Summer is well underway, and since we’re in the season of festivals, I thought it appropriate to share one of my more recent finds while Youtube-crate-digging.
I’m still a little blown away that such a deep, soulful voice could come from a skinny, British white guy who looks like he’s maybe 14. I’m also consistently impressed with how well this guy’s music translates into the live setting. Electronic music is a tricky thing to replicate in a band setting as it is, especially in the case of James Blake’s music. While his music exercises thought-out restraint and minimalist principles, it certainly has a tendency to erupt into beautiful moments of complexity, utilizing pronounced IDM elements. Blake and co. have managed to balance and blend those elements well on stage and his performance of “CMYK” at last year’s Pitchfork Fest is a perfect example of that. The band gradually builds on top of a simple plucked guitar melody and mutates into this really nice, driving groove. I love the way the drummer erupts into this syncopated drum pattern in the middle.
I’ve been wanting to see James Blake perform live, and this is just adding more fuel to the fire. I hope he keeps this momentum with his new project, Harmonimix.