James Blake Litherland (born 26 September 1988), known as James Blake, is a British singer, songwriter, musician and producer from London. He first received recognition in 2010 for a trio of dubstep-influenced EPs, and the following year his self-titled debut album was released in the United Kingdom to critical praise. His second studio album Overgrown was released in 2013 and was awarded the Mercury Prize. His third studio album The Colour in Anything was released in 2016. Blake’s early releases are fragmented electronic works influenced by UK dance and bass styles, (such as 2-step and the stark dubstep of artists like Burial and Digital Mystikz), ’90s trip hop, and contemporary R&B. On his acclaimed trio of 2010 EPs (The Bells Sketch, CMYK, and Klavierwerke), Blake’s own voice is obscured or processed in favor of vocal samples from ’90s R&B, prominent sub-bass frequencies, and minimal, jittery rhythms. During this period, Blake’s work was tagged by journalists as “post-dubstep“, alluding to his movement beyond the style’s characteristics. By the time of his 2011 debut album, Blake’s vocals and piano had become more foregrounded while traditional song structures became increasingly apparent, reflecting the influence of gospel, soul, and ambient music. His second album Overgrown (2013) continued this trend, integrating an electronic approach with balladry and Blake’s soul-inflected vocals, and featuring contributions from hip hop artist RZA and electronic musician Brian Eno. Discussing his stylistic development, critic Mark Fisher wrote that “listening back to Blake’s records in chronological sequence is like hearing a ghost gradually assume material form […] out of digital ether.” Author Madison Moore noted the prominent use of minimalism, sparseness, and silence in Blake’s work, a quality also noted by Eno in 2013: “he takes a lot of stuff out and ends up with very skeletal pieces.”
Thanks, Wikipedia, you know everything! Sounds pretty badass, right? We have a pair of tix to see him perform at the Electric Factory on Friday. To qualify to win, send an email to Phawker66@gmail.com with the answer the correct answer to the following question: What is the name of the song James Blake and Bon Iver collaborated on? Put the magic words POST DUBSTEP in the subject line and include your full name and a mobile number for confirmation. Good luck and godspeed!