Four Tet has been a regular collaborator, fellow DJ and producer with Jamie xx, with a ‘Seesaw’ production credit and club edit, VCR remix =, ‘Angel’ remix and b2b sets a regular occurence.
The xx released their newest and third album I See You in January and yesterday, Four Tet posted his remix of ‘A Violent Noise’ taking his cue from the song’s more boisterous second half.It follows a similar albeit less-intense dynamic to his epic Eric Prydz remix, also below.
Emily Eavis today tweeted out the first big lineup for Glastonbury’s Worthy Farm this year and it includes names we already know (Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran) and names we don’t: the xx, Katy Perry, The National, Chic, Barry Gibb (Bee Gees), Stormzy, Lorde, Alt-J, Solange, Boy Better Know, The Jacksons, Run The Jewels, Anderson .Paak, HAIM, Dizzee Rascal, The Avalanches, Lisa Hannigan, Angel Olsen, Ride and eh, Shaggy among them.
This week, it happened again. Mike Posner just dropped his new collaboration with Blackbear as Mansionz and one of the song’My Beloved’ also features a sample of their recording. Nice one.
Upcoming Louth Based Music Societ activity
The Louth Contemporary Music Society perform the world premiere of ‘The Louth Work’ by James Dillon on Saturday the 29th of April in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival 2017.
James Dillon is one of the UK’s most internationally celebrated and performed composers. Dillon’s The Louth Work: Orphic Fragments will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of this year’s Drogheda Arts Festival. Performed by Ireland’s top contemporary music group, Crash Ensemble with soprano Peyee Chen conducted by Sinead Hayes, this performance promises a stimulating adventure into the most contemporary sounds in new music.
The society are also organising the SILENZIO Festival of Contemporary Music which takes place from 23-34th June .
Louth Contemporary Music Society’s June 2017 SILENZIO focuses on the work of Salvatore Sciarrino, making his first visit to Ireland. Also featured is the Swiss composer Jürg Frey whose new work The Ephemeral Opera will receive its world premiere in Dundalk.
Electric Picnic tickets went on sale this morning and all of the tiers are already sold out. So if you were one of the lucky ones who got some tickets, here’s who is lined up to play in Stradbally from September 1st to 3rd this year, as was leaked via Twitter this morning, and it’s a pretty solid lineup for 2017. Pity this wasn’t revealed before it was sold out.
The headliners are The xx (Friday), A Tribe Called Quest (Saturday), Duran Duran (Sunday), with Pete Tong performing Ibiza Classics with an orchestra and the legendary Chaka Khan too.
It’s also been pointed out that tickets were already on Seatwave shortly after it officially sold out from €400 up (full price was €240) .
Here’s the list in full:
A Tribe Called Quest
Pete Tong performing Ibiza Classics with the 60-piece Heritage Orchestra
Run The Jewels
Father John Misty
Rag ‘n Bone Man
The Divine Comedy
Band Of Horses
Mano Le Tough
Floating Points (solo live)
Krept & Kronan
Car Seat Headrest
All We Are
Kelly Lee Owens
Those are the main stages so far with Body&Soul, Other Voices, Mindfield, Salty Dog, Trailer Park, Casa Bacardi, Jerry Fish’s Electric Sideshow, The Hazel Wood, Theatre of Food, Trenchtown, Global Green, Anachronica and more to be fleshed out.
How you feel about the xx’s third album depends on what attracts you to their music. Is it the minimal space they afforded much of the music they made on their first two records? Is it the awkward teenager vocal bond between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim? Is it the minimal and considered spatial production of Jamie xx? Perhaps it’s all of these things, and more?
Whichever aspect of the xx it is you care about, prepare for I See You, the band’s third album recorded in London, New York, LA Texas and Reykjavik to challenge those allegiances.
There are a number of factors affecting I See You from the off. The biggest single influence is Jamie xx’s recent solo album In Colour. That record had Jamie embrace his dancefloor urges, a confident producer used to paring things back, diving into polychrome and dance nostalgia.
I See You embraces that textured sampled approach. Opening song ‘Dangerous’ marks the card early arriving with sampled horns, percussive beats and an immediacy that was heard on Madley Croft and Sim’s contributions to In Colour but are totally new to the xx’s music. For all intents and purposes, it’s a banger.
It’s a sensibility reflected throughout I See You. Familiar elements of guitar, bass and drums are cranked up, space isn’t left to its own devices. An The Alessi Brothers’ ‘Do You Feel It’ sample intros ‘Say Something Loving’, the Norwegian vocal trio Trio Mediaeval’s ‘Just’ sample starts ‘Lips’, Hall And Oates’ provide the hook for ‘On Hold‘. Where Jamie was content to weave a tapestry from his fellow bandmates, here he involves himself in the song and its sentiments.
