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James Blake - The Colour in Anything Album Review

It feels like no coincidence that the recent heatwave we've had in the UK is met with rain clouds and grey skies upon the release of James Blake's third album 'The Colour in Anything'. An album that is so focussed and dedicated to its melancholia that it finds the listener surrounded by a bleak landscape, whether grey windows tapped on by rain or oppressive buildings as you find yourself walking down claustrophobic and damp alleyways. His third LP, which has been anticipated and sought for by many finds Blake at his most mature, particularly in reference to his infallible production style and restrained electronic murmurings of sub-bass and echoes of British dance music. Echoes which become so alien to their reference points its mesmerising to retrace tracks and still find rewards within his incredibly spacious and phenomenally textured songs.

James Blake - The Colour in Anything Album Review

Blake's familiarity is present in its seemingly old-fashioned approach to electronic music; a concoction of auto-tune, expressive percussion, minimalist piano and throwback sub-bass of a dub era. What makes this familiarity refreshing is the collaborative efforts which bleed into Blake's distinguished and wholly unique sound. Partnering with Rick Rubin as co-producer, with assisted vocals by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver on 'I Need A Forest Fire', instrumentation from Conan Mockasin and writing credits from Frank Ocean, we find James Blake maintaining his monomania of prior releases but with its brilliance hidden within the detail. Those tonal shifts that skirt and whimper within each song act as moments of light within a thick fog seeming impossible to navigate. They creep in from the corners, and as a result 'The Colour in Anything' sounds like an artist content with his sound and at a point of meddling with it to achieve something much richer than we've heard before. As a starting point for what is on the cards for James Blake, it is incredibly exciting to see where else this collaborative process will take him in the future.

'The Colour in Anything' contains some of the best material he has released to date. Album opener 'Radio Silence' perfectly sets the tone, beginning with sombre piano and his glass-like howl, opening with the line "I can't believe this/you don't want to see me." Echoing Bill Withers' sentiment in 'Hope She'll Be Happier' about overcoming romantic disinterest. 'Timeless' expands on the darker dub sounds of the album by incorporating a half-trap percussion on one of the stronger tracks. However, 'Put That Away And Talk To Me' is probably his most interesting song here, a dissociative lullaby about weed dependency and obsession in regards to his introspective nature and artistry. 'I Hope My Life' will be likened to other big hitters like 'Digital Lion' and 'Voyeur' from 2011's 'Overgrown', and will no doubt be a fan favourite when it comes to his live shows. There is consistent quality throughout the album, songs such as 'I Need A Forest Fire (feat. Bon Iver)' which is one of the best white boy duets of recent memory, the harmony between James Blake and Justin Vernon is beautifully soothing.

Continue reading: James Blake - The Colour in Anything Album Review

James Blake Enlists Roald Dahl Illustrator Quentin Blake On 'The Colour In Anything'

James Blake

London electronic artist James Blake launches a surprise new album today (May 6th 2016), entitled 'The Colour In Anything'. It's his third album venture and features a generous 17 tracks, including 'I Need A Forest Fire' featuring Bon Iver with whom he previously worked on 'Fall Creek Boys Choir'. 

James BlakeJames Blake drops his third album 'The Colour In Anything'

Blake has released the new album on Polydor Records, with some epic new tracks such as 'Modern Soul' and 'Timeless'. As well as an appearance from Bon Iver, the record also has input from Frank Ocean and Rick Rubin - Ocean as co-writer and Rubin as co-producer. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about 'The Colour In Anything', however, is the album artwork which has been designed by noted illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, himself most famous for the imagery in the Roald Dahl books. It's a pencil and watercolour piece with dull colours, featuring a lone man stood in a field under some rainclouds.

Continue reading: James Blake Enlists Roald Dahl Illustrator Quentin Blake On 'The Colour In Anything'

The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!

Primavera Sound Festival Ride The Strokes Black Keys The Replacements Antony and the Johnsons James Blake Richie Hawtin Simian Mobile Disco Alt-J Patti Smith Belle And Sebastian Damien Rice Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Perfume Genius The New Pornographers Julian Casablancas Interpol Underworld Caribou Foxygen The Eels Babes In Toyland Sleater-Kinney Albert Hammond Jr

Fans and hopeful attendees of Barcelona's Primavera Sound were delighted to discover that the preview app they downloaded was a video game displaying the full line-up for the festival's fifteenth anniversary.

Primavera Sound 2015 logo

Already announced were Friday and Saturday's headliners Ride and The Strokes, and now they've been joined by a host of other equally incredible artists. Thursday sees The Black Keys leading the bill alongside The Replacements, who are hitting Spanish stages for the first time and Antony and the Johnsons, who've been doing plenty since their last Barcelona gig. Bringing some variation to Thursday proceedings are electronic virtuosos James Blake, Richie Hawtin and Simian Mobile Disco.

