Whilst the dubstep genre has been bubbling and squelching along nicely for a number of years now it has yet to find a true champion to take its sound into the mainstream. Producer, remixer and musician James Blake may be just the man to do that, yet without compromising in any shape or form. Even before he’s released an album people are mumbling “Mercury prize nomination 2011,” and it’s easy to understand why. He’s come from a place in the leftfield and is slowly transferring this to a more accessible platter. We wonder how long it is before Blake is referred to as “coffee table dubstep,” in a similar way to Portishead were in respect of trip-hop and their Mercury win back in 1995.
What makes Blake stand out from typical dubstep artists is the soulfulness to the music he creates, with warm vocals and a sense of space permeating throughout the music. Despite coming from a scene, Blake’s sound is fresh and exciting. A fitting description would be evocatively minimalistic, emotional and stunningly beautiful. His cover version of Feist’s Limit to Your Love is constructed from nothing more from simple piano, sub-bass and pattering beats and is gorgeously breath taking.
With an album to follow in 2011 there was never any question of James Blake not featuring on our Ones To Watch 2011 list. Check out his music below as well as his remix of Mount Kimbie, a duo he has citied as an inspiration.
HEK 004 B James Blake - Sparing the Horses by Hemlockrecordings
HFRMX006-01-Maybes-James Blake Remix by mountkimbie