When The xx came out with their sonically minimal debut album xx back in 2009, it caught the world slightly off guard. It bubbled in the indie scene before spreading in uneven bursts like a chunk of cold, hard butter clinging to a dull butter knife. It took a while, but soon enough everyone (yes, everyone in the world) fell in love. Soon after that, producers started realizing how perfect this bare-boned, to-the-point style was for remixing.
Now The xx are gearing up to release their sophomore album on September 11th, and their first single, “Angels,” sounds like an unlikely alarm to all producers. It’s a canvas so sparsely decorated that it begs to be built upon, and these artists had to try their hand. In some cases, it worked out very well. Here are The 10 Best Remixes Of The xx’s “Angels,” so far.
Hit “next” or click the picture to hear the remixes…
10. The xx – “Angels (Theatre Of Delays Remix)”
One word you’d never use to describe The xx’s music is “fun.” It’s not a bad thing, but the very nature of The xx is too moody, too effortlessly dramatic to be called fun. This Theatre Of Delays remix is probably as close as The xx has come to being appropriate for smiling, jumping on the bed, and things of this nature. It almost, almost, almost changes the whole mood of the song, but those vocals? Those are not the vocals of a bed-jumping session soundtrack, not at all. That’s what “Blister In The Sun” is for.
9. The xx – “Angels (Andrea Remix)”
The Andrea remix starts off basic enough with the introduction of a bass drum and a handclap, but it takes a dive about a minute in. Instead of building on top of The xx’s structure, it adds a little support and builds around it.
8. The xx – “Angels (Bohdi Remix)”
“Angels,” like most of The xx’s music, is cold and metallic. Bohdi’s remix turns on the heat lamp. It’s still not exactly a day at the beach, but this is about as warm as you can make The xx before you start dancing around the melting point.
7. The xx – “Angels (Mirrors Remix)”
Some remixes get so carried away with creating their own picture that they lose focus of the original. This Mirrors remix knows when to lay off—it adds a splash of color with a whip crack of a handclap but keeps the necessary amount of emptiness in the right places to make sure the spirit of the original stays in tact.
6. The xx – “Angels (Gin & Gin Remix)”
This Gin & Gin remix cuts and tweaks its way through “Angels,” and manages to simultaneously turn up the energy of the desolate original without completely disrespecting that negative space that makes The xx what they are.
5. The xx – “Angels (Fauxe Remix)”
Exchanging the typical snare for cash register-type sound effects, this one chugs along slowly with a sharp contrast between the jangling and a hypnotizing, atmospheric backdrop.
4. The xx – “Angels (Skelecta Remix)”
Imagine if The xx and Burial spent too much time time together and started finishing each other’s sentences.
3. The xx – “Angels (Nuodeo Not For Everyone Refix)”
At almost 5 and a half minutes long, this is stretched out into the longest mix on the list. The intro is a little drawn out, but once it kicks in gear at 1:35, the bass-driven mix gives nice body to the skeletal cut.
2. The xx – “Angels (Coni Remix)”
At first, when you realize how high the vocals are pitched up, it seems unnatural and unfitting. The xx’s music is serious music, and The xx’s music is no country for chipmunk voices. But this remix is no joke, and after a full listen it’s the kind of remix you’ll want to hit play on again.
1. The xx – “Angels (The Confect Remix)”
Never thought “Angels” would sound good over drums that sound straight from a James Brown track, but add some reverb, ghostly vocals, and trickling electronic speckles to that bitch and swoop. Download it here.