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BLAKE

AUS Music continue to bolster an ever expanding roster in uncovering an adroit and overlooked producer - the Dublin born producer Timothy Blake. In amongst those in the know, Blake is an artist whose reputation reaches back over 20 years and one whose releases have touched the likes of Dirt Crew, Fatty Fatty Phonographics and Kleine Reise. For his first ever outing on AUS he teams up with man of the moment Marquis Hawkes in delivering ‘The Stormy Search’ EP. Now residing in Berlin, Blake’s idiosyncratic productions have been described as ‘joyous freewheeling Funk’ by Infinite State Machine as sounding ‘like Stephen King decided to start making house music’ (Trevor O'Shea Bodytonic) and also ‘kinda like some lost Prince demos from an alternate world’ according to Golf Channel’s Dan Selzer. That goes part way to elucidating his creations and - as you’d expect from these descriptions his latest offering is a meld of jubilant synth lines, bumping 909 drums and Funk-indebted bass grooves. Having originally made the introduction to Will Saul which eventually lead the record - Marquis Hawkes offers up a remix of the title track which he additionally co-produced. Also on remix duties of the title track - Hawkes does as he does best in dimming the tenor, driving percussion through purring tape machines and adding in the signature dose of granular soul that’s been his calling card throughout releases on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Houndstooth, Clone and Créme Organisation.

"Chapter 1: The Black Godess (AΦOR)” is the latest work from the DJ and producer Blake (aka Will Blake) released on his new label Triton featuring the Detroit legend Scan 7.

Detroit artist Abdul Qadim Haqq (Third Earth Visual Arts), designer of historical releases of among others: Underground Resistance, Metroplex and Transmat, has conceived, curated and realized the entire artwork project.

If vintage Derrick May and Jeff Mills DJ sets are your thing, then the five tracks here are certainly gonna cause some commotion. After "Tribal Transmissions" first major breakdown, you're catapulted into an Axis-era techno trust. "Hysteria" also utilizing long, tension-fuelled breakdowns before that Motor City stream train comes juddering thru unabashed. Title track, "The Black Godess" carries on like some lost UR / Galaxy 2 Galaxy number. Musical as hell with elastic synthlines and rubbery bass perfectly moulded around swung drum machines and ethereal melodies before a soul drenched female vox takes us off into the stars. Scan 7 take time to remix this crowning glory, turning out a very Detroitian, stadium pleasing techno cut with killer handclap patterns and detailed bass part.

If you're a fan of vintage Detroit techno you need this in your life right now!






STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Phwoooar! I'd somewhat turned my back on Detroit of late, but Blake's reinvigorated my interest immediately with this authentic addition to the cannon... We almost lost Detroit? Well it's back baby!

Tred returns to E-Missions with four otherworldly electro cuts entitled
‘Fragments Into Nothing’ featuring a robust remix from Solid Blake.

Dropping his debut release on E-Missions just over a year ago, which received support from the likes of Boris, Mama Snake, Volvox and Courtesy, Tred’s continued turning heads ever since, performing both in his birthplace of Australia, Asia as well as many of Berlin’s finest clubs, notably regular appearances at Tresor. Kick-starting this year with a release on Australian label Doe Dee, he now returns to P.Leone & Caiazzo’s consistently quality E- issions imprint bringing three twisting tracks.

‘Fragments Into Nothing’ is built on crunchy snares, soaring pads and aquatic
effects whilst ‘The Manitou’ is more raw in comparison with its thunderous kicks, chugging low-end and sci-fi synths. Quick and intricate, ‘Disconnected’ features an analog bassline, ethereal chords and distorted vocal murmurs, making way for a slower, more muscular remix from Glaswegian producer Solid Blake. 

