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The xx – VCR (Four Tet remix) review

Joining the likes of Matthew Dear, Ivan Smagghe, Untold and Tiga in the premier league of producers to rework the hushed tones of revered Mercury winners The xx is Four Tet. Whilst the prospect of yet another remix of The xx feels somewhat unnecessary, any such notions are cast aside once Hebden’s effort is in full flow. Typically twisted rhythms borne out of organic percussion which don’t really sit comfortably in any sort of genre pigeon holing punctuate the beginning of this rework which never chooses to travel in one direction.

The delicate fragility that characterised “VCR” is retained by Hebden, and reworked in a truly hypnotic fashion. Elements such as Jamie Smith’s xylophone flutters are gradually worked into the groove along with looped up snatches of the vocals (swiftly becoming Hebden’s sonic signature). An all too brief drop into the distinctive melody of the original track precedes the onset of a change towards a kaleidoscopic keyboard melody infused with warmth that pulses with energy. The final glorious swirl of ethereal synth effects swoop around your senses towards a heavenly climax embellished by the final vocal refrain from Oliver Sim. This is the sort of record you want to hear your favourite DJ end the superlative last set of an immaculate evening in the perfect event space on.

Tony Poland