Basement Jaxx – Junto

Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe have always bridged the gap between club and pop music better than any other house music producers. And so it’s been a bit difficult to sit and wait five-ish years for them to make a new album. After the back-to-back releases of 2009’s Scars and Zephyr the Jaxx went AWOL.

The duo’s seventh LP Junto (which translates as “together”) answers where they’ve been for that half-decade but unfortunately not with the exclamation point most fans were expecting.

Considering EDM’s rise in their absence you’d expect Buxton and Ratcliffe to come storming back with bangers… or even bangerz. But Junto is relatively subdued save for an unbefitting jungle track featuring Mykki Blanco. First single “Unicorn” with Aluna Francis (of AlunaGeorge) has a buoyant spring to it but the potential is wasted as Jaxx fail to outdo “White Noise” the singer’s 2013 collaboration with Disclosure.

The better parts of Junto occur when it creators appear to be looking back. “Mermaid of Salinas” reignites that feverish Latin jolt of their earlier Atlantic Jaxx singles while the funk-hop rush of “Summer Dem” flirts with the bombast Kish Kash offered.

As their first album in the EDM age Junto is still better than most large-scale dance releases. It’s by no means a failure just not enough to make us jump ’n’ shout.