For a long time there's been a Jamie xx beat called "Far Nearer" hanging around in the backwaters of the Internet. Nobody quite knew what it was -- some even attributed it to his alias Silentone. Later, in January, it was joined by a newer beat called "Beat For." I remember reading that both had something to do with his project with the late Gil Scott-Heron, but when I finally got my hands on that album, neither was present.
The tracks have been listed as an upcoming release on Glasgow label Numbers' website. Finally, we can now see that this is the start of Jamie xx's solo career -- not that his remixes weren't amazing, but this is the fist music that's entirely of Jamie's making, and it doesn't disappoint.
The crackly short samples heard online promised a lot, and the fuller, clearer version lived up to what was expected: two great new UK garage tracks. I'm sure fans will approve; I certainly do, and even fans of The xx who aren't into garage might like "Far Nearer," with it's simple piano tune reminiscent of the London band where the beatmaker first found fame.
Be sure to check out this remix of "Far Nearer" we featured a little while ago.