There are two things I absolutely love: sick house parties and (two) drops of X. Better known as Jamie XX, Jamie Smith gave plenty of both at his September 4th show at Union Transfer. With an engulfing bass line and dreamlike layers of steel drums and echoing vocals, Jamie’s DJ set brought forth many urges amongst the Philly crowd: the urge to contemplate, nerd out on vinyl, make out (rather hard), and above all dance.
The British music producer and remix artist performed hidden behind a set of strobes and smoke machine, showing only his shadow, giving the spotlight solely to his tracks. He included the much anticipated new track “All Under One Roof Raving” from Young Turks as well as the acclaimed AA-single “Girl/Sleep Sound”. When speaking of what inspired the track, Jamie says: “I made “All Under One Roof Raving” whilst on the tail end of another year on the road with The XX. I was missing life in London and trawling through any music and videos that remind me of home. One in particular I found very inspiring, Mark Leckey’s ‘Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore.'” Jamie also states that this track “serves as a reminder not to take any time for granted at home or away.”
Coincidentally, last night’s set evoked a similar nostalgic force. Swaying to his signature use of minimalist percussion clang and reverberant guitar strokes, I was brought back the very feeling I felt seven years ago when seeing both Smith and Romy Madley Coft as The XX for the very first time. It is an unusual teenage feeling of loneliness and longing–attached with a distinct level of nerdiness–cool enough that it does not fall into the category of emo. Smith has certainly grown into his own style since The XX, yet he still manages to seductively bring us back home.