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Kish Kash? More Like a Mishmash
While critics and electronic music elitists will indubitably cream over the Basement Jaxx’s new record, older fans of the British duo may find this release pretty hard to swallow. Kish Kash, the third album from Jaxxers Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton, may well be considered their “concept album”–one opting for radical experimentation rather than the danceable house that made them famous. However, while experimentation is generally a good thing, too much of it can result in chaos and a lack of direction. Some Basement Jaxx fans will surely find that Kish Kash unfortunately falls victim to the second scenario.
Kish Kash starts off promising enough with “Good Luck,” a soulful track featuring the vocals (and attitude) of Lisa Kekaula from L.A. based rock/r&b group the BellRays. Me’Shell NdegeOcello lends her talents on the groovy “Right Here’s the Spot” and the laid back closer, “Feels Like Home.” However, things start to go awry with the Middle Eastern tinged “Lucky Star.” The music is on point, but British rapper Dizzee Rascal’s whiny voice makes the song unbearably annoying. Siouxsie Sioux, of Siouxsie and the Banshees, sings on the electroclash-ish “Cish Cash,” an effort better left to Ladytron. “Plug It In” features J.C. Chasez who sounds like Prince doing a commercial for Glade’s “PlugIns.”
While experimentation and the combining of different genres may work for other artists and shows a degree of innovation, the kind heard on Kish Kash seems awkward coming from the chaps who brought us Remedy. Both experimentation and name-dropping prove to be a double-edged sword for Kish Kash; it is what makes the album intriguing yet unfocused at the same time.