James Blake’s 12-inch return to Hemlock, the label deftly curated by Untold and Andy Spencer that released Blake's first record in 2009, is deliberate and spare. "Order" is nearly all percussion, a shifting drumbeat punctuated by a ringing noise that always starts but never fully plays through, a glitchy frog sound (once) and a sample of a radio presenter laughingly introducing Blake (twice). Everything seems to end sooner that it ought to. "Pan" is more melodic, but only by a hair. The pace is faster though—maybe not quite dancing speed—which gives Blake more bars to work with, and the chance to fill them in with a broader array of sounds. Great to hear tones like this from him again. Out July 11th.
Photographer Guy Martin
July 01, 2011