Posted on 2013/07/29 02:45
  • Live Report
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Jamie xx kicked off his Sunday set at the Red Marquee with a massive question mark hanging over his head: was he going to play what he wanted to play or was he going to play what the crowd wanted to hear instead?

Two years ago, his Planet Groove set was perhaps a little too introspective for a crowd that was more intent on dancing in the early hours of Saturday morning than trying to work out the hidden meaning behind his skittery half-beats. By the time he flicked the switch and upped the tempo 30 minutes into his set, the dance floor had thinned considerably and many had already headed home.

He started off in a similarly lethargic fashion this year, letting things stew over for a minute or two while the crowd swayed before him waiting for something to happen.

But unlike 2011, he got down to business much faster, and once he got the party into gear he played hard and didn’t let up. And then after 20 minutes or so, he played even harder.

He regularly teased the crowd with glimpses of each sample he was going to throw into each drop and, once completed, he made sure nothing was held back.

Not surprisingly, he threw some material from The xx into the mix towards the end of his set — almost a given considering he’d only finished performing with his fellow bandmates on the White Stage two hours earlier. The crowd certainly appreciated it.

Church organs and soul vocals also made appearances, as did three brand new varieties of bass that I have never experienced before: bongo bass, subwoofer bass and dead bass. If you think about the bass elements of each item mentioned, you should be able to get an understanding of what I am talking about.

By the end of his one-hour set, the crowd couldn’t have been happier. One woman in the audience gave him the thumbs up, while another said he was the best electronic act she’d seen at Fuji Rock so far. A man dressed in black leathers brandishing a massive punk Mohawk even got up on a friend’s shoulders and started thrashing about violently. Even the unconverted had been converted.