News on Basement Jaxx, Slam, Deviant Records, Chuck D, Public Domain, Essential Festival, Grand Central, Fat City

Basement Jaxx Album & U.S. Tour

Basement Jaxx -- aka Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton -- is set to release its eagerly anticipated sophomore LP, "Rooty" on June 25 in the U.K. (XL Recordings) and a day later in North America. (Astralwerks). The album follows the duo's 1999 debut "Remedy" and is titled after their sporadic, but always popular, underground parties in South London.

A limited edition vinyl release of the track "Where's Your Head At?" on their own Atlantic Jaxx label is already tearing up dancefloors nationwide. The 12-inch also features first single "Romeo," due out June 4 in the U.K.

The Jaxx will embark upon a U.S. tour in July.

Slam In Detroit

Glasgow producers Slam -- Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan -- have been invited by Detroit techno DJ Carl Craig to appear at this year's Detroit Electronic Music Festival (May 26-28), which attracted over 200,000 visitors last year. Slam will appear on the final day of the three-day event.

The boys, who are currently in rehearsals for the September unveiling of their all new live set, will also present the Slam Dance Tent July 7-8 at this year's T in the Park festival in Scotland. "Alien Radio," Slam's long awaited follow-up to 1996's powerful debut album, "Headstates," will be released on Soma (Meikle and McMillan's own imprint) on June 11.

Deviant Launches New Compilation Series

London's Deviant Records label launches its new compilation series, "Deviations," on May 7. The first installment comes from producer/DJ Ashley Casselle, who presents a two-part mix album with one CD of up front tech-house and a second of chill out tunes.

Casselle, who also records for Deviant as Ashtrax with producer Paul Greendale, has since 1992 been successfully mixing up deep house with techno and dub elements. His big break came when he joined Sasha and Digweed on their Northern Exposure tour, following an invite to DJ at Digweed's infamous Bedrock club.

Chuck D Joins Hard House Act Public Domain

Glasgow hard house producers Public Domain have enlisted the help of Public Enemy's Chuck D on the forthcoming single "Funky Beats," due May 21 in the U.K. PD's last single, "Operation Blade (Bass in the Place)" on Xtravaganza Records' Xrtahard offshoot, contained a sample from classic New Order track "Confusion" and sold over 1 million copies worldwide, (300,000 in the U.K. alone).

The group's debut album, "Hardhop Super Stars," is set for a June 11 release.

Foot & Mouth Forces Essential Festival To Relocate

This year's Essential Festival has been forced to relocate to London's Hackney Marshes on 14-15 July, following the closure of the festival's usual site, in Stanmer Park, Brighton, owing to foot and mouth concerns.

Ish Ali of event organizers Essential Entertainment Ltd. said, "Although we'll be sad to leave Brighton, the foot and mouth crisis obviously takes priority. Hackney Marshes offers us a chance to continue with the festival and the extra space will also allow more fans to see our line-up."

Among those guesting in the eight different arenas of music will be Stereo MCs, Derrick May, Slum Village, Nextmen, George Clinton & P Funk Allstars, and Isaac Hayes. In the past, Essential has played host to the Prodigy, James Brown, Underworld, Fatboy Slim, and the Chemical Brothers. The two-day event has been running in Brighton since 1991; more than 35,000 people visited the festival in last year.

Manchester Labels Mount Joint Birthday Celebration

Leading Manchester hip-hop labels Grand Central (six years old) and Fat City (eight years old) will celebrate with a joint birthday party May 30 at Sankeys Soap in their home city. This year, Mark Rae (of production duo Rae & Christian, owners of the Grand Central label) will headline with a DJ set alongside new Grand Central signing Riton and Qool DJ Marv of Giant Steps NYC, among others.

Fat City is currently primed for the May 29 release of "Mystic Brew: For Play," the fourth chapter of the "Mystic Brew" compilation series. Mixing up classic tracks with brand new compositions, the series has been a favorite among groove, breaks, and beats lovers globally since the first installment in 1998.

Meanwhile, Grand Central is preparing for the release of Rae's forthcoming mix album "Ordered From The Catalogue" -- out May 7 in the U.K.

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