Ooh. Asia’s largest festival at sea is looming closer than ever.
Whether you’re ready for it or not, It’s The Ship promises 5 days and 4 nights of partying ’round-the-clock! With so much epicness ahead, we thought it’d be apt to speak to a DJ/producer duo who has been in the dance music scene way before it became epic e.g. commercial sounds, “the drop”, etc. A DJ/producer duo who surfaced from the underground house scene and eventually rose to become club chart-toppers. After which, they successfully became a household name in the dance music industry.
Yes, it’s none other than Basement Jaxx!
Felix rang us up all the way from the UK last week for a quick catchup and chat about Basement Jaxx’s upcoming It’s The Ship gig, as well as the duo’s new album, “Junto”, and some exciting future plans. What future plans? Big ones – we’re talking, “live show” big.
Here’s what went down:
Hi Felix! So good to finally be speaking to you. Where are you right now and what are you currently up to?
I’m in my house, at home. Simon is in the studio or he might be at home. His father just passed away so he’s dealing with that – I think.
The first time Basement Jaxx was in KL, it was in 2010 for a New Year’s Eve party. Do you remember that? What were you looking forward to most when you knew that you were coming back?
Yes, I remember that. It was very good! Malaysia is a great part of the world to go to. I’ve never DJed on a ship anywhere before and it just seems like an interesting event and something really good to do. I’m really, really looking forward to that.
Between 2010 in Malaysia now, the upcoming It’s The Ship, Basement Jaxx has released a new album called, “Junto”, right? How is it different from “Zephyr”?
That’s right. “Junto” means “together” in Spanish and well, Zephyr was very much soundscape and very relaxing, so that wasn’t for the clubs at all. “Junto”, on the other hand, consists of stuff that DJ and play at festivals and shows, so this is kind of just us doing more stuff for the dance floor. We’ve evolved and gone into loads of different things from an all orchestral album and I’ve been working with choirs in the last couple of weeks doing something for blindness awareness. We do all sorts of things!
As such I think we can agree that the dance music spectrum is huge. What has Basement Jaxx done to adjust to that change?
Well, I suppose part of it..yeah with this album we made the decision to go back to where we started from. Because where we started from, in the UK, it has become very popular. So it’s kinda like, electronic dance music (EDM) became very big and it exploded, and then all the hit kids and everyone else went, “Hang on a minute, this is all getting a little bit silly. And it’s a bit commercial and I don’t really feel it anymore.” Disclosure, Rudimental, Gorgon City, all these new house-y stuff I mean..it’s nice to know that we’re the kind of the legends as far they’re concerned..that inspired them to start their music. That’s great. The world they operate in is the world we know because we’ve been doing that (what they’re doing) for the past 20 years. It’s kind of like, okay we’ll do some more stuff along that house-y vibe to connect to that scene!
So, will we be hearing a lot of new stuff and perhaps new styles at It’s The Ship next month or will you be playing your older stuff such as “Where’s Your Head At” and “Romeo”?
I think I’ll do both because it’s one of those things where I’ll play a bit of old, a bit of new, a bit of our stuff, and a bit of other people’s stuff. You know? And mix and match. Just to make it a good party and really to show people the Basement Jaxx’s view of things. We’ve been traveling around the world for many years and we got to see many sides of this dance music culture, and our angle on it as well. I’ll probably play a version of “Power To The People” that we made in Indonesia as well. People from all around the world have done versions of the “Power To The People” song off the new album in different languages and different styles, showing that we’re all connected. There are only slight differences in genre and language but we’re all linked so I’ll definitely play that as well.
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Is your set going to be catered to a smaller crowd or perhaps you’re planning a more intimate set?
(laughs) I’m not sure how big the crowd is! I don’t know, I mean..I’ll have music with me so a lot of it..I judge when I get there, really. I’ll do my preparations before and get stuff ready and then see what happens on the day. But I’ll definitely be hanging out after our set! At the moment, I’m not sure if Simon will be coming because his father just passed away but..we’ll see. But I will definitely be there.
You’re going to be a partygoer like us? Is there anyone else on the lineup that you’re planning to watch?
Exactly! I’ll see you after my set and have a drink. I’m very excited to be on It’s The Ship and out on the sea. It sounds great! As for the lineup well, I’ll need to check out the people who will be playing and work out who I’ll be able to see.
Aside from It’s The Ship, what else have you guys got planned for the rest of the year and also, the coming year? Should we be expecting any collabs or surprises?
Actually, when I get back from It’s The Ship, then I’ll go straight into a UK tour with the whole band so there’ll be like 15 people on stage. So we’ll be doing shows all across the UK and we’ll probably go do that in Japan. And actually, hopefully, we can bring the live show to you guys in Malaysia! Because that’s a whole different experience. With the “Basement Jaxx The Live Show”, we’ve got a big robot, a belly dancer, other dancers and singers, and costumes! It’s a bit of a rock show, a bit of a DJ set, it’s very visual – it’s all those things. Anyway, I will come say hello to you and hopefully, very soon, we can bring the whole live show.
What advice would you impart to best prepare Basement Jaxx’s Malaysian fans for your set at It’s The Ship?
I think the best thing is you should talk to your parents..be good to them, follow your heart in what you do, be kind to the people around you, promote peace – because if you do all those things, when you get to It’s The Ship, you’ll feel really free and you won’t have things weighing on your conscience. You’ll feel happier to express yourself and dance with complete freedom. And I’ll see you there.
Thank you so much for you time, Felix! We’ll see you at It’s The Ship ;)
Thank you! See you soon.
For more information on It’s The Ship, click!