James Blake – James Blake
Label: Atlas Recordings
Format: Gatefold 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Lyrics printed on inner record sleeves.
The tracks "Tep And The Logic" and "You Know Your Youth" are exclusive only to the vinyl LP edition of this album.
Country: US Issue
Released: 07 Feb 2011
Style: Leftfield, Dubstep
A1 Tep And The Logic 2:42
A2 Unluck 3:00
A3 The Wilhelm Scream 4:37
B1 I Never Learnt To Share 4:51
B2 Lindisfarne I 2:42
B3 Lindisfarne II
Producer, Recorded By, Written-By, Performer – Rob McAndrews 3:01
C1 Limit To Your Love
Written-By – Feist, Jason 'Gonzales' Charles Beck 4:36
C2 Give Me My Month 1:56
C3 To Care (Like You) 3:52
D1 Why Don't You Call Me 1:35
D2 I Mind 3:31
D3 Measurements 4:19
D4 You Know Your Youth 2:20
Design, Photography [Booklet] – Alexander Brown
Photography [Cover] – Erika Wall
Producer – James Blake
Recorded By – James Blake
Written-By – James Blake
Durations taken from mp3s
Though it was the carbonated funk of his remix of Untold's "Stop What You're Doing" that first alerted the world to the talents of Londoner James Blake, it was a series of sonically evolving EPs between 2009 and 2010 on Hemlock, R&S and Hessle Audio that cemented his reputation as one of the more inventive producers emerging from dubstep's mutation.
Blake largely followed that remix's lead for CMYK and the slightly more refined tempos of The Bells Sketch—fuzzy vocal samples pitched almost into song above chunky, if increasingly minimal, dubstep beats.
But his next two releases—Klavierwerke and his cover version of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" late last year—showed just how far Blake had already begun to move from the blurry, soulful brand of bass music he'd made his name on.
Eschewing samples for his own voice, the former embraced minimal rhythms and melodies, working for a kind of haunted spiritualism. The latter was a cavernous take on R&B, Blake's voice left without cover over mournful piano and slow, pulsating bass.
It was a daring moment for the young producer, sure, this relative forsaking of a sonic brand he'd quickly but effectively established; but one that wouldn't have been nearly as effective if the track itself weren't, well, kind of devastating.
James Blake arrives, not surprisingly, as the direct descendant of his last two releases. A sort of electronic gospel record, Blake's mining ambient R&B, the woozier ends of the UK bass spectrum and the desolate indie strains of acts like Bon Iver and Antony, both of whom he's certain to be compared for the tenor of the record's vocals.
But James Blake also revels in its own willingness to subside, a patterning of shady, hushed beauty that withdraws itself from focus as often as it asserts itself. This isn't a criticism per se. It's a testament to Blake's taste for texture and his appreciation for near-silence, but it also often makes him seem somewhat elusive.
Along with the Feist cover (included), "The Wilhelm Scream" is one of the album's more immediate delights, a droning wash of ambience and sly synth melodies that seem to almost swirl beneath one of Blake's crooniest moments.
The spare, brokedown blues of the two "Lindisfarne"s—featuring only Blake's shaky voice, porchfront guitar and the most restrained rhythms, all slightly static worn—are just as immersive, but belie Blake's forlorn textures with a chorus that sounds almost redemptive. "Measurements," meanwhile, sounds like Jamie Lidell gutter drunk and appreciating a new dawn,
"Unluck" and "To Care (Like You)" are slightly beefier returns to his origins, their slow, clunky beats gaining in sound around Blake's vocally effected cries.
While the songs are the magnetic center here, Blake's musicianship and sonics are equally striking. A "dubstep" producer with a gentle piano touch and an ear for granular synthesis so sharp it will make fleets of laptop toters envious, his toolkit is seamless. The two-part "Why Don't You Call Me" / "I Mind", for instance, opens with only voice and piano, played with the studied delicacy of a classical student.
By cushioning his songs with so much space—even a use of silence as "articulate" as Blake's—he often undermines his own subtle hooks in a way that artists mining similar territory like Nicolas Jaar or How To Dress Well don't. James Blake is a promising debut for the producer, without question
James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream
When I listen to this, the sound seems to come from all the things around me. I feel trapped in a foggy atmosphere, soft and calm. Definitively in love with this song.
James Blake - Limit To Your Love
Such a soulful voice! i want to hear him sing some Sam Cooke songs!
James Blake - Unluck
SXSW South By Southwest French Legation Museum 2011
James Blake - Tep and the Logic
Directed By: Casa CreationUnkleluc&Personal]
Written By: Andres "Personal" Antonio
Director of Photography: Luc "UnkleLuc" Alexander