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The XX - who here worked on that record ?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

The XX - who here worked on that record ?

lots of hype around these 20 year old kids from london
i've listened to their album a few times and i quite like it

anybody here worked with them and care to give us some insights ?

credits :
XX, The - xx (2xCD, Ltd, Dig) at Discogs


Old 13th November 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Schneider's Avatar
 

According to wikipedia its self produced!

The xx may be one of these bands who manage to elude us

Ive spent many hours of my life searching for some of the gear 'Boards of Canada' use and countless more trying to achieve similiar sounds!

great band though! Will have to pick up the album soon.
Old 13th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 

......yes I read the reviews and......nearly bought into the hype......sorry....total bollocks, if you ask me but then again you didn't...so.
Old 13th November 2009
  #4
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i smelled the hype too and discarded the band

but they really deserve a few listen
Old 13th November 2009
  #5
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Tim Davis's Avatar
 

Is this all just hype?


I saw them live and couldn't help but think that they were a bad college band with a severe personality bypass.





Someone tell me why you love them : )
Old 13th November 2009
  #6
Gear Addict
 

lots of bass?
Old 13th November 2009
  #7
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wow

guess you're all jealous
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
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esaias's Avatar
It says on the cd sleeve where it was recorded, I have the CD but can't find the damn case

nice sounding record, I heard the album in the record store and the drums on the intro song caught my ears and I decided to buy it right away.

-Tomi
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
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It sure does sound self-produced.
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
Gear Addict
I know someone who worked on their demos.. but didn't get a credit nor thanks. I would imagine they did some of it at XL studio? Yes, it's very nice indeed.. check out their remix of Florence & the Machine which is also great. Saw them live and it works pretty well even though a bit weird not having any live drums but I guess that's the whole point
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
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i'm really surprised how mature they sound for 20 years olds

there's hardly a mistake on the whole album

i feel old =)
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
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narcoman's Avatar
 

very concept driven. Cool record. Half self produced and half under label watchful eye....
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
I haven't heard the album but based on those 2 clips they sound like The Cure had a head on collision with those annoying open mic poet nights, ya know with the bongos and everyone is so serious. I guess this is the New Goth now? I don't like the P-bass scratchy direct sound on those tunes but I think they could have promise and I'll give it a few more listens. So far though I'd just put 'em in the bin with the rest of the 'sad bastard' music.
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
Gear Nut
 

I think it's terrible!
Old 13th November 2009
  #15
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieb View Post
I think it's terrible!
that's cuz you're stateside and it'll take you three years to catch up !! .... this kind of music is fashion really ......
Old 14th November 2009
  #16
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Quote:
wow

guess you're all jealous
......Yip probably but not for the reasons you might think!
Quote:

there's hardly a mistake on the whole album
.....Sorry Hank but that's still not going to make me buy the album.
Old 14th November 2009
  #17
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FireMoon's Avatar
The second track sounds like a re-write of a Bran Van 3000 song from Discosis.... in fact, they sound like a knock off British art school cheapo version of Bran Van, period...


YouTube - Loop Me | Bran Van 3000

YouTube - Bran Van 3000 - Montreal
Old 14th November 2009
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I heard a snippet of a remix on the radio and bought the album...

and it's not very good, in fact, really boring.

The prospect of having male/female singers opens up so many possibilities...

and yet the arrangements and production never go anywhere.

BORING.
Old 14th November 2009
  #19
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p_bro's Avatar
 

Ok, I have to come out here and say I do in fact LOVE this album very much!

I downloaded it from emusic the first time I saw a review, it just came out (i often do that, sometimes I like, sometimes not, but still I'm always curious about wht's hip or not, so I can judge by myself...). Since then, this album just grew on me. I even bought it on vinyl last week.
I don't know, of course nothing revolutionnary here, but they were going for a very specific mood, and I think they nailed it. I think the roughness of the production and the minimalism of the arrangements really helps the intimacy of it all.
I don't think this band will necessary be there forever ( a band memeber as already left... ), and I'm not even sure I will still be listening to it 2 or 3 years from now, but for the moment I enjoy it. Like it or not, it has a personality, a thing that most of the music coming out these days doesn't have.
Old 14th November 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 

yeah the album works really well as a whole.

just put it on the stereo at night, in the background.

my girlfriend was like "who the **** are these teenagers" at first, but now she loves it.

definitely a grower, not a "classic" record but really enjoyable if you're in the mood.
Old 14th November 2009
  #21
Very mature and coherent recording if You ask me. I like their 'minimalism" in arrangements -not many instruments, but everything fits really well with other elements. As for a home production its really great. This recording has soul.

