Stars of 2011 – #1: James Blake
Written by lmercedes
January 11, 2011 9:12 am
Our dear Maxumi readers, now the dust of NYE has settled, the last of the Quality Street has been eaten, and we’ve all (happily) returned to our day jobs it is time we made our predictions for the year, and gaze into the crystal ball of disco to bring you the names you need to know in music for 2011. Watch this space all week for a run down (run down? Run up? Either way we don’t play favourites here) of a flavour of what there is to come (without a Strawberry Creme in sight).
22-year-old London pianist and producer James Blake made waves in 2010 with three mighty fine EPs – Klavierwerke, The Bells Sketch and CMYK. The title track of the latter garnered some attention on the blogosphere, featuring playfully distorted vocals snuck from heavyweight R’n’B tunes “Caught Out There” and “Are You That Somebody”, layered upon aerated dubstep beats and gently tinkling piano. It’s a prime example of Blake’s sound – sparsely arranged melody with intervening static and melancholic vocals which prove at times hypnotic.
With a Number 2 position on BBC Radio 1’s yearly prophetic Sound of 2011 list, it looks like Blake could also be heading for mainstream success.
James Blake’s eponymous debut album, 18 months in the making, is due for release on Atlas on February 7th.
Picture credit: pitchfork.com
Words: Leonie Mercedes
Categorised in: Features