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Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX – We’re New Here

May 7, 2011

It’s been a little quiet on here of late and I still can’t quite bring myself to go through my Deadmau5 review that has been months in the making writing to make it worthy of the blogs ever rising standards…<cough>…so instead I want to quickly present to you an album that I seem to have been playing on repeat for the last month.

Jamie XX is probably best known (or not as the case may be) as one member of The XX. A band that seems to manage to divide opinion here on TWLT with their inoffensive but charming electronic indy ditties. Having flitted around the internet and clubs with his various remixes, his first album proper is unsurprisingly a pure remix album. Entitled We’re New Here, the album is a remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’m New Here (his first album in 16 years).

This isn’t so much a review as it is a massive recommendation. If you have any semblance of interest in dubstep (or just good dance music) as a genre and specifically its evolutionary iterations coming through artists such as James Blake then I cannot recommend this album enough.

For starters take the opening track “I’m New Here”. From the moment the crystallised pad begins, soon after Gil Scott-Heron’s gravely vocal introduction, something just clicks. The story of the song and the vocals when they hit come perfectly, just before the bass drop and away you go on a little low frequency trip, vacillating in time with the music. In some senses this whole album has almost more of a hip-hop feel than dubstep but you can’t help but notice the distinctive sound that Jamie XX has begun carving out for himself.

I honestly can’t get enough of this album at the moment. There is enough upbeat stuff to make it something verging on a summer keeper, but chilled enough to just pass the time in the background. It really is quite an accomplishment to have worked with the original piece of work in such a way to produce a remix of this quality. Like I always say a good remix should take the foundations of the original song and make something totally different, even unrecognisable in some cases and this album certainly does just that. Just take a listen to “NY Is Killing Me” – potentially my favourite song from the album – then go and get this album straight after! You could do a LOT worse!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. marininha.dias permalink
    May 7, 2011 8:28 pm

    Well recommended. Watch out, this is highly addictive!

  2. R.Biz permalink
    May 9, 2011 12:24 pm

    Nice. Gil Scott-Heron is a bit of a legend, he has very political lyrics and had a huge influence on the culture at the time. I think he’s most famous for his 1970 song/poem “The Revolution Will not be Televised” which is well worth a listen.

    http://soundcloud.com/alvaradodurandgmail/47-gil-scott-heron-the-revolution-will-not-be-televised-1

    As for his latest album “I’m New Here”, I was largely unimpressed by the lyrical content (I’m not much one for overtly political stuff), and the music did little to draw me in. I agree, Jamie XX’s bass-heavy dub-remixes liven up Gil’s songs no end and holds up as a great album on its own. I do wonder why he chose to make a whole album with samples from I’m New Here… I’m interested to hear what he does with a wider sample base!

    • Chris Bingo permalink
      May 9, 2011 7:11 pm

      I believe the story goes that the guy who helped bring Gil’s latest album out (Richard Russell) is the label head of the same company that The XX on. Apparently he’s a big fan of The XX and basically buttered Jamie XX up (and Jamie XX happens to be a life-long fan of Gil) and so on and so forth. It’s just one of those lucky coincidences I think!

  3. mike permalink
    May 15, 2011 11:41 am

    been rinsing these tracks a bit too much- i like that they’re not too heavy

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