Peace
M
Old 14th November 2009
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Shame a thread asking about how an album was made degenerates into a pointless 'its shit, no its good' argument.

Old 14th November 2009
  #23
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it's simply because nobody here worked on it
Old 14th November 2009
  #24
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musicbydesign's Avatar
 

I find it interesting. Very simple which is good sometimes with a radio full of commercial gaga pounding away. The recording quality was fine (imo) I think it was the lack of any real direction in the song that turned some off but as it got faster I liked it even more. Different is okay and it sure beats that screaming in pain stuff some kids are into now (my opionion of course).


Daniel
Old 11th April 2010
  #25
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desotoslo's Avatar
 

What I really love about your sound is that everything is given room to breathe. I read you tried working with other producers but decided to self-produce…
Jamie: β€œWe worked with Diplo, Kwes and a few others. We learnt different things from each producer but the results all sounded like a collaboration rather than us. So eventually we just decided to do it with me. It gave us a lot of freedom cos we could just do it in the XL studio. They gave us the keys so I was going in every night.”


The xx: "It started as a joke." | Dummy » Features
--
Old 11th April 2010
  #26
Gear Addict
 

I've read that most of it was produced by the "drummer" or the kid that's rocking the drum machine. A lot of it is sampled straight into and out of that that little MP drum pad sampler thing he has. I'm sure it was mixed/mastered somewhere serious

What I love about that record is that it's SO anti-gearslut. Lots of direct guitar and bass, stock drum samples and key sounds with minimal effects and it lets it all just be about those two voices, both interesting and seductive singing pretty tight little songs in simple, decisive arrangements. It's sexy because it's not really trying to seduce you, like they could give a crap if you like it. That's a cool trick and an awesome reality check. I love that they just didn't give in to the "more" urge.... ever. There's big swaths of the record that are one and two instruments and occasionally acapella voice for a bridge or whatever. That's a much much harder thing to keep compelling and fun than just adding more layers of goo and bump. The focus never wavers. And the fact that it's coming from a bunch of pimple faced theatre drop out looking kids makes all the more funny IMO. I didn't love it immediately but it's one of my favorite records of last year.
Old 12th April 2010
  #27
Gear Addict
 

To the OP-photos of the making of
xx - album recording - a set on Flickr
cheers
Old 12th April 2010
  #28
nw3
Here for the gear
 

Hi guys,

Long-time lurker on Gearslutz but figured I'd sign up today and chime in because I can give you a little bit of info about this. Great site by the way, have learnt so much here.

It was engineered and mixed by my friend Rodaidh, who is the in-house engineer at XL Recordings.

I was interested in the reverb he used on the XX record as i like the amount of space, so asked him about it - he said it's pretty much all spring reverb. I guess that's a combo of straight off the amps + re-amping synths through guitar amps perhaps?

I assume the eq and compression used is very minimal as I was in the studio there not long ago with Rodaidh working on some of my material and he didn't like to use any eq or compression unless he felt it was totally necessary. When called for it was Waves API eq and 2500 compressor or Sonalksis 315 compressor. Who knows whether it was the same with The XX but still, it gives you an idea of the ethos that was behind the mixes at least.

He also said that on the XX record they did some vox with condensor mics but then ended up mostly using SM7 on vox as it just sounded better - think a bunco f us are pretty familiar with that situation!
Old 12th April 2010
  #29
Gear Nut
 
kismet110's Avatar
^^^

Thanks for the info nw3, interesting to know. A friend of mine flagged this band to me; gave them a listen then bought the album.

Have to say I like it lots. Others mentioned them resisting the urge to add more and more, keeping it simple & sparse - totally am with that.

Really loving the reverb and the male/female voice combo (mostly) works so well.

Will I still be listening in a year? Will they disappear up their own a**e soon? Who knows but for the moment it's a WIN for me!
Old 12th April 2010
  #30
nw3
Here for the gear
 

No problem, happy to help. It definitely takes a certain type of boldness to keep things that minimal I think - ignoring any kind of pressure to have everything punchy, loud, in your face etc. I also find with my own material that this is a constant challenge - so tempting to keep adding and tweaking.

Be interesting to see where they go with the 2nd album, whether things will get busier or maybe even more sparse
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