The Ghost Hardware Award for Best Use of Burial Drums
By Jordan Cronk | 18 December 2012
The xx: Coexist
This year the xx followed up a subtle, introspective self-titled debut (2009) with the somehow even more unassuming, further inward looking sophomore transmission Coexist. I’d argue that it’s an even more powerful and certainly more emotionally acute set of minimalist pop tunes than its predecessor, but that hasn’t stopped the greater critical guard from mostly overlooking the record. Indeed, it’s one of the more unfortunate omissions from our own forthcoming Top 50, despite having its fair share of proponents around these parts. But amidst all the talk about the band’s uncommon bravery for continuing to par down their sound, many overlooked one of band catalyst Jamie xx’s most startling and successful new production touches: Burial drums. The rumors that Coexist would be the xx’s dance record might have proven largely unfounded, but Jamie xx’s alternation of stark synthetic syncopation and arrhythmic analog eruption encouraged an equally cathartic, internalized sense of (e)motion.