I came across a track from this new 2011 LP on a MOG mix done by David Byrne, which was quite eclectic and enjoyable. It peaked my interest enough to pick up the full album, and upon further listening, I’m really glad I did. For those of you that don’t already know (like me), Gil Scott-Heron was a soul/jazz/spoken word artist coming up in the 70s. He recorded an album last year titled I’m New Here. This album is a completed reworked/remixed version of that album done by Jamie Smith aka Jamie xx from the indie group XX, who I absolutely love. What I didn’t know was that Jamie is a hell of a producer/DJ/remix artist, though I probably should have after falling in love with the XX remix of Florence and the Machine, and more recently, Jamie’s remix of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep. As much as I typically avoid exposure to traditional radio and Top 20, even I couldn’t avoid the constant bombardment of that Adele track. Talented voice for sure, but leave it to mainstream media to absolutely pummel a song to death.
This album is a collection of little spoken word snippits and vocals from Scott-Heron, over quite a range of electronic beats and remixes ranging from dubstep, drum and bass, and others. Some more downtempo and some upbeat. In all honesty I wouldn’t have paid much attention to the original content that drove this remix album, but the combination of this tight and imaginative producing with a raspy vocal delivery and eclectic themes make for a perfect mix. I’ll be enjoying this album all summer.