We’ve been down with XI for some time over here at SR. The producer from Toronto last year released music under the two lettered moniker on Immerse, Surefire Sound, Formant and Surface Tension as well as commemorating the very first plate for Orca Recordings – on which he returns for this, the label’s first release of 2011. Also working under the Ultragamma guise on some more contorted pseudo hip hop/electronic stuff it’s been his heavier handed tracks like ‘Ghost’ and ‘Slippin’ that have had the most impact up until this point, but here he takes a slightly more colourful side-step with the two cuts on offer. In some ways it’s a natural follow up to Orca’s last outing, the fantastic ‘Phoenix’ by Hyetal, but hands down this is XI at his most supple and funky.
Sitting somewhere in the micro-bubble that connects the dots between the shiny boogie friendly house of recent Night Slugs outings from the likes of Jacques Greene and Optimum, the aforementioned Hyetal and the flexible Sepalcure on Hotflush, ‘Gamma Rain’ hides a whole heap of brooding melancholy funk thats brought on by shimmering synths and expertly cut up jazz loops. Paired up with some seriously flexible wood carved garage beats this one really hits home hard – a low key anthem in the making. Then we get ‘Medicate’, which doesn’t quite hit those highs moving instead in deeper more spacious circles it’s got a subtle vibe to it but harbours plenty of weight. The colour and personality running through it sounds like the soundtrack to orbiting the earth in the Mir space station while playing zero-g pong.
Words: James Balf
Out: 31st January 2011
|XI – Gamma Rain [Orca]||XI – Medicate [Orca]|
XI was also named one to watch for this year earlier this week by FACT. Check his minimix and interview here:
XI – Medicate
XI – Nitelite
XI – Gunnery V
XI – ArmourHP
XI – Virtualayz