James Blake

Dubstep is having its closeup thanks to the name and face and LP titled James Blake. Genre genealogists are debating dubstep’s lineage and where this young man fits, while Blake is signing to Universal Republic in the States and slowly continues to clarify his intentions for the spacious, bent brand of beat pop he’s etched out over last year’s triptych of EPs, the eponymous full-length debut, and now this cover. If his 1.5 year supply of original work isn’t enough, see the artists he’s re-appropriating: Untold on the production tip, Starbucks-friendly chanteuses Feist and now Joni Mitchell on the singer-songwriter one. He’s living in the cavernous sub-bass space between the two, so far. As for his work with this Joni staple, the grace notes he’s adorning Joni’s “A Case Of You” with demonstrates he’s serious about inhabiting a melody, comfortable with the songwriterly associations. Grab it:


The cover came as part of a BBC interview with Zane Lowe (full stream here) where he talks up Joni, as well as his father’s past as a producer. In particular he mentions the elder Blake’s production on James Litherland’s “Where To Turn,” which is the origination of the melody and lyrics James uses on the Blake track “The Wilhelm Scream.” Here’s the original, via Abeano:

James Litherland – Where To Turn by abeano

And here’s James:

The James Blake LP is out, and is very funny (see: @rifftrafft). There’s a well considered and informed review over at the Quietus.

Comments (7)
  1. man did he really rip that melody off…..too bad really since its the best track on the album by far….

  2. Yeah and that James Litherland track is JONI AS FUCK! Circularity…

  3. If he hadn’t given credit it would be a different story, but I don’t really mind that he ripped off the melody, its still an incredible song.

  4. That Joni cover is stunning. Grade A musician being stark and gentle with his own tunes and everybody else’s. The album stands in its own little corner – on the money, and on repeat.

  5. No he credited it as not being his melody. It’s not ripped off, per se. Ripped off in the LCD Soundsystem ripping off “Heroes” sense.

  6. thank you so many times for this mp3 – i have been listening to this tune non-stop on youtube for a while now, and just searched on the off-chance it was available as an mp3… now i can listen to it nonstop while i’m out too. yay to obsessive listening!

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