similar to that of Basement Jaxx’s 2004 hit ‘Good Luck’ added on top alongside steel drums, it’s clear from the start that Junto is aimed to cater for the summer market.
Whilst predominantly a house album, Junto does delve and extract elements from other popular dance music sub-genres. Tracks such as ‘Unicorn’ and ‘Sneakin’ Toronto’ brush lightly upon garage, ‘Buffalo’ incorporates drum ‘n’ bass fundamentals, and ‘We Are Not Alone’ and ‘Summer Dem’ have an 80s pop sensibility to them. Junto is almost a representation of Basement Jaxx themselves – an ever-changing forefront.
Despite the altering styles used throughout, the thirteen track selection is organised expertly to steer clear of clashes. While glancing at the list of genres could leave the conclusion of an album with no consistency, Junto is skilfully kept tidy by the focus of each song to come back to two things – summer and house music.