Despite my growing love for electronic music I have always stayed away from the concerts and club nights. In the past, disappointed ticket holders have told me that the atmosphere would be aggressive, the music wouldn’t sound any better than on my laptop, and it would be full of people who couldn’t see more than a foot in front of themselves. But Jamie XX recently proved to me how incredibly wrong these criticism are.
In June 2015, Jamie XX (one third of The XX) released his debut album, In Colour, an atmospheric, cinematic collection of songs featuring singles he had released earlier in the year such as, Sleep Sound and Girl. This album shows off Jamie’s talent and flawless mixing. Taking a look at his impressive résumé it’s no surprise he has such a distinguished sound. Over the past seven years Jamie has won a Mercury Prize with The XX, remastered one of Gil Scott Heron’s albums and produced a number of tracks with artists such as Drake.
Five months after the album’s release Jamie XX announced the eagerly awaited tour dates. With just two venues, Le Zenith in Paris and Alexandra Palace in London, it was safe to say the tickets were in high demand.
Not really knowing what to expect, and afraid that the album I loved so much would be ruined, I tried to ignore my reservations as I entered the venue. But, as it turns out, Jamie XX is an absolute master when it comes to live mixing. Each track moved seamlessly into the other with quick samples of other tracks he had produced such as, Florence and the Machine’s You’ve Got the Love and NY Is Killing Me (see below). With no breaks, or interaction with the audience, the crowd became completely immersed in the heavy basslines and unforgettable melodies.
It was incredible seeing someone, not much older than I, create such an amazing atmosphere amongst thousands of people. The live mix was such an honest representation of what Jamie’s career has comprised of so far. He managed to make a ten thousand capacity venue feel like one of those tightly packed, intimate clubs found in the depths of London. The connection between audience and performer that Jamie XX achieved is something even the biggest artists struggle to accomplish.
So, keep on the lookout for future Jamie XX gigs – you won’t be disappointed. And, if you haven’t yet heard In Colour, I strongly recommend that you give it a listen.
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