Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let it all go

88. Basement Jaxx - "Romeo" (XL Recordings, 2001)

So I saw Basement Jaxx DJ at Santos Party House over the weekend and despite the fact that I was running around handing out flyers and not drinking most of the time they were quite amazing. It's been a long time since I've seen a crowd that excited to dance in New York, never mind found it that hard to move around at a dance venue. Most everything they dropped, from their hits to stuff I didn't recognize to that huge A-Trak remix of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to the odd dubstep tune came off (I'm trying to forget the few minutes of a Kings of Leon remix). They had a singer/MC with them that was super charismatic, and hands were in the air all night.

They didn't play "Romeo", at least not while I was around, but for some reason it's the one song of theirs that has stuck with me most in the last few weeks. The very special moment at the end of the 90s and the first part of this decade when the Jaxx and Daft Punk were both approaching pop-dance perfection from opposite sides of the English Channel links the two groups together in my head inextricably (at least it has so far), and while I've probably listened to more of the French robots in the past few years, the Jaxx remain very special to me, so much brilliant and varied silliness in their ever-changing style. This song's super stiff bass never sounds quite right to me at first, and then I still start moving. And the vocals are actually kind of restrained when faced with the madness going on around them. And the "let it all go" refrain ends up being so touching. Perfect pop-dance madness all over the place really.

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