tremble clef

Thursday, August 03, 2006

X-Press 2 featuring Rob Harvey, "Kill 100" (2006)

By this point in musical history, it feels like everyone and their grandmothers have sampled (royalties!) or alluded to (free!) "I Feel Love." (The Wiki entry probably only scratches the surface; it misses out Mousse T.'s use of the bassline for his mashy remix of Moloko's "Sing It Back," for instance.) This new single by X-Press 2 dips its toes into the same sample pool, but at least splashes around to create some different patterns.

The original riff, of course, manages the neat trick of seeming to build and build towards a peak when, in reality, it mostly circled around and back on itself in a kind of self-masturbatory frenzy. It's therefore largely been sampled as a gurgling expression of ecstasy. In "Kill 100," not so much. Featuring vocals from Rob Harvey of The Music, this is a slab of dark twisted electrohouse. Minimal and menacing, it's quite a few miles from the happy sounds of "Lazy" or the soulful drawl of "Give It" -- not that those tracks, despite being lead singles for the previous and the forthcoming X-Press 2 albums, are especially representative of the band's sound. But "Kill 100" is even gloomier than something like "I Want You Back"; if I hadn't known, I might have guessed that it was a new Underworld track. Over some sparse synth washes and an incrementally developing bassline, Rob intones a claustrophobic and paranoid lyric. When he then announces, quite surprisingly, that he feels love, and the familiar riff kicks in, it feels more like a portent of impending doom more than it does any kind of joyful release.

(The band is running a competition that allows anyone to remix the single, with the aim of producing 100 official versions. I like how they ask that "any additional sounds you use [should] not [be] uncleared samples." Presumably that doesn't include the one already in the song.)


  • Is X-press related to that 80s band x-press (or was it S'express)? My memory fails me but I remember an X-press song that opened with some sort of line about "life being a trip." Does this ring any bells?

    By Blogger harvey molloy, at 9:10 AM  

  • Yes, you're thinking of S'Express, led by Mark Moore, who had a huge neo-disco hit "Theme From S'Express." X-Press 2 is a different animal, best known for a house anthem called "Lazy," featuring David Byrne on vocals. (Which I think you would like, actually.)

    By Blogger Brittle, at 9:45 AM  

  • After reading the description, i was waiting for "King of snakes" part deux... But i really dont feel like its very menacing... Maybe i need my menaces scarier???

    By Anonymous Arnault, at 3:15 PM  

  • You were always the brave one in your family.

    Maybe "menacing" was the wrong word. Spooky?

    By Blogger Brittle, at 5:50 PM  

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