Earlier this year Jamie XX released ‘Girl’ and ‘Sleep Sound’ as a joint release. Both had serious airplay, particularly ‘Sleep Sound’ which featured in the 6Music playlist for a while. Personally I preferred the more atmospheric, gradually building ‘Girl’, and here’s why…

What I loved about ‘Girl’ was the discovery of an electro-funk group of the 80’s, called Freeez. The London producer samples the “I want your love,” phrase that resonates throughout the groups major commercial success ‘I.O.U.’, which peaked at number 2 in ’87. The vocal loop is slowed down and stretched out giving it an eerie muffled quality that you find yourself singing under your breath throughout the day.

‘I.O.U.’ is so classicly ’80s that is should feature in any disco playlist. Synths, drum machines and repetitive vocals aplenty, I can only send my thanks out to Jamie for leading me to this hit, as well as a very underrated funk disco band of the early 80’s. Their 1981 release ‘Southern Freeez’ is a more mellowed out soulful side of the band, whilst first release ‘Keep in Touch’, brings the tempo and pace back up a bit more with a fast popping bassline and funk rhythm guitar playing.

‘Girl’ also features a part of the synth-heavy ‘Out There’ by Studio, which takes you on a gentle rhythmic journey punctuated by guitar strumming. ‘Sleep Sound’ and ‘Girl’ are both yet more great productions by the beat maker of the XX. I can only hope his further releases will take similar notes from historical musical gems.

Release: 1983

– Fraser Brooks


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