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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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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James Blake Wins Mercury Music Award: So, Who The Heck Is He?

James Blake

James Blake took home the celebrated Mercury Music Prize last night (30 October) for his second album, Overgrown. Released to wide-spread critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, Blake got his start as a bedroom producer finding success online before achieving modest mainstream attention and widespread acclaim for both of his albums - this years Overgrown and 2011's self-titled release - culminating in last night's win. But he is till a relative unknown to many, so who exactly is James Blake?

James Blake
James Blake is the Winner of the Mercury Music Prize 2013

With the competition coming under considerable criticism for abandoning it's roots as an award for the underground and unknown, Blake's win shouldn't come as too much of a shock given the mainstream attention given to the majority of his competition.

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Mercury Prize Shortlist Announced, But Does It Even Matter Anymore?

Arctic Monkeys Foals Laura Marling David Bowie Savages James Blake

The Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize this week announce the shortlist for it's 12 favourite albums of the last 12 months, albums that it claims are "urgent" and are "reflective" of the evolving sound of contemporary music. Once a haven for alternative acts like Portishead and Gomez, this years awards once again have gone for the most obvious choices and rather than celebrate any "urgent" talent, artists that routinely play on the radio or television have been picked ahead of the Hookworms and Darkstars of the British and Irish music scene.

Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys are hardly an "urgent" band

The Arctic Monkeys are now a bonafied rock staple, whilst Foals and Laura Marling have each been nominated in the past and are regularly given air time on 6 Music or Jools Holland, etc., not to mention the fact that Marling has been handed a BRIT Award too. As for newcomers Disclosure, Rudimental and Jake Bugg, neither are exactly challenging their respective fields of house, drum and bass and rockabilly, but simply making it more radio-friendly and pop accessible. This isn't a dig either, this is something that all three artists should openly agree with. As for David Bowie; he's David Bowie. Need we say more?

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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

Taylor Swift's New Single: Can She Ever Really Be Mixed With Dubstep?

Taylor Swift Skrillex Benga James Blake SBTRKT

Jelly and chicken nuggets, Marmite and skittles, gravy and cherry pie. Like food items, there are a few words that should never be put together. Of course, occasionally there are mixtures, like chips and milkshake, that seem grotesque in concept, but in reality are an absolute winner. Taylor Swift and Dubstep are one such vocabulary mix that one might repeal from at first sight, yet will warm to on the sound. Swift's new single 'I Knew You Were Trouble' has a hint of dubstep to it, proving the versatility of this normally strictly-country singer-songwriter.

The genre of 'dubstep' has its roots in urban British music of the '90s drum and bass crowds, but it has increasingly found itself being utilized by mainstream artists such as Ellie Goulding and increasingly popularised by DJs such as Skrillex and other artists like James Blake, Benga and SBTRKT. Hollwood.com has praised the 22-year-old for branching out into new genres, because it “shows how Swift is growing as a musician”. Swift has commented on the sound of the song, saying ““It sounds just as chaotic as the feeling was when I wrote it.” she said it’s about “being frustrated with yourself”.

This is another of the young singer's teaser tracks from her upcoming new album 'Red', which will be available from October 22nd. Unlike her former albums, this one is being co-written and Swift is collaborating with a range of producers to create a more eclectic sound that will hit a far broader reaching audience. Remixes of 'I Knew You Were Trouble' will hit clubs soon, no doubt, and with that Swift's squeaky clean image is bound to change.

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.

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James Blake - Limit To Your Love

James Blake released Limit Your Love on November 8th 2010 through Atlas. This is the first single from James' debut album and gives us a taste of whatelse to expect from this true bedroom artist. The name Limit Your Love might be a familiar one, that's because it's actually a cover of the track originally recorded by Feist & Chilly Gonzales.

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James Blake

Date of birth

26th September, 1988