What Makes James Blake Such A Great Experimental Electronic Artist?

(And Why Should You Bother Listening To Him?)

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What Does James Blake Sound Like?

James Blake is an Experimental Electronic artist from London. He was originally a producer, and a lot of his early EP's consist of only sampled vocals (never his own voice).

In his first full album, he touches on elements and genre's such as:

  • Electronic
  • R&B
  • Auto-Tuned Vocal Harmony-ness
  • Experimental
  • Jazz
  • Acoustic

He even does an amazing cover of Feist's "Limit To Your Love" with one of the craziest low notes I've ever heard (it will destroy most speakers that try and play it).

What's So Great About Him Anyways?

My first experience with James Blake was his EP "CMYK". I was so drawn to the energy and fullness that the title track had.

From there I grabbed his entire discography, putting most of my time into his self-titled debut album.

He has such an emotional and personal presence in his songs, it's incredible.

As a minimalistic artist, he sure is able to cram a lot of feelings into each song.

A lot of his songs will play around 1 or 2 different vocal phrases, and uses repetition in such a proper way, I can't help but respect it. In fact, I would daresay that James Blake uses repetition as a more intentional tool than any other artist I've heard.

By changing small portions of the vocal harmony, and working with the background tunes, he is able to repeat the same line 25 times, and you won't even notice. You feel like the song has been moving progressively forward, yet at the same time it hasn't gone anywhere at all.

His songs are experimental and quite out there, but somehow the lyrics are still somewhat relatable.

It's not that you understand exactly what every single song is about, but most of them you can get at least a small idea of what he is going on about.

James Blake has a light and intense touch on the piano, using a Prophet '08 keyboard (he swears by it), the electronic sounds he uses are authentic, original, and very pleasing and satisfying to hear.

It might take a few listens to the album before you are really familiar with each song, but once you get to the point where you are anticipating the next part of each song, you'll be sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for each new section.

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About The Writer

My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.

If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.

Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. 

I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.