Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx
We’re New Here
Mar 25, 2011 Web Exclusive
It's kind of cute, and very humble of Gil Scott-Heron to title his 2010 album—the first in almost two decades—I'm New Here. A year later, Jamie xx (of the group of the same double initial) joins Scott-Heron in his humbleness by remixing said album, and titling it We're New Here. The result is the best of both artists: Scott-Heron's spine-tingling, cracked timeless spoken word delivery, The xx's thoughtful, well-paced current studio trickery.
The dubstep-flecked reinterpretations—which use none of the original music—are controlled yet trippy and move with just the right speed. From the held back choky rhythms of "My Cloud" to the bass-bin syncopations of "The Crutch," We're New Here feels like it is living in another stratosphere. The skipping house beats decorating "Ur Soul and Mine" and "I'll Take Care of U" turn Scott-Heron into a dance-floor diva without stripping him of any of his poetic dignity. "NY is Killing Me"—one of the standouts from the original album—gets an ultra-modern polish with Scott-Heron's vocals chopped up and used as bullet-points throughout. Scott-Heron's voice is Jamie xx's main concern as his input is all about creating what would best showcase the former's unique tonations.
Thanks to Jamie xx—40 years his junior—Scott-Heron has now had two comebacks in two consecutive years. Next step should be for Jamie xx to produce Scott-Heron from the ground up. (www.gilscottheron.net / www.myspace.com/jamiexxlondon)
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Average reader rating: 8/10
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