Cutting-edge British instrumentalist Jaime xx (better known as 1/3 of the critically-acclaimed the xx) makes admittedly strange bedfellows with Gil Scott-Heron, the 61-year-old soul singer whose signature spoken-word style influenced generations of hip-hop greats, as well as black militant activists back in the 1970s.
But collaborate they have, and the result is something unlike anything we’ve heard before. “We’re New Here,” Jaime xx’s album-length remix of Heron’s latest album, adds dubstep-inspired underpinnings to Gil Scott’s gravelly vocals, with warm waves of reggae marrying electronica and hip-hop with remarkable ease.
The album doesn’t drop until February 22, but for a limited time smartphone users with HTML5 can stream the entire thing here, via the XL Recordings/Young Turks “We’re New Here” album transmitter.
The stream is limited to users located within the range of one of the broadcast stations, but that shouldn’t be a problem: according to the website, there are three transmitters in Williamsburg alone, including one near Hope and Roebling, a second at N. 5th and Bedford, and a third at N. 6th and Berry.
If the radio gods still refuse to smile on you this dreary Wednesday day, you can preview one of the album’s most affecting tracks, the hypnotically beautiful, reggae-tinged “I’ll Take Care of U,” here: