Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

 |   |  1 min read

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: I'll Take Care of U
Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie XX: We're New Here (XL)

Although much hailed -- perhaps because no one expected to hear from him again -- last year's I'm New Here by American poet Gil Scott-Heron did seem a little under-developed: pieces faded out, other bits were just snippets of conversations and so on.

That didn't deny its visceral power -- made more so given his recently troubled life -- but this revision/reconsideration and expansion by young British remixer Jamie XX pushes into different territory again.

Here Scott-Heron's dark tones sometimes sound as stentorian as an Old Testament prophet, at others like a man who sounds ineffably alone in this brutal world, a man who knows there are no answers.

The idea of Scott-Heron being "new here" on the previous album played into an innocence about the much-changed world in which he found himself, this time out it is the contextualisation within these often hard-edged sonic settings (the elelctrostatic beats on The Crutch) which adds to the disconcerting sound of his voice. A man once more new in this world.

Scott-Heron was more than just the declamatory guy of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (check Winter in America here) so it is when his voice becomes more musical (My Cloud) that this is at its warmest, and XX provides a slightly disconcerting soundbeds which enhance it beautifully.

This won't be for everyone and my taste still runs to his original albums, but for most of this Jamie XX's diverse setting and mixes will make a new audience sit up and listen -- and you can't turn away from New York is Killing Me which sounds like Scott-Heron is lost in a subway at 2am, as he doubtless was sometimes.

Like the sound of this? Then try this. Or this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tweed: High-Brow Blues (Southbound)

Tweed: High-Brow Blues (Southbound)

Although this Auckland-based trio bill themselves as alternative-folk, grey-haired Anglofolk followers will hear in them something which was once mainstream acoutsic folk, back in the days when... > Read more

The Eastern: Arrows (Social End Product/Rhythmethod)

The Eastern: Arrows (Social End Product/Rhythmethod)

The Eastern out of Christchurch are new to me although for the past few months their name has been mentioned a lot, always along the lines of, "Oh, you gotta hear the Eastern." Now I... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

THE MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM AWARDS (2017): Hats off to those behind the scenes

THE MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM AWARDS (2017): Hats off to those behind the scenes

This time a year ago Elsewhere interviewed Teresa Paterson about the work of the Music Managers Forum, an industry organisation of people dedicated to improving the professionalism of music... > Read more