Saturday, December 5, 2009

Remix of the week: XX + Florence + the Machine = Genius

Next one in a nominally weekly series. We take a remix, re-work, re-edit, whatever and big it up so you might then listen to it. The track doesn't have to be new or anything but it should stand-up to or even better the original. Usually it'd be a track we'd spin on a TomTom night - but don't hold us to that either!

The next one we're bigging up here is very arguably not a remix, but sure we're not into strict definitions here on the TomTom blog. What we're talking about here is a full-blown cover of a cover that's already been covered many times (as the Guardian have recently detailed) that samples a small part of one of the covers (by Florence + the Machine) and does a lot more besides. Funny thing is, if you buy the new Florence 7 inch of 'You've Got the Love' the b-side has the Jamie XX re-work Feat. The XX on the flip so technically the artist is Florence + the Machine, which is a bit stupid; but anyway, like strict definitions, we won't get bogged down in the details. [note: I just played the Florence version on 7 inch at 33 rpm (i.e the wrong speed) and it's a disturbingly listenable slow-burner torch-song - kind of sounds a bit like Antony Hegarty's younger, slightly butcher brother who's realy into Scott Walker. I'm sorry I can't be arsed recording this to digital right now so you can hear it here but if someone is intrigued enough then give me a shout in the comments and I'll see what I can do].

Florence Welsh's take the on the 1986 The Source featuring Candi Staton original is not bad, but it's a bit of a no-brainer easy-fit for someone with such a soulful voice and is obviously indebted to later interpretations of the original; saying that it's probably amazing live when she lets rip. South-west Londoners The XX (pictured above) come up with one of the year's most memorable "remixes", refashioning it as a sexy duet prefaced in the intro by a dreamy harp sample, and then blasted with 2-step precision, then something marimba sounding and choppy ticks and snares ducking in and out of the sensuous assault; it all culminates to reinvent this song in a way Florence did not. You need to hear this and if you haven't heard The XX's debut album then you have even more work to do.

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