If you call your first record Mega Mega Mega, the signs are you’re not exactly going to be short of confidence in its contents. But Joshua ‘Herve’ Harvey and Graeme Sinden have never been ones to brag, so they let their music do the talking instead.
It soon becomes clear their confidence is not misplaced, as this turns out to be a good, old fashioned party record, with a whole mass of guests dropping in to add their vocals. There’s no star quality for the sake of it here though – rather, the vocalists are chosen because they go with the music. Because of that the album unfolds naturally, deciding not to construct a superstar guest list but concentrating on pressing all the right going-out buttons instead.
It does so, handsomely – and does what Basement Jaxx do so well in bringing together cultured and brash, slow and fast, black and white. With years honing their sound, trying it out on punters and experimenting with different guests, The Count & Sinden have come to know what they’re good at, and what goes down a storm.
That the album has been a while in the making probably helps, too – Beeper, the duo’s first single, was released in 2008, and is not even here. The jumpy Hardcore Girls is the earliest cut to make it, “keeping it real so you want to hang out” with Rye Rye and her attitude.
The practice has, for all intents and purposes, made perfect. After Dark is on course to be one of the standout singles of 2010, its hip-swinging beat given a characteristically fluid vocal from the Mystery Jets. At the other end of the spectrum is Bashy, auto-tuned to within an inch of his life but rapping somewhere near the cutting edge. “Read – my – lips – cos – I won’t – stop” is the catch phrase here.
Despite its diversity, the record hangs together really well, with carnival-float house music, reggae, garage and grime all rubbing shoulders, with barely an ounce of fat to chew. More than that, it proves impossible to sit down for the duration, the duo’s bouncy rhythms working their magic pretty much every time.
As colourful as their album cover, The Count & Sinden have delivered a spicy mix of vibrant dance rhythms, guaranteed to start any party with a bang – and perhaps more crucially, keep it going. With barely a dip in form over the whole record, it is just what it says on the tin: mega mega mega.