The XX

Tuneage // Cristina Black // June/July 2010
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The XX

LATEST JAM: The ubiquitous self-titled debut
Fantastic Mr. Fox
FAVORITE TOOL: Akai MPC-5000 Sampler and Production Center “I got one for my 15th birthday,” says producer Jamie Smith. “I started making beats immediately.”

The epitome of 2010 English cool, the xx owe much of their stripped-down sound to drum machine beats. Front people Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim coos are legendary already, but their friend Jamie Smith creates the underpinnings that reinforce their lilting melodies and simple riffs. “Jamie never felt comfortable live drumming,” says Madley Croft. “So we had to make our own beats.” For Smith’s part, they’re better off. “If you just have one drum kit, then all the drum sounds are the same,” he says. “This way, you can do whatever you want.”

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Originally published in June/July 2010

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