Continue reading: The 15th Anniversary Line-Up For Primavera Sound Is Finally Here!

ATP Defend Themselves Over The Jabberwocky Fiasco

James Blake Neutral Milk Hotel Kurt Vile

We reported yesterday that two companies tied up in Jabberwocky-gate are taking legal action against ATP - Dash Tickets and The Zeitgeist Agency. But today, ATP have released their own retaliatory statement defending their position as the fallout from the festival's short-notice cancellation continues to unfold. 

James Blake playing liveJames Blake was set to play the event

"In the past 72 hours there have been many accusations thrown at ATP and some so vindictive that we feel it necessary to defend our position," begins the statement, before addressing the first of the two companies claiming to be taking legal action against them in a lengthy announcement designed to deflect the monumental amount of damage done over the past few days.  

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Ivor Novellos Victory For London Grammar As Mercurys Snub Forgotten

London Grammar James Blake Nick Cave Tom Odell

London Grammar lead the honours at last night's 59th annual Ivor Novello awards in London. The trip-hop trio, Dominic Major, Hannah Reid and Daniel Rothman, won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for their track 'Strong.' The award was significant for the band, who met each other at Nottingham University, because it demonstrates a change of fortune when compared to them being ignored at the Mercury Music Prize.

London Grammar Ivor Novello
London Grammar Proved Their Worth At The 59th Ivor Novello Awards.

Speaking before the show, vocalist Reid said of the awards: "It feels really good because it's a songwriter's award and that's why we do what we do, it's a little more chilled than the BRITs as well, it's great."

Continue reading: Ivor Novellos Victory For London Grammar As Mercurys Snub Forgotten

Kanye, Elton, Jack And Lionel: Say Hello To Bonnaroo Festival's Line-Up 2014

Elton John Lionel Richie Kanye West Jack White Warpaint Disclosure Rudimental James Blake Ice Cube Wiz Khalifa Vampire Weekend Nick Cave Janelle Monae

The line-up for this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has been announced and looks to be more impressive than ever with Elton John, Kanye West, Lionel Richie, Jack White and Vampire Weekend all gracing the Manchester, Tenn. stages across the four-day celebration. The festival, which will be held from the 12th to the 15th June this year, will serve up an enviable mix of genres.

Elton John
Elton John Will Lead This Year's Incredible Bonnaroo Festival Line-Up.

Bonnaroo Festival is famous for having provided a stage to one of Kanye West's famous rants last time he played in 2008. The rapper and his fans reacted with outrage when Kanye's originally late night set was shifted to a performance during broad daylight, provoking a classic caps-lock tirade from the short-fused star.

Continue reading: Kanye, Elton, Jack And Lionel: Say Hello To Bonnaroo Festival's Line-Up 2014

Brit Awards 2014 Nominations: Disclosure, Bastille, Rudimental Emerge On Top

Rudimental Disclosure Ellie Goulding Bastille Janelle Monae David Bowie James Blake Laura Marling

The nominees have been announced for this year's Brit Awards, which will be presented live in a ceremony on ITV on the 19th February. The annual awards celebrate the year's biggest British music stars, in a competition that is as hotly contested as ever after a thrilling year in music.

Disclosure Could Be About To Get A Lot More Famous With Four Potential Brit Awards Headed Their Way.

Bastille and Disclosure have emerged as the early front-runners after netting four nominations apiece and will go head-to-head in the Mastercard British Album of the Year, British Breakthrough Act, British Single and British Group categories. Though both groups have enjoyed rocketing to success this year, Disclosure and their album Settle may have the edge due to having been also nominated for last year's Mercury Music Prize.

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Mercury Music Prize List Has "More Good Albums...Than For A Very Long Time"

Arctic Monkeys Laura Marling Disclosure Laura Mvula David Bowie Foals James Blake

This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize could be one of the greatest lists of nominees in the awards history. 2013's nominees shortlist includes talent old and new, rock, pop, and dance with one thing to unite them all: they represent a selection of Britain and Ireland's strongest mainstream albums released during the last 12 months.

David Bowie
Bowie Looking A Favourite To Win.

It would be almost too easy to say that David Bowie will win: the 66 year-old made a triumphant and unexpected return this year with the critically lauded The Next Day which was recorded in secret over two years. He's also the bookies favourite along with Arctic Monkeys at the moment, with odds that are unlikely to change. Last time Bowie was nominated was in 2002 when he suffered defeat to pop star Ms. Dynamite but this time round there's been such a lot of press surrounding Bowie's come-back that he's been hard to ignore.

