NEM#186: Simon Ratcliffe (Basement Jaxx, Village of the Sun): From House Music to Jazz Fusion

Simon has produced programmed dance music since the early ’90s, and has won Grammys and topped charts with his partner Felix Buxton as Basement Jaxx through their seven albums and several EPs.

We discuss his most recent project, Village of the Sun (the song of that name from First Light), which he recorded with jazz drummer Moses Boyd and his partner, the saxophonist Binker Golding. Then we look to his 2011 solo (“Ratcliffe”) effort “Flying by the Sun” from Dorus Rijkers EP (2011), to “Alkazaar” by Basement Jaxx from Zephyr (2009), and finally back to “Ephemerol” a 1992 single Simon released under the name Tic Tac Toe. Intro: “Where’s Your Head At” by Basement Jaxx from Rooty (2001). For more, see thevillageofthesun.bandcamp.com and basementjaxx.com.

Watch the video of “Where’s Your Head At.” Some other Jaxx hits include “Red Alert,” “Rendez Vu,” and “Bingo Bango.” Here they are live in 2005 with Simon on guitar.

The opening track from Village of Sun’s First Light (which you should definitely hear) is “Cesca.” Another track from the album, “Tigris,” has an animated video.

An additional very early track Simon mentioned is “On Ya Way,” credited to Helicopter.

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