#WildCardWednesday: James Blake – ‘Retrograde’

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James Blake’s music is very unique.

I admire how he is able find a way of taking a large variety of sounds and styles, and make them one. Blake started his public career as an underground dubstep DJ; this is how I first came across his music. However, despite his gradual success in this genre, Blake has now completely changed to a much more mellow, loungey-electronic style of production.

He writes and produces his own songs in a – what I would describe to be – very ‘minimalistic’ way. The lack of instruments or busyness allows for the few instruments which are there, to really be noticed and appreciated.

I feel as if his experiences in the opposing fields of dubstep and mellow-electronica has allowed him to create this halfway point where he constructs his music. I find it intriguing how his songs are able to have a powerful and emotional message hidden between such calming beats. ‘Retrograde’ is very expressive with the lyrics, yet collaborates well with the much softer instrumentals.

His second studio album, Overgrown, won the Mercury Prize in 2013 and then in January 2014, Blake received his first Grammy nomination at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Best New Artist.

Blake currently has 2 albums out for download, and is said to have another full-length album being released in the next few months, which I’m very excited for!

Max – Muzik Speaks

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