The Playlist: Jamie xx

Before I connected him with The xx, I knew Jamie xx (AKA Jamie Smith) from a fantastic remix album he had produced of tracks by legendary soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron. XL Recordings approached Smith to remix Scott-Heron's 2010 album We're New Here, which he apparently did while on tour with The xx, writing to Scott-Heron for approval and advice every so often. The end result is pretty mesmerising – I urge you to give it a listen.

Jamie xx was back in a big way when he dropped his debut solo LP, In Colour, at the end of May this year. It opens with a real belter, Gosh, which is all soaring synths and glitchy beats. Other highlights on the album are the ethereal Hold Tight, Loud Places featuring Romy from The xx, Obvs where the steal drum is king, and Stranger In A Room, which features Smith's other xx chum, Oliver Sim. But don't just listen to those – it's all good.

Smith seems to really break music down and enable us to appreciate all of its disparate elements – melody, rhythm, texture, timbre, etc – in an isolated way, while at the same combining them in a perfectly balanced whole in beautifully produced, polished tracks.

Good vibes for the summer.




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