Crazy Itch Radio 

Basement Jaxx (XL)

This R&B- and funk-loving London DJ/producer duo is the ideal techno band for music fans who aren't rave aesthetes or club kids (and who are gauche enough to label it all "techno"). Where previous records (Remedy, Rooty, Kish Kash -- each better than the one before) aimed for exhilaration and achieved it, this one goes for casual command, subtly incorporating such new elements as country and Eastern European sounds (have they been listening to Gogol Bordello?) into their already dense sonic gumbo. As a result, Crazy Itch Radio underwhelms at first, then grows on you, though the energy does flag toward the end. In a very good year for Prince albums (from Justin Timberlake, the Coup, Gnarls Barkley, Van Hunt, and Prince), this more than holds its own. ("Take Me Back to Your House," "Smoke Bubbles," "Hey U")

-- CH

Grade: A-

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