The recent Pitchfork cover story gives some background into the last four years for the trio, in personal terms. Madley Croft immersed herself in the pop hit factory as her band are referenced by modern producers anyway, while Sim has been addressing alcohol dependency and facing up to adulthood, which is addressed on ‘A Violent Noise’. Like ‘Loud Places’, which revelled in the night-club experience to mask the melacholy, ‘A Violet Noise’ had Sim using the night-club as a reason not to address his problems. Madley Croft sings to him “You’ve been staying out late / Trying your best to escape / I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
“Is it in my nature to be stuck on repeat?,” asks Sim on ‘Replica’, a song which is the only track that has a smudge of Smith’s steel drum trademark. At the same time, I See You has much of the vulnerable beauty that made people latch onto the xx. The central run of tracks rely on restrained production touches to support Madley Croft’s soulbaring ‘Performance’ and her moving tribute to her deceased parents on ‘Brave for You’ (“And when I’m scared / I imagine you’re there / Telling me to be brave”), the latter which Smith employs a building dynamic range to parallel her emotions.
Expecting people not to grow up and remain shy teenagers into their adulthood would be unfair on their mental health and creativity. Throughout I See You, Madley-Croft and Sim sing out, a result of them growing as people. They croon with confidence. The shy dancers are swaying with less worry or self-consciousness.
Change is natural and to be encouraged. Some will be disappointed by the band’s more expansive sound, by doing so, they ditch the minimalism that defined their impact at the beginning and move closer to the sound of other performers, no longer outliers. While that is a worry in itself, four years on, Coexist feels like a retreat into what was expected of a band. I See You is the sound of that band in colour and embracing their own growth.
For the first top new song to hear this year, this is going to be hard to beat. The Black Madonna is a Chicago DJ and producer, and a former booker at Smart Bar. She finished 2016 topping the DJpolls and 2017 looks set to be even bigger.Starting with music that is bigger in scope than most.
‘He is the Voice That I Hear’ is a song recorded with an ensemble of live musicians and is a joyous 10 minutes of music that draws from house, disco and gospel in its creation – a stirring stringed dancefloor epic. It was originally released in short-supply vinyl in November but was released digitally today.
The xx – ‘Say Something Loving’
The new album from the xx, I See You, drops on Friday and based off ‘On Hold’ and the newest track ‘Say Something Loving’, the London trio are embracing grander emotions and Jamie’s production. The central need for affection and acceptance is fastened in is their M.O.
Julie Byrne – ‘I Live Now As A Singer’
The New-York singer-songwriter Julie Byrne is known for ethereal folk music and her new second album Not Even Happiness arrives on Friday. The last track on the album, ‘I Live Now As A Singer’ eschewing her normal guitar style, presents a moving electro-leaning Twin Peaksian ballad, reminscent of Rhye and Majikal Cloudz.
Dirty Projectors -‘Little Bubble’
Dirty Projectors’ new material sounds like its embracing love, loss and new textures. ‘Keep My Name’, the first song from them in a while, gave us warbled bruised music.
‘Little Bubble’ is similarly hurt but more directly connected to the heart in its tones and notions. Things fall apart, bubbles burst, healing is possible? The combination of Rhodes piano, strings, digitally-skewed drums and acoustic guitar suggest its possible, and Longstreth’s “we had our own bubble / for a while.” is resigned but hopeful.
Meanwhile, Ganiyu TLG is an Athy, Kildare-based emcee and member of MASSAI313 hip-hop society whose music has moved between rap, grime, electronic and dance music, trying out different styles (more heard below) and an EP called 21st Century Black.
‘Shivers’ the newest collaboration between them, has a grime lean and features ‘Huva’ also on the cut. Plant Food’s production is creepy like droplets of water.
Vienna producer and musicians Sohn has had more success producing for others so it’s nice to hear something substantial again coming under his own name. ‘Hard Liquor’ is the latest single from the forthcoming Rennen LP next week on 4AD, his second Sohn LP and the song is an electro-beating reintroduction.
My baby don’t need a song / My baby won’t sing along / She don’t need my muscle cause her liquor strong
The xx were the musical guests on Saturday Night Live this weekend, which was hosted by Kristen Wiig. The band performed current single ‘On Hold’ and new song ‘I Dare You’.
It was a glimpse into what the setup might be for the upcoming European tour once the album is released. Jamie xx looks to be employing dual samplers to trigger the Hall and Oates samples and there’s plenty of swaying and smiling from Oliver and Romy.
New album I See You is out on 13th January 2017 via Young Turks.
After some teasing of snippets new music on Spotify without titles, The xx debuted their new single ‘Hold On’, a track from forthcoming album I See You, which may mark a new chapter for the band. No longer sounding like mumbling teens, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim are positively crooning while Jamie xx who has learned much since the band’s second album uses a sample of Hall & Oates;’ most famous song to lift the production. It still undoubtedly sounds like the xx but there’s a new sway going on too.
There’s no way the first Tribe album (and last) in 18 years should bump this much. ‘We The People’ is an easy highlight from the guest-filled We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. It was the first song they performed on SNL and perfectly encapsulates the appeal of A Tribe Called Quest record: the MCs delivering on-point rhymes and Trump references in the hook. “The fog and the smog of news media that logs / False narratives of Gods that came up against the odds / We’re not just nigga rappers with the bars / It’s kismet that we’re cosmic with the stars.” Phife will be missed more than ever after this.
