Tuesday evening was all about Jamie xx at den Atelier in Luxembourg. I remembered this venue from visiting it some years ago in which we saw The Temper Trap and the now hugely successful Chet Faker as the support act. The den Atelier venue constantly thrives with its modest line-up throughout the year. The best thing about it - besides the fact that the tickets are cheaper than those you'd normally pick up in London - is its location. It is an intimate location, with what looked like no more than 200 fans revelling amongst themselves before the main act.
DJ and radio host Jon Rust was the support act for the evening; he promptly jumped straight into a street party atmosphere reminiscent of the Notting Hill carnival. The crowd loved it and the friendly vibe continued on towards the end of his set. Imagine a combination of African drums and the Ghostbusters soundtrack. Rust’s music blended nicely; it was mellow and at a volume that was easy to tune into. Towards the end, we grabbed a small beer and, without fuss, got back to our original standing positions - unlike most London gigs.
The crowd cheered out near the end of the support set, when a sound tech entered the stage and started to move some equipment around. A moment later, Rust’s set echoed out and he passed the space onto Jamie xx. The crowd clapped for the young DJ and the warm welcome fused into the bellowing speakers as the volume began to peak. Those behind me sung out the lyrics to ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)’. It was a happy place and it had only just begun.
Swirling pad sounds and bass swayed across the front row of fans. It was beautifully loud. Synth samples progressed into this hard bass, which kept on hitting as the loop brought vocals through. Jamie xx’s ‘Loud Places’ featuring Romy really proved tonight was a true celebration; instrumentals filled between the songs ‘Gosh’ and ‘Girl’. The low pass filters reduced the resonance and there was no ringing. The drop in ‘Girl’ after the lyrics “I want your love, I want your love” sounded amazing with the choir and delayed effects.
We danced along to the clicks and claps that Jamie xx provided. Song after song the white strobes would burst into red and blue beams. Just like the album art, the music was colourful and fun. At times it would go into an ambient drone, then a huge wall of fuzz would enter the mix, introducing the next bit of drums. Entered into the mix was the original ‘Open Eye Signal’ from Jon Hopkins. It was unexpected but a real treat.
The music was warm and crackled while extra vinyls were selected. House chords delayed as many vocals decayed into the next song. Steel drums were mainly absent as the song ‘Obvs’ didn't turn up, but you could hear subtle aspects of his Caribbean festival sounding drums.
‘The Rest is Noise’ fell into this infinite wet reverb that released a pause for a short amount, then a drum and bass track jumped in for a few minutes. It was fantastic, a great encapsulation of his ‘In Colour’ album tracks and I wish to see him next year at a few summer festivals. Check out his boiler room sessions and other DJ sets; he doesn't disappoint.
Buy the album here.
Words and Photography: Luke Cole