Album: Basement Jaxx

Kish Kash, XL
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The Independent Culture

With guest vocalists including Siouxsie Sioux and Lisa Kekaula from the LA rockers The Bellrays, Kish Kash is clearly not your average dance album - even though Kekaula sounds a bit like Kelis on the string-swathed soul opener, "Good Luck". Admittedly, Dizzee Rascal does turn up to assure us of his wellbeing on the Arabic-tinged "Lucky Star", but that's more of a brief nod in the direction of current taste on an album that perhaps seeks to establish Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe as the UK equivalent of The Neptunes, applying their talents to styles ranging from the jerky, staccato groove of "Hot'n'Cold" - with Buxton in the Pharrell Williams front-man role - to the flamenco and Cossack flavours of "Tonight" and "Living Room". Standout tracks include "Supersonic", with its dense mix of blues and gospel samples, and "Right Here's the Spot", a punchy techno-funk stomp, on which Meshell Ndegeocello plays sultry soul diva. The clamour of background vocals and the bulging array of musical elements on that last track irresistibly recall the giddy madness of Funkadelic - there's the same liberating sense of stumbling into a party that started a while earlier and getting swept up in the fun, while also having your horizons broadened. Overall, a commendable attempt to take dance music in several new directions at once.

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