Mercury award winner James Blake releases his 4th studio album Assume Form. The album features collaborations with Travis Scott, André 3000, Metro Boomin, Moses Sumney and Rosalía (BBC sound poll 2019). In the past 2-3 years James has been very busy collaborating with Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Oneohtrix Point Never, Mount Kimbie and contributing to the Black Panther soundtrack. As unrestricted by genre as it is always underpinned by classic, emotionally-open songwriting, James Blake’s new album is arguably his most direct, eclectic and pure artistic statement to date. Assume Form also follows a rich period of creative and personal evolution for James, who has spoken candidly about his experiences of mental health, modern-day masculinity, and finding peace. Even the album artwork would appear to represent a fundamental shift for Blake, no longer distorted by illustration, landscape or design, but staring right at you – and into the future.

James Blake’s is an influence that can be felt throughout the modern musical landscape, often hiding in plain sight; allowing the man himself – as his fourth album suggests – to always evolve. To never settle. To Assume Form.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: Calling on a wealth of talent, James Blake continues his domination of the post-dubstep sound, with clicking trap-lite percussion, soaring synth echoes and a who's who of today's electronic music guests. Tackling sensitive issues with delicacy and grace, Blake is a singular talent, and continues to show his capabilities.

FORMAT INFORMATION

2xColoured LP Info: Limited edition green coloured LP set. Includes additional track, "Mullholland".

2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

Acclaimed Copenhagen-based DJ and Producer Solid Blake delivers the exhilarating four-track 'Warp Room' EP, demonstrating why she has such a bright future as a solo artist. Opening track 'Warp Room' is a full throttle and energetic cut displaying a stabbing synth line which cuts in and out creating a dark, intense atmosphere, setting the tone for what is to follow. 'Soap Cube' pulsates throughout, displaying a nod to the dirtier side of vintage electro, thanks to its edgy percussion and distorted synths. The melancholic 'Tissue' opens with a growl as the fierce drums and hissing snares pierce through any softness to reveal its icy heart.

Closing track 'Contract' has a deep, atmospheric and moody vibe with cleverly crafted layers which continue to build, rounding off the EP perfectly. Having been part of the renowned Apeiron Crew, 2018 has been a exciting year for Solid Blake as a solo artist. She participated in the 20th edition of Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin and contributed 'Masha' to Modeselektor's Modeselektion Volume 4, performing at the LP's tour at leading clubs Berghain, Fabric, Robert Johnson and BLITZ Club Munich over the summer. Her Modeselektion mix for Fabric was highlighted by several key websites (including Resident Advisor, FACT, DJ Mag) as one of the month's best mixes. As an increasingly in demand artist whose busy touring schedule for 2018 has also included Dekmantel Festival, Berlin Atonal, and ADE, Solid Blake's profile will continue to rise well into 2019 and beyond.

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: This is for the tough boys and girls out there. Raw, industrial and very very cold. No soul here! Be warned. Brutalist electro cum techno. Pure quality. Do not sleep. It is not often we get four tracks like the ones here oozing quality like they do. Top draw.

Fresh from bringing the sad to Beyonce's 'Lemonade' long player and Frank Ocean's soon-come sophomore outing, James Blake returns as a solo artist with his third full length album. Not so solo though as 'The Colour In Anything' features a number of collaborations as well, with Ocean, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Connan Mockasin and Rick Rubin all playing a part in the album's evolution.

However, like the grey skies on the album's sleeve (illustrated by another famous Blake, Sir Quentin), the singer-songwriter / producer still seems to be situated under his own personal rain cloud, providing us with 17 tracks and 76 minuted of heartfelt melancholia. Blake's deep, sparse, spacious electronica provides the perfect backdrop for his lyrical repetition and sorrowful vocals. At times moving further towards an alt-R&B sound, his plaintive solo vocal and piano songs have a meditative, almost gospel-tinted edge to them. A cathartic meditation on loss of love and relationship breakdown, but with deceptive strength at its core, Blake's songs see 'The Colour In Anything', as long as that colour is blue.


