Jamie Woon Jamie WoonNight Air
CANDENT SONGS (CNDNT001, 12”)
Jamie Woon triumphs every time with his voice. I don’t know up to what point he could be considered a soul man (and if we would accept that definition, he would be the odd one out in the genre), but he has the rare skill of giving warmth and leaving the skin in a sensitive state. He might lack the boastfulness of the great black voices –that power that a white post-adolescent from South London simply cannot have, for reasons of genetics and age–, but he has the tremble of the young Jeff Buckley, (RIP). The good thing about Woon is that his expressive register doesn’t need to go back to blues-rock or sixties singer-songwriters, and that can he base his songwriting on the experience and sensations of contemporary London, more open to the future, and he doesn’t shy away from technology. His guitar is always connected to an EFX rack, he doesn’t reject electronica in spite of parting from a kind of song that suffers from the weight of history (check out the credits: the track is co-produced by William Bevan – sound familiar?). In any case, and like what happened to “Wayfaring Stranger” a while ago, with “Night Air” Woon does enough to dazzle and offer comfort on a song that demonstrates his potential as a composer and performer. It’s hard to innovate soul –yes, I repeat, we accept that his is a unique kind of soul–, but he seems to be looking for that breach. What he does do like no-one else is find remixers: while on his first single it was Burial, on this one it’s Ramadanman who uses his seven minutes to do a cloudy intro, then gives three minutes to the song and concludes with some soft, post-garage rhythm exercises that are as beautiful as they are hypnotic. Jamie Woon: another step forward, and it’s not half bad.