28 February 2011
GIL SCOTT-HERON & JAMIE XX
'We're New Here'
We've every right to be dubious when labels pair up hip, young zeitgeist producers with respected, legendary older artists, particularly thanks to the recent release of a few disappointing collaborative efforts (did some mention Jack White and Wanda Jackson?). We're New Here is different. How? For a start, this is a remix album. Then there's the source material: living-legend Gil Scott-Heron's 2010 epic/comeback, I'm New Here. Young Jamie Smith (drummer/producer for world-conquering UK indie three-piece The XX) has completely reworked thirteen tracks from the original album sessions, placing Scott-Heron's disembodied vocals amongst pulsing, spidery soundscapes. While sounding excitingly modern, like Burial or James Blake, We're New Here is endearingly reverent, even adding a degree of warmth to the intentionally deep, dark originals. Smith also samples snatches of vocals from Scott-Heron's work in generations past, providing for some kind of deep, philosophical inter-generational link. Whatever. This is proper dance music, 2011-style.
Review reprinted courtesy of Waikato Times