The Irishman in Berlin, Timothy Blake (not to be confused with the Englishman in Hawkwind) follows releases on Dirt Crew and Kleine Reise with a storming debut for It's A Lectric World. "The House Auteur" sees the producer in restless form, shuffling through a variety of styles and moods as he makes the dancefloor move. "R&B Restitution" gets the party started with its decidedly leftfield fusion of mid-80s Prince and synthetic house, working a purple leadline over some hard hitting percussion and spectral experimentation. "Showtime" half inches the Purple One's disco ball and runs with it as Tim gets maximum juice out of a sleazy bassline and some filter house synths. This is gonna get your dancefloor soaking, no doubt about it. Meanwhile on the flip things are getting a little euphoric as "Soaring & Crashing" comes on strong like a high school boyfriend or your first pill, getting all your sesnses tingling. Tim's thrown everything including the kitchen sink at this one, managing to combine gospel chords, chirruping acid basslines, astral leads and intense UK techno drum fills into six glorious minutes of audio joy! "Bee My Victim" closes the set with a flourish thanks to the joyous disco samples, upbeat soloing and thumping drum track. In some ways reminiscent to the sampledelic sounds of S-Express, but operating in a whole new sonic galaxy, this belter closes the set perfectly.


Two years after his self-titled debut album took UK bass culture down previously unimagined roads of introspection, James Blake returns with the epic ‘Overgrown’, an incredible album that sees James growing as a singer and songwriter while at the same time returning to the brain melting electronic perfection of his early releases on Hemlock and Hessle, moving way beyond any post-dubstep pigeonholes to include stunning reinterpretations of both hip-hop and house.

In retrospect ‘James Blake’ can now be viewed as another stepping stone on Blake’s musical evolutionary journey which started with ‘Air & Lack Thereof’ back in 2009. Always travelling a different path to his peers, James is as much a singer-songwriter as he is a bass music producer. On ‘Overgrown’ his latest transitional shift has been made, the layers stripped back to reveal a selection of stark, beautiful and emotive songs, all with James’ heart-wrenching vocals at their centre, set in a simple framework of subtle electronic sounds and beats.

Title track ‘Overgrown’ sets the scene, offering a Nick Drake style ballad reborn as a spiritually uplifting electronic soul masterpiece. ‘I Am Sold’ recalls the sparse beatbox melancholia of Portishead, while ‘Life Round Here’ also has a certain Bristolian downbeat feel, opening with almost baroque-like keyboard motifs and rimshots and slowly building with electronic noise. RZA adds a rap to ‘Take A Fall For Me’, a bold fusion of hip hop beats and folktronica. ‘Retrograde’ has been used as the album’s teaser track, and you can see why; an amazing song in the style of ‘Limit To Your Love’, with a dense cascade of pitch-shifting synths. Piano / vocal piece ‘DLM’ sees Blake dispensing with the electronic production altogether, an interlude before the dull heartbeat thud, scattering snares and rave airhorns of ‘Digital Lion’ (think Portishead’s ‘Machine Gun’). The differing opening dynamics of ‘Voyeur’ – part love song, part sub bass rumble - evolve into a proper dancefloor track with 4/4 beats, cowbells and synth drones. Set against a ticking rhythm and mechanical scrape, Blake’s vocal soars skyward on the beautiful ‘To The Last’, while the album closes with ‘Our Love Comes Back’, a devastatingly simple ending.

Garnering equally enthusiastic reviews across the blogosphere and print media alike, ‘Overgrown’ is a work of immense talent that will leave breathless with both its scope and simplicity, and have you already salivating at the thought of Blake’s future inventions.


Another artist that says 'Thank you Lord for the Coen brothers'. Blake's involvement in their film "O Brother Where Art Thou?" has had a knock-on effect on his career as well as the many other acoustic roots musicians that appeared in the film or on the soundtrack. "Old Ties" is Blake at his best, finger pickin' his way through slew of jaw-dropping guitar set pieces and easy-on-the-ear folk roots standards.


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