Archive for the ‘the xx’ tag
Kim Ann Foxman rose to prominence as a member of Hercules and Love Affair, her moment in the full Hercules spotlight the rollicking, vibrant “Athene.” Her vocals on the track were deeply engaging, not as haunting or virtuosic as Antony’s, but just as winning and real. But Kim Ann is also an artist in her own right, and since leaving H&LA she has been doing her best to maintain her distinction in the dance landscape. “Creature” was a notable success (Hercules mastermind Butler produced and cowrote it). The track was hypnotic and highly danceable. Her latest effort, a remix of The xx’s “Sunset,” falls a little flat, though. It’s not hazy and loose enough to hypnotize, not relentless enough to incite insanity (see the classic “Acid Tracks”), not rapturous enough to induce euphoria. But the track does display endless taste. Each clap, kick, and hi-hat click is meticulously placed. There’s real artistry to that.
Kim Ann Foxman – “Creature”
After three years, melancholy melody makers The xx are back with a new release, and in many ways we’ve picked up right where we left off; the band aren’t straying far from the formula of sparse beats, smoky, sexy dueling vocals, and R&B influenced bass lines that worked so well– and created an instant classic– with their debut, XX. That critically-acclaimed album won The xx the coveted Mercury Prize, so expectations were sure to be high for the band’s sophomore effort, Coexist. Now that Coexist has been out for a short while, it’s had some time to really sink in (oftentimes, The xx’s music requires multiple listens). And the general consensus seems to be, that when you place Coexist and XX right next to each other, the debut far overshadows its successor. It’s sort of high praise, if you think about it… but although we’ve picked up right where we left off with The xx, we’re still left wanting more.
And while it would have been silly for The xx to drastically change their sound and, like, bust out a new baile funk style or something (even though, maybe that would have been cool?), Coexist fails slightly because it isn’t quite new enough. As both critics and fans, we put a lot of pressure on our favorite bands, don’t we? We want progress, but not at the expense of the sound that we love. It’s risky business because if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it; but at the same time, a few chances should be taken here and there. There aren’t too many risks on Coexist, so therefore, there aren’t too many rewards.
The XX’s track “Angels” was one of the better ambient electronic pieces that came out in the past year. Cardiff, UK based producer Bodhi just released a remix that adds more of a beat and drive. The result is a track that could easily headline a Buddha Bar album. See the difference for yourself:
This playlist is for that chill in the air you’re feeling right now, made entirely of electronic tracks released in the past few days. Sometimes you just need to zone out and watch the last leaves blow away.
It’s not really that electro, but Copycat’s re-edit of Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day” puts you in the right state of mind, and has just enough sheen to ease you into the next tracks. Give it a minute or so to warm up – this one takes its time, starting spare, but is worth the wait.
I guess an Orientalist introduction is only appropriate for a song titled “A New Dynasty.” Big, jazzy, trip-hop feel on this one.
Lemongrass’s “Rendez-Vous” blends jazz and house seamlessly. A great groove plus some nice embellishments in the strings. This one manages to create a genuine lounge sound without being boring. Thanks to DJ Nodj for the heads-up.
This one gets it going. I just got alerted to Jesse Rose’s remix of Yolanda Be Cool and Crystal Water’s “Le Bump.” A lot of riffing on a fun bass bump.
Stickybud’s “West Coast Bass Killer” really brings the funk, with just a touch – a touch – of wobble. I feel like I’m listening to a Run DMC bass line here.
Kriss Kross’s “Jump” continues the up-kick. Simple structure, British shout-out rap, head-shaking Jock Jams backbeat, and a catchy wobble that doesn’t sound like noise.
I can’t decide whether Louis La Roche’s “Los Angeles” is mindless or addictive. I have to keep reminding myself that the two are not mutually exclusive. It would be nice to have some variety on this one, but… it would be nice to have a lot of things. I’m not one to talk, having played it four times in the past hour.
We’ll end with something downtempo. Synkro’s remix of The XX’s “Night Time” has a more ambient feel, buoyed by a melancholy vocal and an echoing guitar line.