The Carl Online


Remix Roundup: Islands by xx by carlmagazine
October 22, 2010, 12:32 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , ,

By. R. Orion Martin

UK trio xx sneaks into your life unnoticed. They background your AT&T commercial, your Law and Order, your Gossip Girl. They show up on Jimmy Kimmel Live and one of them almost cries. Lucky for you, there are plenty of remixes out there to help you process the experience.

xx (original)

Islands is home base for xx’s carefully articulate sound. The restrained riffs and drum machine complement the whispered exchange between singer-guitarist Romy Madley Croft and singer-bassist Oliver Sim. The song has a powerful progression without being forceful, rare for such young artists (all born in the 90’s).

Jamie of xx (remix)

While it’s Croft and Sim whose vocals appear on Islands, Jamie Smith is the architect of their sound. In a special remix, he boils the song down to it’s essential components, limiting the drum machine to only 30 seconds of the song. Good listening for late walks home from the libe.

Yasumo (remix)

Melbourne remix artists Yanni Nair and Simon Salerno truncate the rhythm for this more accessible but less satisfying variant. There are no new components to the song, they’re simply mixed to give the song more rhythm and pronounced pauses. Perfect for off board dinner parties.

Nosaj Thing (remix)

Jason Chung is an LA-based producer firmly rooted in the Low End Theory scene. His remix of Islands is almost a reversal of what Yasumo has done. Where Yasumo tears apart and rebuilds the song as a new creature (stronger, faster, if not necessarily better), Nosaj replays most components of the song but stays truer to its original intention. Like the original, Nosaj creates a rich tonal environment in which the vocals can shine. This remix is best for waking up from a nap.

Shakira (cover)

Curve ball of all curve balls. It’s not uncommon for superstars to allude to a passing interest in up and comers, but Shakira is taking it to the next level (Universe Cup). Her cover spares no effort in turning Islands into the pop ballad it’s not. A good choice for your studied-abroad-in-South-America-and-gained-new-perspective-on-how-Shakira-is-actually-a-deep-and-multi-layered-artist-and-you-shouldn’t-judge-her-I-mean-Shewolf-was-good-right? roommate.

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