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Mint Royale

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Unapologetic, simple-minded, and celebratory, Britain's Mint Royale follow the more partied-up Big Beat cues from the likes of Fatboy Slim, Bentley Rhythm Ace, and other Skint acts while moving it towards a more conscious reconciliation of pop tricks. The duo of Neil Claxton and Chris Baker first got started as the Mint Gun Club -- releasing just one single -- but gained the quickest notoriety by extremely popular remixes of Kenickie's "I Will Fix You" and Terrorvision's "Tequila" (the latter of which reaching number two in the U.K. charts). The hands-in-the-air revelry and mirth-driven breakbeats of these early releases were an early indicator of where the band was headed with their easygoing vibes. It wasn't entirely unfathomable that -- along with Scanty Sandwich -- many listeners even theorized that Mint Royale was simply another pseudonym for Norman Cook. Regardless, their debut album, On the Ropes, was finally released on Faith & Hope Records in the very Big Beat-hostile nadir of late 1999, propelled by the deliriously catchy, ex-Kenickie Lauren Laverne-starring single, "Don't Falter." ~ Dean Carlson

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