The combination between Jamie xx (yep, that’s Jamie from The xx) and Gil Scott-Heron is something I’ve been looking forward to with baited breath since it’s announcement in October. It’s finally here, and despite my unrealistically high expectations, I think I was right to be excited.
The re-imagining is pretty strong — most of the tracks on We’re New Here are unrecognizable from the original, with Scott-Heron’s acapella virtually the only familiar thing (Scott-Heron released I’m New Here in 2010). As for Jamie xx’s contribution, it sits somewhere in the middle of what he’s previously done. The melodies and space which so defined The xx are here, but so are the post-garage soundscapes familiar from his remixes, including his remix of ‘Tremel’ by Glasser, which is offered below by way of a bonus track.
So, why have I shared “Running”? I’d say it’s a toss up between this and “I’ll Take Care of You” for my personal favorite track from the album. This one’s less conventional, and takes the form of a dance track almost, with a build-up to two minutes. That’s when a bassline is worked in, followed 30 seconds later by a drop, and then a great instrumental, which takes elements of dubstep, electro, afrobeat, and house and sticks them all together in a way that only Jamie xx could. That’s a theme constant throughout the album – only these two could have made it.