Courtesy of 2+2 Management Christian "XI" Andersen is amongst the leaders of…
- Posted on Apr 18th 2011 10:30AM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Courtesy of 2+2 Management
Known for hosting Toronto's popular monthly Subtrac parties as well as a busy international touring schedule that's seen him play alongside the likes of Prodigy, Kode 9, and Nosaj Thing, in addition to releasing plenty of tracks on labels all over the world, XI seems poised to break through beyond the confines of a particular scene.
'The Ghost,' his debut single for UK label Orca (whose founder aptly dubbed XI's sound as "future-aqua-crunked-out-dubstep"), received plenty of airplay on BBC Radio -- BBC's high priestess of electro, DJ Mary Ann Hobbs, even commissioned a guest mix from XI for her trendsetting show.
While dubstep has certainly filtered across the pond from its East London origins, it's perhaps unsurprising that XI continues to garner kudos overseas while going largely under the radar at home beyond diehard bass heads.
That should change with the release of his new 'Gamma Ray/Medicate' split single, which showcases XI's complex, glitchy beats and atmospheric production.
While XI's sound certainly fits squarely within the dubstep framework, tracks like 'Medicate' suggest a far more expansive approach that stitches together blips and bleeps into a textured sonic quilt.
The soft, buzzy intro soon gives way to buzzy bursts of synth weaving in and out of the mix before skittering rhythms anchor the track from floating away. One can almost picture XI hunched over his sampler, brow furrowed in concentration as he builds up layers of sound.
There's a kind of compositional aspect to the track that evokes other painstaking downbeat types like Caribou or Four Tet, not to mention dubstep touchstone Burial. Sensual and druggy, almost filmic in nature, it's the sort of thing that would work equally as well on headphones as in a come-down club set.
Like the best trips (and unlike many instrumentals), the tune doesn't overstay its welcome -- by the time it fades out in a wash of glimmery keys just shy of the five-minute mark, it's clear that XI's sound might be hard to classify, but easy to remember.
Download: XI, 'Medicate' (MP3)