New Blood: James Blake

The varied brigade of the so called ‘post funk experimentalists’ continue to claim their stake as the ‘Future Sound’. This new avant-garde has cast a hasty, yet influential spell on the UK’s ever blossoming left-field electronica scene, rendering what we knew of low end frequency to be inverted upon it’s head through a bruised speaker cone. Amongst this new school, James Blake has quickly reserved his right in leaving his laurels resting on the cluttered mantle of future music, cementing another triumph of the blogosphere. His inbred manifestations of R&B, dubstep and garage, have landed his most recent release on legendary techno imprint R&S Recordings; a bold statement by the Belgian label, who have hosted many of techno’s finest such as Joey Beltram and Aphex Twin.

Blake’s CMYK EP release continues to pave its way through unfathomable territory, described by various urban thesaurus’ in a multitude of ways, however the most succinct remark to date claims Blake to be “one dubstep beyond”. Tracks such as ‘Postpone’ endeavor to realise the limitless boundaries open to dubstep syncopation, as the staccato jitters cut loose a choir of interwoven gospel harmonies, like a raid on R Kelly’s recording studio. The staple Blake club crunk is brought to us through ‘CMYK’, where he lends his grainy crushed organ to a skippity high hat, keeping in line with past remixes of ‘Untold’ released on Hemlock Recordings.

As a whole the EP satisfies to maintain Blake’s status, as he bridges the haunting sentiments of Motown with the indulgence of 90’s r&b; re-marketing a tried and tested formula in a wholly original light. However, I remain to be unconvinced of Blake’s ability in creating a comfortable dance-floor, as I have never been convinced of r&b’s bump and grind philosophy. I continue to feel a recurring jarring effect whilst enjoying his efforts on my sofa, so much so; I can’t work out whether I should be sitting down, standing up or grinding the table leg. Maybe I’ll figure it out when I see him for myself.

CMYK EP is out now on R&S Recordings. You can download it from Amazon here.