Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here (4 stars)

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We're New Here

Musically different XL labelmates remix project repurposes Scott-Heron's I’m New Here


Kudos to whoever cooked up this brilliant, deranged project: bring together two of XL’s most acclaimed but sonically and generationally opposite artists, the younger remixing the elder. It works to striking effect, with Scott-Heron’s voice (mostly lifted from his recent, career-restarting record I’m New Here) stripped of its usual soul-jazz backing by The xx producer Jamie Smith, and delicately lowered into a shadowy futurescape of clattering, dubstep-infused beats. For example ‘Home’, a rechristened ‘Home is Where the Hatred Is’, has been almost lost in a back alley of sparse drum snaps, while the lovely ‘My Cloud’ places Scott-Heron’s crystal voice over the photocopier slide of a shredded, recurring vocal sample. Compelling proof that the retro and the futuristic ultimately inhabit the same space.

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