Jamie xx is the not-so-secret weapon providing the glue that binds London trio The xx. Where The xx’s music is best suited for late nights in the backseat and watching the city lights reflect against the windshield, Jamie’s solo tunes present the other side of the coin, fitting for the driver seat, when the wind is in your face and the night is only just beginning.
On The xx’s recent (and fantastic) I See You, Jamie’s influence is always felt in the precise production, carefully chosen samples, and mirror-ball spinning interludes, but it all stays confined to The xx’s shadowy, champagne-drunk aesthetic. On the new remix for that album’s biggest hit, “On Hold,” Jamie reminds what happens when he is turned loose.
Though “On Hold” is the stem from which the remix grows, it’s virtually unrecognizable in the hands of Jamie. The song races with a sweaty, euphoric beat, ditching the Hall & Oates sample, Romy Madley Croft lyrical contributions, and most of Oliver Sim’s parts. It’s a similar magic to what Jamie brought to his 2011 Gil Scott-Heron remix collection We’re New Here, as well as his landmark 2015 solo debut In Colour. “On Hold” is Jamie’s first official remix in more than four years, and begs for him to make these kind of releases a more regular occurrence.
Dance to Jamie xx’s remix of The xx’s “On Hold” in the Alasdair McLellan house party video above.