OTW #516: XXYYXX

Experimental, sample-riding bass music...
XXYYXX by Neil Bedford

Marcel Everett is not your average 17-year-old. Looking at the production wunderkind, who has been taking the ‘net by storm recently under the alias XXYYXX, any bouncer not thoroughly adhering to a ‘Challenge 25’ policy would be fooled.

And if appearances weren’t enough, a few minutes of chatting to him reveal a musical taste, band history, articulation and humble attitude that seem mature beyond his years.

His dense collages of sound borrow from and pay tribute to a vast series of influences: “Growing up in a black family in Florida, my mom would play a lot of R&B, driving to school, here and there. I just learned to like it,” he says of the R&B influence that laces his sound, particularly his critically acclaimed self-titled project which broke him through due to the ultra-minimal, Beyoncé-sampling intro track ‘About You’.

The track has become a double-edged sword for the young producer, who explains: “It’s bittersweet because it helped so much, but the song sucks and it’s everyone’s favourite song!”

It was upon hearing Toro Y Moi’s 2010 debut ‘Causers Of This’ that Everett’s interest in electronic music developed. Realising that it had all been created by a single mind, he became inspired by the possibilities of electronic music and has been experimenting ever since.

The strength of his eponymous 2012 album lies in the repackaging and appropriation of familiar music, sampling everyone from R. Kelly and TLC to Alt-J and Biffy Clyro and presenting them to a new audience.

But when the project attracted more attention than he expected, he was forced to consider the legal issues of sampling – something that clearly boils his blood as he leans into the iPhone that records our conversation, as if some money-grabbing entertainment lawyer is listening on the other end.

“If you are a lawyer and you want to sue someone for sampling a song, then go f*ck yourself. You’re ruining music. Not everyone has the money to clear it.”

With his first physical release in production, we should also look forward to hearing him producing for other artists: “It would be amazing to work with so many different people that are making music right now. With plans and emails I’ve been getting recently, I should be working with some interesting people pretty soon.”

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Where: Florida

What: Experimental bass

Get 3 Songs: ‘About You’, ‘Set It Off’, ‘Love Isn’t Made’

Unique Fact: Marcel is starting up a band with some of his Relief In Abstract labelmates.

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Words: Grant Brydon

Photo: Neil Bedford

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