Continue reading: Mercury Music Prize List Has "More Good Albums...Than For A Very Long Time"

David Bowie Leads The Pack In Mercury Prize Nominations

David Bowie Arctic Monkeys Laura Marling Disclosure James Blake Foals Jake Bugg Rudimental

David Bowie came back from his retirement/hiatus completely unannounced this January, when he released the video for the single 'Where Are We Now,' and managed to catch everyone off guard with his birthday announcement of a new release and the subsequent quality of his first album in a decade.

David Bowie
This is Bowie's first Mercury nomination

The Next Day made the critics swoon after Ziggy Stardust once again and now, five months after he released his twenty-fourth album, Bowie is still being fancied by critics as he emerges as the front-runner to win this years Barclaycard Mercury Prize.

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Latitude Festival Closes It's Gates After Another Successful Year In Southwold [Pictures]

Latitude Festival Bloc Party Foals Kraftwerk Local Natives James Blake

Henham Park in Southwold, Suffolk once again held the coming together of music, comedy, arts and more in it's scenic woodland surroundings to a rapturous reception from the many revellers who travelled to see the likes of Foals, Kraftwerk, Texas and Bobby Womack rub shoulders with the likes of Eddie Izzard, Dylan Moran and Daniel Kitson. And that's just scratching the surface of what was on show.

Kraftwerk have been touring their 3-D show across the globe

On the first day (Friday 19 July) Bloc Party lit up the main-stage, having seen the likes of the Maccabees, Yo La Tengo and The Leisure Society come before them. Elsewhere, on the smaller BBC Radio 6 stage, Texas were the headliners of the night, with Willy Mason, Villagers, Beth Orton and more coming before them, whilst Japandroids and DIIV were among the bigger names on the smaller stages. Meanwhile, bringing the laughs to the comedy stage was Lee Nelson and Sean Lock, to name but two.

Continue reading: Latitude Festival Closes It's Gates After Another Successful Year In Southwold [Pictures]

Universal Music Publishing Release 'Trap For Cinderella' Soundtrack

Posted on11 July 2013

Universal Music Publishing Release 'Trap For Cinderella' Soundtrack

Is James Blake Looking To Strengthen His Hip Hop Connections With A Kendrick Lamar Collaboration?

James Blake Kendrick Lamar

On his upcoming second album, Overgrown, UK electronic saviour James Blake includes a collaborative effort with Wu Tang Clan pack leader RZA in what is a stand out track on an album filled with stand out tracks. Blake's flirtation with hip hop has been long withstanding and it seems that now he has finally hooked up with a hip hop artists everyone is seemingly after a piece of the young producer.

James Blake
James Blake can hopefully expect to pick up a few more awards with the release of Overgrown.

Hip hop's fastest rising star, Kendrick Lamar, is one of the names being thrown around the rumour mill more and more and thanks to an article from PigeonsAndPlanes.com, it is looking more and more likely that the two young upstarts may be heading to a studio together sometime soon. Blake's collaborator on the newly launched label 1-800-Dinosaur, Dan Foat, spoke with the website about the potential for a collaboration and whilst he said that at the moment both parties are too busy to agree on anything, there is still widespread interest among the two groups to work together. He said, "The TDE setup is inspiring and something I’d like to replicate with 1-800, they’re like a modern day Death Row. It’s a long ball game."

Continue reading: Is James Blake Looking To Strengthen His Hip Hop Connections With A Kendrick Lamar Collaboration?

A Week In Music - James Blake Still Seeking His Niche, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Triumph With Lily Cole Video, Eels Stage A Love-In In Bournemouth

James Blake John Grant Die! Die! Die! The Eels Yo La Tengo Yeah Yeah Yeahs Laura Mvula Justin Timberlake Rolling Stones Noel Gallagher Damon Albarn Glastonbury Festival

James Blake Overgrown Artwork

Albums of Note... It’s been a long two years since James Blake released his debut eponymous album and now, the pioneering producer returns with Overgrown, album number two. Peppered with quality collaborations, with hip-hop legend RZA and electronic music’s figurehead Brian Eno, Overgrown is the sound of an artist still trying to find his niche, but releasing high quality, accomplished tracks, whilst he’s on his journey. Blake really is a talent to behold, as his ingenious moulding together of poles apart genres and production wizardry clearly shows… when you're already as accomplished at all manner of musical exercises as he is then it will obviously be hard to focus all this talent and all this energy into one place.

