In the last year there seemed to be a sort of rift between James Blake’s growing catalog. There was Blake, the singer-songwriter who created warped, knotty soul music on his self-titled debut, and then there was Blake, the post-dubstep producer whose early trio of EPs comprised some of most original electronic music of 2011. Of course many people (myself incuded) enjoy all his work, but even with some throwbacks (like the wonky “Curbside” there still seemed to be this nagging feeling of James Blake, then and now. Not a change in quality, but still, a change.
I think that’s what makes the Brian Eno collaboration “Digital Lion,” and the second new track we’ve heard today, so incredible. Blake has melded these two aspects of his music like never before. The sound is meditative, yet propulsive, and after the gentle introduction is broken by an ambient interlude the song return with a growing menace. This is James Blake at his best and most complex, and along with first single “Retrograde” it’s starting to look like his best work is only coming now. Check out digital “Digital Lion” below and look for Overgrown next month.
Overgrown is out 4/8 on Republic Records