Best known thus far as the third wheel in the Mount Kimbie live show, James Blake debuts here with a 12-inch on Untold's Hemlock Recordings that showcases a real flair for fusing melody into the dancing drum patterns and erratic hi-hats of his dubstep productions.
Splicing together a weird menagerie of explosive drums, pitch bent synths and wholly memorable vocal samples, Blake serves up a delicious A-side in "Air and Lack Thereof." The peaky vocals and array of synthesized woodwinds spark a perfect relationship, while simultaneously holding true to the bass aesthetic Untold has set out with his two solo Hemlock releases. Blake rides the basslines low and EQs them so they peak at the groin, and rise up into your diaphragm when played up loud.
"Sparing The Horses," possibly named for the galloping pattern of its kick drums, pulses razored synth lines that jar the ear into a bassline that treads the same scattered pattern. Woozy and a little rough around the edges, it's after three minutes that the piece really gets interesting, bursting into life after a short silence with added vocal parts and all kinds of lopsided charm.
Tracklist A Air and Lack Thereof
B Sparing The Horses