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Zephyr
     

Zephyr

by Basement Jaxx
 
Originally intended to be part of a double album with Scars, Basement Jaxx instead chose to release their more experimental 2009 effort, Zephyr, on its own merits, a wise decision considering its collection of downtempo and ambient self-described "soundscapes" would more than likely have gotten lost amidst the manic cut-and-paste vocal house of its more

Overview

Originally intended to be part of a double album with Scars, Basement Jaxx instead chose to release their more experimental 2009 effort, Zephyr, on its own merits, a wise decision considering its collection of downtempo and ambient self-described "soundscapes" would more than likely have gotten lost amidst the manic cut-and-paste vocal house of its more commercial alternative. Recorded over a two-year period across Berlin, New York, and London, its ten tracks still adhere to the usual "anything goes" Jaxx approach, but apart from the acoustic folk loops, hypnotic beats, and bilingual childlike melodies of "Walking in the Clouds" and the chaotic arcade game electro of "Dark Vale," it's an altogether more reflective affair that allows Buxton and Ratcliffe to showcase their unique interpretation of a chillout album. Indeed, only "Where R We Now," a string-soaked collaboration with U.S. jazz baritone José James, would sit comfortably next to the coffee-table arrangements of Zero 7 and Morcheeba, as Jaxx instead revel in their more globetrotting influences, fusing twitchy sitars and brooding Leftfield-esque atmospherics on "Hip Hip Hooray"; blending sci-fi sound effects with flamenco guitars and bossa nova beats on the seductive lounge-pop of "Alkazaar"; and combining their love of ragga, dancehall, and Latin jazz on the melting pot of sounds that is six-minute closer "Ascension." Elsewhere, there are flashes of vocals from Yoko Ono (who appeared on Scars' "Day of the Sunflowers") on the new age-inspired "Sunrising," "Peace of Mind" combines skittering Balearic breakbeats with shimmering '70s Fleetwood Mac guitar hooks, and "Check the Fuse" is an all too short 54-second slice of hazy Americana. The latter's "blink and you'll miss it" running time presents Zephyr's only real problem, as clocking in at just under a rather measly 30 minutes, Buxton and Ratcliffe never really give themselves the opportunity to explore their more ethereal nature. Which is a shame, as while it certainly doesn't contain any potential hits, it's a creative and playful curiosity that adds yet another string to their genre-straddling bow.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/16/2010
Label:
Xl Recordings Uk
UPC:
0634904047825
catalogNumber:
0404782

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Basement Jaxx   Primary Artist
Yoko Ono   Vocals
Joe Benjamin   Vocals
B.J. Cole   Steel Guitar
Gene Calderazzo   Drums
Oli Savill   Percussion,Vocals
Simon Ratcliffe   Vocals
Felix Buxton   Vocals
London Studio Orchestra   Strings
Mulatu Astatke   Vocals,Vibes
Channi Singh   Vocals
Lisa Kekaula   Vocals
Chico Chagas   Piano
Khader Ahmad   Percussion
Sam Meredith   Percussion
Jack Nunn   Percussion,Cello
Mona Singh   Vocals
Bridget Masque   Background Vocals
Monica Bermudez   Vocals
Dwayne Ellis   Vocals
Ricardo Dos Santos   Double Bass
David Gunther   Guitar
Ben Edwards   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Basement Jaxx   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Presentation
Ratcliffe   Composer
Adam Noble   Programming,Engineer
Rudyard Lee Cullers   Engineer
Mat Maitland   Art Direction
Howard Rider   Engineer
Jack Nunn   Engineer
Bernd Laubner   Engineer
Andreas Moses Schneider   Engineer
Tom Linden   Engineer
Wil Malone   String Arrangements,String Conductor

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