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Basement Jaxx 2015 Summer Tour – Power to the People!

It was 2001, and I’d just moved to Denver from the Bay Area. I didn’t really know a soul and was homesick for the house music clubs and dance nights I’d known and loved, having yet to discover Denver’s Mile High House. Basement Jaxx‘s Rooty had been on repeat on my portable and car CD player. Showing up to the Gothic that night to see their show, I expected it to be a similar experience to Chemical Brothers or Junkie XL, where original tracks from their releases were mixed into their DJ set along with other songs and sounds. What I witnessed instead was one of the first electronic dance acts to take their studio to the stage in true fashion, where the contributing guest vocalists were there, dressed in full regalia, singing those wondrous songs from Rooty, live and in person. It left an indelible mark on my musical memory.

In 2015 Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliff are still bringing “Power to the People” via last year’s Junto release, full of celebratory rhythms that align the steel-drummed heat of the Brazilian streets to the sweat of the underground Brixton dance club. True to the Basement Jaxx DNA, their choice of soulful singers like Niara (“Power to the People”), Patricia Panther (“Summer Dem”), and Shakka (“Rock This Road”) intertwine between the myriad of geographical flavors, “From Tokyo to Rio.”  

Having just returned from EDC in Vegas last weekend, where 135,000 people plus were gathered to celebrate dance music, with some key exceptions (Fatboy Slim, Disclosure, Troy Kurtz), it felt like that heart and soul was alive and living in the EDC kids, but the essential foundation of dance music’s birth was missing from a number of metallic, DJ sets from high atop the decks (even Moby’s performance felt forced and contrived…highly disappointing for a veteran of his position). Basement Jaxx has never strayed too far from those deep and dirty beats, from “Sneakin’ Toronto” and “Twerk – Yo Magesty” all the way back to “Breakaway” and “Red Alert,” even as they’ve evolved over the last few decades, from orchestral projects and film scores, and back to their Rooty.

For the current tour in the U.S., Basement Jaxx will be in DJ mode, but I wouldn’t expect them to throw down anything less than the booty-shake-shake they would produce originally themselves. Given the decision from the Supreme Court yesterday, where America has finally caught up with other countries when it comes to marital rights for all, including “Power to the People” in tomorrow night’s mix at Beta here in Denver would be very apropos. With all the crap going on in the world these days, we need to celebrate our interconnectedness and positive power more, and Basement Jaxx are the two men to provide our soundtrack to better times.

Basement Jaxx 2015 Summer Tour:

June 27 – Beta, Denver
June 28 – Hollywood Bowl, LA
June 30 – 9:30 Club, Washington DC
July 1 – Rumsey Playfield, Central Park NY
July 10 – 12 – Brownstock, Chelmsford UK
July 17 – Truck Festival, Steventon UK
July 17-19 – Positivus, Salacgriva, Latvia
July 24-26 – Tramlines, Sheffield UK
July 25 – O2 Academy, Sheffield UK (with Mike Skinner)
July 31-Aug 2 – Y Not Festival, Matlock UK
Aug 2 – Standon Calling, Hertfordshire, Standon UK
Aug 7 – Eridge Park, Tunbridge Wells UK
Aug 29-30 – South West Four, Clampham Common, London UK


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