Artist : The XX
Track : Angels (Phonic Scoupe Dub)
Label : Stripped Recordings
Cat No : #20
Release: 03/04/2014
Genre : Deep House/Progressive
Review by Andy Howarth

Before we get started here, i’d just like to go on record by saying I don’t like The XX… At all. I find them laborious and slightly pretentious, but then that’s just me. I also can’t stand Ed Sheeran, or The Killers, so make of that what you will.

Anyway, before I get completely wrapped up in a long and tedious list of popular artists I don’t like, allow me to gravitate back to the point I was originally going to make. Whilst it is true their original material excites me about as much as paying my council tax, thankfully we live in a world where the remix has established itself as a ubiquitous entity, and where one does not have to simply make do with what we are presented with from an artist.

Enter, Phonic Scoupe. Now I reviewed their Love & Hate EP back in January this year, and i’ll be honest and say I wasn’t overly enamoured with it. Granted, the production values were very good indeed, however it does take more than polished production to make a record stand out from the substantially large crowd. That said, it was apparent to me that these guys had potential, and i’m extremely pleased to report they’re back with a remix that truly puts the original to shame.

Wistful reverbed keys and swirling ambient soundscapes envelop the listener from the moment you click play, and the vibrant bassline booms away underneath, giving the track an immediacy that’s hard to ignore. It’s one of those rare Progressive gems that you feel you could listen to for hours without succumbing to fatigue, which is certainly not something I could personally say about anything The XX have released to date. I will admit that a remix is only ever as good as the individual elements that are provided, and even the most seasoned of music producers will struggle to produce something memorable when given sub-par foundations. However, it’s testament to the dexterity of Phonic Scoupe that they’ve taken a record that would ordinarily have put me in a coma, and transformed it into an infectious Prog House gem…

…and do you know the best thing about it? If you have a quick browse online, it’s totally free.

About the Author

Born of the Oxfordshire countryside, Andy has always preferred the quaint aspects of life around a historic city to the hustle and bustle of places like London or Birmingham. That said, the desire to satisfy his thirst for live music has led to him fleeing the tranquility of rural life on a regular basis, in favour of regions where the nightlife doesn't have to come to an abrupt end at 3am.