The last we heard from Basement Jaxx, in 2011, they were scoring the South London-based sci-fi flick Attack the Block and collaborating with the 60-piece Metropole Orkest on a bombastic orchestral rework of their already maximalist back catalog. It sounds like the subsequent two years away from the studio must have helped clear their heads, because their new single finds them getting back to what they’ve always done best: punchy, tropical, pop-infused dance cuts with a slightly unhinged sense of fun, and hooks up to here.
“Back 2 the Wild,” which they premiered today on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show, is the kind of tent-toppling Carnival anthem we haven’t heard from them since 2003’s Kish Kash, maybe even 2001’s Rooty. “I wanna go back! Back to the wild!” runs the refrain, over whoops, congas, cowbells, kazoos, and yes, even the occasional bleat of a vuvuzela. (Don’t tell Baauer, but there’s also a lion growling somewhere deep in the funky underbrush.) Between the sing-songy chants and the plucky keyboards, Tom Tom Club’s “Wordy Rappinghood” comes to mind, only updated in Basement Jaxx’s zany, fourth-world freakout fashion.
“Back 2 the Wild” is out now on 37 Adventures via iTunes, with more singles to follow this year and, per the band’s publicist, “maybe an album further down the line.” If you were looking for an excuse to get the vuvuzela out of the closet, this is it.