Splitting opinion like musical Marmite, John Grant returns with Pale Green Ghosts. This album may sound unrecognisable as Grant, to anyone already familiar with his work. He’s hooked up with Gus Gus’ Biggi Viera and has decamped to Reykjavik. As a result, a new reliance on vintage-sounding synthesisers and a nod to club-land has John Grant sounding like an altogether different proposition to the John Grant of days gone by.Grant's dyspeptic edge may be blunted, but when called upon the man can make a fine ass post-modern disco song, like we ever doubted that he could, and Blackbelt is a tweaked remix away from the transient world of A Lists, charts and chat shows. Cleverly poignant, its way with knock out disses would give Jake Shears something to think about if it proved to be a permanent change of direction…

Continue reading: A Week In Music - James Blake Still Seeking His Niche, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Triumph With Lily Cole Video, Eels Stage A Love-In In Bournemouth

James Blake - Overgrown Album Review

Such is our internet-blessed world now, a number of you reading this now may have already heard James Blake's long awaited second album, Overgrown, or at least snippets of it anyway, before the April 8th release date. Most of you will have seen the frankly appalling cover art at least, but fortunately Blake has not changed his style to match the made-for-Mother's Day appearance as he has retained the usual boundary pushing vibes and futuristic approach to electronic music. Blake's music has always mirrored our modern times and his newest effort continues to stretch forth on the futuristic plain he began on as a fresh-faced University grad back in 2009.

James Blake - Overgrown Album Review

His self-titled debut was the album that no one really expected to work, not nearly as well as it did at least, so when his 2011 release not only lived up to the hype but in many ways exceeded it, the thought that the young producer might outdo himself once more has long been held as a more than likely possibility. With a pair of very exciting collaborators helping him out this time anticipation really has hit fever pitch but, even with this added help, has Blake managed to live up to the expectations laid forth for him? It wouldn't be James Blake if you could listen to Overgrown once and answer that question; no album worth its own weight can really get an immediate thumbs up, but after a number of listens it soon becomes clear that Blake still hasn't missed a beat as he continues to produce exceptional offerings one after another.

Let's start with the collaborations, then; we've all heard 'Digital Lion' by now, the Brian Eno joint effort that has been prophesised about since the turn of the decade. The 'handing of the baton' cliché will be used all too much by the time the dust has settled on Overgrown, but frankly, a collaboration between these two had always been on the cards. The eerie, slightly techno number defies categorisation and whilst it may drag at points, the song fits in nicely with the often industrial landscape that Blake is trying to produce throughout the album. His recruitment of RZA on the track 'Take A Fall For Me' may come as a surprise, but let's not forget how Blake's music has often evoked the darkest memories of hip hop, and producers and rappers alike have noted their admiration for the young producer since his emergence on the scene. So who better to hook up with James on a track than the King of minimalist, dirge production himself? Unsurprisingly, RZA manages to navigate Blake's melancholic beat well, what does surprise though is his interesting lyrical choices, with many lines sounding as though they've been taken straight from DOOM's last release, Keys to the Kuffs. "I wouldn't trade her smile for a million quid" and "fish and chips with vinegar" are not RZA's usual forte and on such a metropolitan, waiflike beat a more familiar tale of urban decay may have been expected from the Wu Tang Clan man, but these are two people who like their fans to expect the unexpected after all. As is the case with much of Blake's work, the vocals often become muffled and impossible to hear, but as always his production manages to save whilst you're left wondering "please don't marry, who?" To be honest, I could have written this whole review on Blake's connection with hip hop; his supposed work with Kanye, Drake's on-loop listening to a James Blake 12" during the recording of Take Care; and another area of the album where Blake's hip hop tendencies shine through is on 'Life Round Here.'

Continue reading: James Blake - Overgrown Album Review

Latitude Festival 2013 Announce Initial Line-Up

Posted on19 March 2013

Latitude Festival 2013 Announce Initial Line-up

James Blake Album 'Overgrown' Artwork And Tracklist Announced

Posted on26 February 2013

James Blake Album 'Overgrown' Artwork And Tracklist Announced

60 First Acts Confirmed For Melt! Festival 2013

Posted on14 February 2013

60 First Acts Confirmed For Melt! Festival 2013

Coachella 2013 Lineup Announcement

Posted on29 January 2013

Coachella 2013 Lineup Announcement

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine And Blur Will Be In The Line Up Of Primavera Sound 2013

Posted on24 January 2013

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine And Blur Will Be In The Line Up Of Primavera Sound 2013

James Blake, James Blake Album Review

More than a decade after the slow, dark and deep electronic sound now called dubstep began to develop in the dirty bedsits of penniless but forward-looking electronic artists, it finally has something close to a break-out star. James Blake is tall, handsome, young, talented, and unafraid to acknowledge Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell as musical influences. In short, he is glamorous, a quality which dubstep's biggest names have tended to lack, and a quality which saw him finish second in the BBC's recent Sound of 2011 poll. At the same time, he's wilfully and admirably committed to a distinctive artistic vision, and anybody who half-expected this album to be a slick, unambitious attempt to cash in on his growing popularity will come away pleasantly surprised: it's nothing of the kind. Blake is the first British pop star in a long time to marry easy glamour with a commitment to making innovative, interesting music.

Continue reading: James Blake, James Blake Album Review

James Blake

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James Blake

Date of birth

26th September, 1988