I was expecting big from Jamie Smith's solo material, and his debut unduly delivers. The mastermind of beat work and production on The xx's mercury award winning album 'xx', Smith's very own productions have been the centre of much debate over the past few months. Questions of up-coming releases, a highly anticipated remix album and rumours of collaborations with Manchester based producer Fantastic Mr Fox have been the focus of much attention, and his debut release can now lay some of the reservations and rumours to rest.
His first single, 'Far Nearer', will be released on the excellent Glasgow-based label Numbers in a month's time, a match made in heaven. Numbers has been pushing some really interesting releases from the world of dubstep/funky/house over the past few months, with notable releases from Roska & Untold, Kavsrave, Rustie and Joker. I have a feeling 'Far Nearer' will be the label's best to date. It is a track which experiments with dubstep and funky sounds, creating a soulful and truly unique sound, something which the inclusion of steel pan drums further heighten. It's a warm track, with the intricate combinations of synths and keys giving an impression of the Caribbean in the opening of the track. The track explodes into life after 50 seconds, with the syncopated steel pan drum beat and underlying bassline accompanying the aforementioned elements. This is all topped with wonderfully hushed and distorted male vocal clips, which adds a slightly mournful tone to an altogether ecstatic and up-lifting track. It's a beautifully produced track, an example of the floods of talent which this young producer possesses.
Look out for this release on Numbers, expect 12" to sell fast. If this release is anything to go by Jamie Smith could become a huge underground name on the increasingly indefinable dubstep/funky/garage scene, which has been dominated most successfully by the likes of Mount Kimbie, James Blake and Joy Orbison. A potential Gil Scott-Heron remix album on the way? After hearing a few clips from this album, I'm already welling up with joy from the excitement of what's to come from the South Londoner.
jamie xx - far nearer by Artschoolvets