The beat, the sample, the vocals, the lyrics – this is just a transcendent track and an instant classic from my favorite record of the year. Congrats to Jamie on such a massive year.
Jamie xx’s In Colour is my favorite album of the year and it isn’t even close. It’s increasingly rare as I get older, but every once in awhile a record comes along that’s perfectly in tune with what you want to hear. In Colour is very much of the moment but also has the unmistakable feel of an instant classic that will still sound great many years into the future. I love The xx and from the first time I saw them live considered Jamie their secret weapon. His 2011 single “Far Nearer” was the theme song to my annual playlist and a track I virtually wore into the ground. I know I wasn’t alone in desperately hoping there was more where that came from and when he started releasing singles like “Sleep Sound”, “Girl” and “Under One Roof Raving” last year the anticipation grew that we may finally get what we wanted. After the near perfection of “Loud Places” and its glorious Idris Muhammad sample reached the surface I actually found myself wondering if the LP could possibly live up to the hype. While that track is without question the album’s centerpiece and In Colour also featured two of the three earlier singles, there was still plenty of high quality music to digest. “The Rest Is Noise”, for example, sounds like the result of a young producer in familiar territory beginning to work at the very height of his powers, in full control and pushing the music exactly where he wants it to go. I think the record works remarkably well together and I was happy to buy it on vinyl on the day of its release, something reserved these days almost strictly for Thom Yorke output as long as James Murphy stays retired. The critical reception has been resoundingly positive and in this instance I’m happy to add to the chorus.
Heard this teased out on the radio in December and have been waiting patiently ever since. Jamie certainly has a style and a sound palette but it’s one that continues to work for me. He also knocked out an excellent two part mix with John Talabot for Beats In Space that is available to stream or download.
I try to listen to Benji B’s Deviation show on BBC Radio 1 every week but I always look forward to his label spotlights and this week features a very special show focused on Young Turks. Not only have Young Turks consistently put out some of my favorite music (The xx, Sampha, Koreless) but label founder Caius Pawson offers some very insightful commentary on his approach to running a record label in 2013. I was particularly impressed by his comments preaching patience in developing material and relationships with artists. It’s obvious that he cares very much about the people he works with and the music he puts out and that’s all you can really ask from a label these days. The show features music from the label’s catalog as well as live sessions recorded at the BBC’s legendary Maida Vale studios. Highly recommended listening up for the next 7 days.