What’s This Playlist All About? The mastermind behind the airy, intimate sounds of The xx offers up a head-nodding mix ideal for throwing your own little dance party in your living room. “As there will be no parties for a while, I thought I’d restart the playlist and share some of what I’ve been playing out and at home,” he says.
What You Get: The DJ and producer takes us through a spectacular crate-digging journey that kicks off with his own skittery, skeletal 2020 single “Idontknow,” which seems to masterfully condense the most mesmerizing qualities of the tracks that follow. There’s the soft, string-laden comfort of composer Nicholas Britell, the minimalist funk of Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, the heady electronic of God Within, the atmospheric rap of Dave, the heart-pumping trance of Rove Ranger, the loose dance grooves of Fatback Band, and plenty more experimental twists and turns in between.
Greatest Discovery: The squiggly sonic exploration of Minor Science’s “For Want of Gelt,” whose spacey synths are eventually blown to bits by a dizzying eruption of percussion.
Is “Idontknow” a Sign of Things to Come? Let’s hope so. The track, which starts out taut and rigid, gradually unspools into Jamie xx’s signature hypnotic textures. It speaks to life in 2020: the anxiety of social distancing and the hope and relief of eventually coming back together. “I made ‘Idontknow’ as an outlet for my frustration over not being able to finish any music for a while,” he wrote on Instagram. “I tried to be less precious with my ideas and just let go… Now, we can’t go out to dance and we need an outlet more than ever, I hope you dance to it at home and let go for a moment.”
Photo Credit: Julio Enriquez