Friday, September 11, 2009

Album of the Week: The xx’s basic spaces

I hate to generalize, but if you’re a graphic designer, I bet your favourite TV show right now is Mad Men and your favourite new band is UK-based The xx. Both employ a stark minimalism that critics (and designers) love but others find painfully dull. And while I love Mad Men (and can’t wait for each slow-moving, cigarette-burning episode each week), it did take me a while to appreciate the show’s brilliance, and maybe the same will one day be said of The xx and their equally lowercased first album, xx. I do love some tracks, especially “Basic Space” and the biting “Islands,” and the record’s stripped-down, glacial-paced sound is not only unlike anything else out there but also serves as a perfect antidote to the overproduced lo-fi neo-Brian Wilson music that predominates lately. But the dullness – look, Don Draper is having a drink! hear that guitar playing a single note over and over! – is harder to avoid here. Now back to my Pantone swatches... B+

The xx: Basic Space (Sampha Remix) (from The XX official site)
from the album xx
MP3The xx - xx (Bonus Track Version) - Basic SpaceMYSPACEOFFICIAL SITE

And for more new sounds, make sure to subscribe to my latest podcast, JeffMix2009.08.22 (also on iTunes), featuring music from Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys, Bibio, Miike Snow, The Dodos, Speech Debelle, and Delorean, among others.

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