Welcome to Spectrum Land! You’ve just entered the front gates of the newly-opened amusement park. The sun is warm on your face, and you hear the faint sound of waves crashing on a nearby beach. The main draw of Spectrum Land are its many “Spectrum Coasters,” which are essentially roller-coasters for different colors in the color spectrum, and they each have their own unique soundtrack. How could you pass that up? Enjoy your day!
This has to be another one of those universally-loved records. It’s just too damn pleasant on the ears. You may know Jamie xx, or Jamie Smith, as one of the three members that make up The xx, or maybe from his work with the late legendary soul singer Gil Scott-Heron. The fact is, Smith has been deep in the scene creating wonderful music since he attended the legendary Elliott School in London (other notable alumni include Burial, Four Tet, and Hot Chip). In Colour is the talented producer’s debut album, and what an absolutely gorgeous debut it is.
At its core, this is dance music, but not the skyward-hands/pogo-jumping dance music you’ll find at most modern, exclusively electronic festivals. These sounds are for the wallflowers, often found propped up against the back wall, eyes closed, head lowered and nodding with the beat. It’s a bit reminiscent of Flying Lotus’ minimal opus, Until The Quiet Comes. There are a myriad of moving parts in each of these songs, and it requires a committed headspace in order to effectively absorb everything presented. These are intricate songs, but they sound completely seamless and fluid.
Just as the title suggests, each of these songs seem to reside in a different color. Many of them fall within darker shades, but it’s during vocal tracks “SeeSaw,” “Stranger In A Room,” and “Loud Places” (featuring Romy, Oliver Sim, and Romy once more, respectively) that this album really glows with beauty. Jamie xx has created something truly special here, something with a whole lot of both heart and soul infused. If you’re seeking music to groove to, but also to think to, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)