by Hobey Echlin
Like Insane Clown Posse, Basement Jaxx greatest asset is that they are artists-as-fans. And like the Clowns with horror rap, the Jaxx take on their chosen genre in this case, house music is unashamedly white and middle-class, replete with pop referencing, spring-break goodtime jams and the occasional effective breaking from the ranks into moody artfulness. House purists could argue the Jaxx are everything thats wrong with "progressive" house namely that it leaves behind the basic soul and R&B references that originally defined house. But as Remedy proves, the Basement Jaxx have taken the house vernacular of body-jacking 4/4 beats and fused it with pop, hip hop, even occasionally breakbeat, to make a record that is as listenable as it is danceable.
Like the Chemical Brothers with a house 12" pedigree, Jaxxers Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton have the luxury of being able to flip their script even while theyre rewriting it. The albums title track, for instance, features flamenco guitar and a vocoder (!), sorta novel for a house track, while elsewhere they get into sideways breakbeat and doom-and-gloom bass melodies that sound like Portishead letting its hair down in Ibiza ("Stop For Love"). And for good measure, theres even a Latin percussion track ("Bingo Bango"), a bizarre-but-hell-yeah detour into Timbalandish Aaliyah hip hop ("You Cant Stop Me") to balance the slap-bass diva house of such already-charting 12" house fare as "Red Alert."
With this kind of range, Remedy is payback for every dance floor act you could accuse of making tracks instead of real songs.