London's Adele is putting out her second album in February, and while that is undoubtedly a good thing, I'm putting forth a remix of the first single from that effort, rather than the album version, mostly because it's great fun. Jamie xx (real name: Jamie Smith) is the fellow who plays drums, or more properly an Akai MPC500, in The xx. While that band is pretty atmospheric, Smith himself used to mix hip-hop and he still DJs whenever he gets a spare moment.
In fact, he unveiled this remix during a recent DJ set in London, and by morning there was iPhone video containing part of the song on YouTube. Luckily, XL Recordings knows when they've got a winner, and they put the whole track up for your listening pleasure.
Smith rightly features Adele's brassy voice, which is unquestionably the star of the show. But he sprinkles in some hard funk snare hits and, out of nowhere, a few unexpected pitchshifted vocals. Once in a while, the frosty synth marimba tones The xx favor also make an appearance. In all, his production jacks up the bluesy, slightly menacing vibe of the original, and adds a faint whiff of dubstep to the proceedings. Bet Adele fans didn't see that coming. But just as Jamie Woon and Burial proved recently, soulful vocals and fractured beats can make a potent combination.