The Australian trio return with a nine minute song that delves deeper into ambient electronic than they’ve gone before and addresses the intolerance felt in their native land. Join the club.
The title ‘Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend’ comes from the name of a landscape photo by the Australian photographer Peter Dombrovskis depicting a bend in the Franklin River in Tasmania. The photo was successfully used in a 1983 campaign against the intended destruction of large areas of national forest by the government of the day.
Forthcoming album #5 New Spirit is out on due February 17th via Felte.
Shura – ‘Nothing’s Real (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas Remix)’
The Norwegians give Shura’s song a superior disco swing across 8 and a half minutes.
Dublin duo Aoife McCann and Ellie McMahon make upbeat tribal African-influenced pop music in the vein of Merrill Garbus’ Tune-Yards.
From their debut EP released today, ‘Sing Hey Love’ is positive pop that takes its lifeforce from the two singers’ alchemic tones and its simple construction of bassline and percussion. Æ MAK’s music can be a bright light in a world that feels increasingly dark.
Well, surprise, we didn’t have to wait much longer. The band have just released their new song ‘On Hold’, a song which features a sample of Hall & Oates’ ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’.
It’s the sound of a more confident band with Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim delivering their vocals less like mumbling kids and like the confident adults they are. Jamie xx’s production more closely echoes his recent solo work.
New album I See You is out on 13th January 2017 via Young Turks.
I See You was recorded between March 2014 and August 2016 in New York, Marfa TX, Reykjavik, Los Angeles and London and is produced by Jamie Smith and Rodaidh McDonald.
The xx – I See You tracklist:
2. Say Something Loving
4. A Violent Noise
7. Brave For You
8. On Hold
9. I Dare You
10. Test Me
The album will be available in various formats.
– Standard Vinyl: 10 tracks, in a debossed mirri board sleeve with a download enclosed for the US and CD copy of the album in EU/UK
– Indie Vinyl: 10 tracks on limited-edition clear vinyl, in a debossed mirri board sleeve with a download enclosed for the US and CD copy of the album in EU/UK. Available only via independent record stores.
– Deluxe Box Set: Silver mirri board debossed box containing the album on 180g heavyweight vinyl, with an extra 12” including 3 bonus tracks, album CD, enhanced CD featuring a live video of bonus track ‘Brave For You (Marfa Demo)’ and 3 exclusive prints by Alasdair McLellan.
Run The Jewels released a new song ‘2100’ featuring Boots in the aftermath of Trump’s victory to be President noting:
For our friends. For our family. For everyone who is hurting or scared right now. Here is a song we wrote months ago. We weren’t planning on releasing it yet but… well it feels right, now. It’s about fear and its about love and its about wanting more for all of us. It’s called 2100. We hope it finds you well.
Killer Mike was a very vocal Bernie Sanders supporter and last week, he urged people not to vote unless certain demands were met which he then clarified. In an interview yesterday Mike said: “I think poor people got angry, and I think there just happen to be, by this country, more poor angry white people.”
Hud Mo released more music from his Ded Sec – Watch Dogs 2 video game soundtrack:
For those of us interested in knowing what new music from the xx might sound like, have a listen to this 29-track Spotify playlist featuring music from The Velvet Underground, Solange, Young Marco, Frank Ocean, Nina Simone, Tirzah, PJ Harvey, Liquid Liquid, Sia, Aretha Franklin and Drake.
The band also announced some tour dates for 2017 in Eastern Europe and Japan so keep them peeled…
Just as exciting as the prospect of new music from the xx is a solo album from their producer Jamie xx who has revealed two pieces of music from exactly that.
In Colour, the album is out on May 29th on Young Turks. ‘Loud Places’ features Romy Madley-Croft and has bright piano summery chords with trademark Jamie percussion and Romy vocal delivery that recalls The Avalanches in its sampled chorus from Idris Muhammad’s ‘Could Heaven Ever Be Like This’ (thanks Stevie G for the tip). The video just dropped:
‘Gosh’ meanwhile is a much harder cut, that recalls old-school jungle and drum and bass, like a Jamie version of Four Tet’s ‘Parallel Jalebi’ but it transforms into something akin to Orbital.
In Colour features previous singles ‘Girl’ and ‘Sleep Sound’ as well as guests the xx’s Oliver Sim, Young Thug and Popcaan and Four Tet.
2. Sleep Sound
3. SeeSaw (featuring Romy with Four Tet production)
5. Just Saying
6. Stranger In A Room (featuring Oliver Sim)
7. Hold Tight
8. Loud Places (featuring Romy)
9. I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (featuring Young Thug & Popcaan)
10. The Rest Is Noise
Two nights in the Olympia on the 7th and 8th of December folks. Their first headline shows in Ireland since their Tripod gig three years to the month. Tickets €29.50 standing/€37.50 seated plus fees, on sale 9am Monday October 22nd.
Pic taken from Mark Duggan’s portraits from Electric Picnic for this site. Here’s my review of Coexist and the band’s new video.