28th February 2017
The XX ‘I See You’ Tour & Floating Points
THE XX finished their German tour at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle in Düsseldorf with an awesome performance! FLOATING POINTS as opening act took the public to an intelligent electronic performance.
Sam Shepherd is an English musician and neuroscientist who records and performs music under the name FLOATING POINTS. After several EPs, singles and live appearances, Shepherd released FLOATING POINTS' debut studio album, ‘Elaenia’, in November 2015, to widespread critical acclaim. “Soul” is a central term in Shepherd's sound universe as FLOATING POINTS; Central also for the emotions that the Londoner as a DJ through his music selection. “Soul is a slogan for liveliness. In a secular sense, ‘the soul’ plays a role for the fact that behind every piece of music there is a person whose soul appears in the body of the music.” Sam Shepherd also enjoys an excellent reputation as a DJ. It’s precisely because he constantly challenges the audience instead of just using the techno or the UK garage: Jazz, soul, minimal music… “If you hear me hang up, you have to be prepared for the worst!” He says, laughing. “I think it is exciting to bring different tracks into new contexts that are a bit off the mark. I like the idea of playing Steve Reich and Pharoah Sanders in clubs where you do not expect that.” [taz.de] http://www.floatingpoints.co.uk / https://www.facebook.com/floatingpoints
Music & Performance
The man behind that big pile of equipment started his performance with a lo-fi / noise intro which, from my point of view, took a bit too long to develop some concrete shape. He even lost the attention of the public who started talking. This single evolving song got more rhythm added until reaching some hypnotic mood. It was really hard for me to link what I saw that night with what I heard from FLOATING POINTS before. There wasn’t any trace of jazz, soul nor minimal music. Was it really him?
Total: 5.5 / 10
THE XX are an English band formed in 2005 in Wandsworth, London. Jamie Smith (beats, MPC, production), Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) and Romy Madley Croft (guitar, vocals) met whilst studying at Elliott School. There has been a lot in the career of the London Indie band. Acclaimed by the critics for their minimalist, melancholic indie-electro-pop of the debut album ‘XX’ in 2009 (top ten in the UK), the trio went up commercially. Their second album ‘Coexist’ went number 1 album in Great Britain and several other top ten placements. ‘I see you’, their third album released on 13 of January 2017, is currently topping the charts worldwide. The record was made at five different venues - New York, Marfa, Reykjavik, Los Angeles and London - friends, family and fellow travellers were invited to watch the production. ‘I See You’ is probably the best album of the band so far! It arose in a time when The xx moved both as a band and as individuals outside their comfort zone. This is reflected not only in the new production method but also in the further development of the three.
During the last few years, Romy has moved to Los Angeles to work with some of the world's best songwriters. Oliver was the face of a global campaign by Dior. Jamie released his debut solo album, the Grammy-nominated ‘In Color’. Jamie also worked as a producer with artists like Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys and Drake. But The xx are undeniably strongest when the three get together. 2.7 million worldwide-sold albums of their two albums so far, Mercury Price victory for their debut album ‘XX’ and THE XX is one of the three British bands that made it gold status in the US in the last decade. In addition, the 400,000 ticket sales for the ‘Coexist’ tour and two golds for the two albums in Germany! ‘I See You’ was recorded in the period from March 2014 to August 2016. All songs of the album were written by Jamie Smith, Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft. All lyrics of the album were written by Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft. The album was produced by Jamie Smith and Rodaidh MacDonald (who also worked on THE XX debut album). The second single ‘Say Something Loving’ was released this year while their first one ‘On Hold’ is still leading the charts. http://thexx.info / https://www.facebook.com/thexx
Music & Performance
A millennials night? Although THE XX have fans of all ages, this colourful generation was the majority last Tuesday the 28th of March at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle. The fact is that everyone wanted to see them live; hence the concert was sold out. THE XX entered the stage at around 20:10. It was their first concert in Düsseldorf at all. The trio started with ‘Say Something Loving’ followed by ‘Crystalized’ and ‘Islands’. The sound was crystal clear and powerful. The voices of Romy and Oliver were absolutely perfect. Solitude and melancholy which at the same time finds comfort. That’s what THE XX music is about. Like for example the beautiful Croft-Sim-duet in ‘Basic Space’. The band offered a wonderful lighting show as well as a great setlist, which mainly consisted of the debut and current album. One of the highlights there was ‘Performance’ performed by Croft on guitar alone, with which she implanted a feeling of loneliness even in a concert with several thousand people. The sad ‘Brave For You’ was shaken by mighty beats. The concert was a real self-running. The audience was especially quiet during performance but celebrating thankfully after every song. The light show was really accurate, supported by the 6 four side rotating columns made of mirrors.
The acclaimed ‘VCR’ written at 15 is always special as it feels as if they would open an old diary. The danceable ‘Dangerous’, and then the time to pay tribute to another classic of the debut album: Shelter! ‘Loud Places’, a cover of Jamie XX. The band left the stage leaving ‘Mr. Drum machine’ on. There is where the most disco-like atmosphere came from. To the delight of the band, the fans were enthusiastically celebrating their latest album ‘I See You’. The encore brought the awaited ‘On Hold’ followed by ‘Angels’. It was a delightful 90 minute show bringing emotions together like only THE XX can do.
01. Say Something Loving
06. Basic Space
08. Brave for You
11. I Dare You
13. A Violent Noise
16. Loud Places (Jamie XX cover)
17. On Hold
Total: 9.5 / 10
All pictures by Daniela Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)