Sunday, January 2, 2011

Artist Spotlight - Jamie Woon

  Recently there has been a rash of artists crossing R&B with bass music. While the genre became increasingly popular in 2010 due to artists such as Flying Lotus and Mount Kimbie, it always left me a bit cold. While I did enjoy the Mount Kimbie record I never remember anything about it after finishing listening to it, nothing really sticks out and sticks in my mind. While Jamie Woon is doing a similar crossover, the appeal is much more palpable.

     His voice evokes R&B and soul, but has an emotionality to it that makes it both personal and enjoyable. His first EP, Wayfaring Stranger, was released in 2007. The self titled track was an A Capella based soul track that was pretty good. But what really struck me and most people about the EP was the Burial remix of the title track. It took the soulfulness of Woon's voice and put it over a lonely dubstep beat similar to Burial's own tracks. The mix of the coldness of the music with the richness of Woon's voice is pretty spectacular and stunning. It is actually very interesting to listen to the original "Wayfaring Stranger" in comparison to the remix. Instead of distant dubstep it is largely a Capella, featuring Woon's voice front and center, with minimal backing percussion. It is a mournful dirge that brings a different emotionality to the track.     In late 2010 Woon released another short EP showing the influence he garnered from said Burial remix. The Night Air ep is only two tracks, the title track and a remix by Ramadanman. The track is a bit warmer than "Wayfaring Stranger", and features Woon incredible voice over a Fever Ray'ish backing track. The video for the song is one of the few instances where its not secondary or just thrown out there, it is actually well thought out and compliments the track incredibly effectively.
    There are rumors that Jamie Woon will be releasing a full length in 2011. After listening countless times to his two short EP's I am very excited by this prospect. Hopefully he delves deeper into the darkness of bass music with some hints of his guitar based origins, and it would be amazing to see another Burial collaboration. Check out the link below to hear both his EP's, and if you enjoy them please support the artist.

Jamie Woon - Night Air Official Video
Jamie Woon - Wayfaring Stranger & Night Air Ep's

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