Wednesday 30 Jul

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday


113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Eclectic · Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx...

Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx — We’re New Here

A remix album that competes too much with the original

Stephen Carradini March 10th, 2011

I loved the earthy sound of Gil Scott-Heron’s poetry-and-music album “I’m New Here,” but I disliked the coldness of The XX’s “xx.”


I was summarily confused when I found a remix of Scott-Heron’s work by Jamie xx (percussionist for the aforementioned band) on my desk.

In my opinion, The xx could stand to be remixed by Scott-Heron (adding some heart and soul), not the other way around.

Jamie xx makes Scott-Heron into his own personal sampling bank on "We're New Here" for a cold, electronic set of tunes that I dislike. The worst example of this is “NY Is Killing Me,” which takes an excellent tune and samples out various phrases like “Don’tyouDon’tyouDon’tyouDon’tyouDon’tyou” and “Killing me-me-me-me-me-me-me” before getting into a slightly longer bit of it 1:30 in.

I’m all for reinterpretation (especially to those who may not of heard of his work, as some of Scott-Heron’s older catalog is used), but this hardly makes sense to what the soul icon is about. There’s no way to parse out the importance of his words when he’s turned into a fragmented sample. The track isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t serve Scott-Heron’s work well.

But then again, this isn’t the first remix I’ve hated.

“The Crutch” pairs Scott-Heron’s words with a breakbeat, which makes no sense. “I’m New Here” is a total re-envisioning of his words, removing the folk guitar and throwing down a spiky electronic backdrop. Seeing as the man’s words were kept mostly intact, it passes as an understandable interpretation, but it doesn’t anywhere approach the power of the original.

The only tune here that truly succeeds is “Running,” which was a highlight of “I’m New Here,” too. The evocative words are paired to a rhythmic track that much more recalls hip-hop than DJ sets, and the pairing works incredibly well. It’s the only cut here that doesn’t beg to be compared to its former incarnation; the two can exist in their own spaces equally, because they are revealing different parts of the same work. It is not, as so many tunes are on this remix record, merely using Scott-Heron’s work, but repurposing it.

I am disappointed with “We’re New Here,” especially with the elegance of “I’m New Here” and Scott-Heron’s previous works powering it. At least there’s not a new version of “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” That version, I guess, is being played out on our TVs. And maybe that’s a sign that times have changed, and that maybe Scott-Heron does need to be a sound bite played over electronics.

But I still don’t like it, even if Jamie xx is right.  —Stephen Carradini

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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