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Jamie xx/Gil Scott-Heron – NY Is Killing Me review

The recent announcement from XL that Jamie Smith from The xx has indeed completed a remix album to complement I’m New Here, Gil Scott-Heron’s critically acclaimed return to form was met with a unanimous “mate, we know!” Despite the label’s best efforts at stonewalling the news, Jamie’s been including tracks in mixtapes for the best part of six months. “NY Is Killing Me” marks a delightful taste of what to expect when We’re New Here arrives next February. Jamie xx flips the original’s dusted off kilter diwali twist for something that sounds oh so now, stretching Gil’s bluesy incantations over a backdrop of nagging melodic stabs and bouncing sub bass. The half step shudder that leads the way is augmented by haunting diva shrieks towards the glorious climactic introduction a plinking procession of marimbas. A truly special track, and one that bodes well for the full album as well as The xx beatsmith’s upcoming EP for NMBRS.

Tony Poland