Matches for: “James Blake” …

Drake – Come Thru (James Blake Version)

OK, so it’s not a hands-down crowd pleaser, but here at HD we’re pretty big fans of James Blake’s latest remix. Drake’s smooth vocals evoke Blake’s own signature soulful voice, and the frantic, escalating keys that seem to be a mainstay of the 1-800 Dinosaur sound quickly build the tune up to an intense climax.

Blake’s heavy synth does grate a bit against Drake’s rapping, but he melts it down just in time to make it work, and we get back to the rich, gentler sound that the track started off with. It’s an unexpected ride but we think it works…

James Blake – Retrograde

Zane Lowe premiered a new record from James Blake last week, as we mentioned on everyone’s favourite micro-blogging platform at the time. Well, now it has a (suitably esoteric) video and a release and everything: and it’s just lovely.

‘Retrograde’ isn’t a big departure for Blake – but, quite frankly, if we could write songs like this, big departures wouldn’t be top of our to-do list. It’s got the same saturated production, warm bass and stunning vocals as ever – and it’s just a wonderful piece of music.

His second full-length album ‘Overgrown’ is released in April, and if this is anything to go by, it’s going to be a bit special.

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James Blake – At Birth

Hey, remember James Blake? Glitchy producer who it turns out could hold a tune and play instruments and stuff? Well, he’s still hard at work following his smash-hit-doesn’t-even-cover-it eponymous debut album.

He released the ‘Enough Thunder’ EP in October to not universal acclaim (“it’s not ‘blubstep’, it’s mostly just blub”) but rumour has it he’s returning to his roots with a more beat-driven, bassy sound on new tracks. If the ones Human Drizzle have heard are anything to go by, he sounds like a man confused: caught between credibility of the FWD crowd and adulation from everyone else.

These records will be on the same release on December 11th, out on R&S Records who, incidentally, are the same label who put out his ‘CYMK’ and Klavierwerke’ EPs. We’ll leave you to make up your mind where he’s going and whether it’s a good thing. We’ll be finding out for ourselves at the Kentish Town Forum this evening.

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Junk Son – Over

Taken from his debut album ‘Beginning, Ending, Pretending’ and featuring Amy Spencer on vocals, feast your ears on Junk Son’s wonderful slice of atmospheric electronica in new single ‘Over’.

The album hits the shelves on 4th November courtesy of 37 Adventures (think Jones, Deptford Goth, Geowulf), and if previous HD faves ‘Fool’ and the excellent cover of Gwilym Gold’s ‘Breathless’ are anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. File next to the also-Goldsmiths-educated James Blake*.

*Something funny going on over here?

Maribou State – Rituals

Newly signed to Counter Records, an imprint of Ninja Tune, Maribou State have given us a taste of their upcoming album ‘Portraits’. It’s the duo’s first full-length but they’ve stayed true to their ambient, psychedelic sound throughout a series of EPs and ear-catching remixes (remember this cracker?).

Rituals shows off their ability to combine moody vocal dubs, rolling breakbeats and even a tense guitar solo to dramatic effect. They join the SOHNs, James Blakes and Gold Pandas of this world in being able to craft an atmosphere without needing to overwork a thumping bassline or a strained vocal.

Luckily for all the Londoners, the duo will be dropping into Oslo Hackney on March 26th before heading stateside. Not one to miss.

‘Portraits’ is out on Counter Records on June 1st.

Garden City Movement – My Only Love

Sometimes you just need some soothing electro-pop. Some beats, but also some major key chords:

Garden City Movement are a relatively green (they formed just over a year ago) three piece from Tel Aviv and they’re evoking welcome memories of early Mount Kimbie and James Blake. ‘My Only Love’ is the first taster from their ‘Modern West’ EP, out on 6th April on BLDG5 Records and The Vinyl Factory.

For a longer listen, check in (and chill out) to their Tel Aviv Boiler Room performance:

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Oceaán – Grip

Like your electronic music full of glitches, ethereal build-ups and minimal break-downs? Looking for a new favourite artist? No worries, HD has you sorted. Manchester-based producer Oceaán is a star on the rise, having caught the eye of Radio 1 big dogs Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart and guest resident SOHN.

His latest release ‘Grip’, premiered on SOHN’s show a few weeks back and comparisons abound to James Blake. Once you get into his only EP released so far, it’s not hard to see why. A choirboy from an early age, it’s his soulful vocals that bind the music together and will no doubt be a powerful presence in his new live show.

Oceaán is signed to Chess Club Records, forming part of a seriously talented family including Swim Deep and . He is currently touring Europe with his new live show, but he promises us he’ll be back in the UK soon. File this under ‘one-to-watch’.

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Sylas – Hollow

London-based label Aesop have established a decent rep now – in their short lifespan they’ve released singles from Wayward, SOHN, Gent Mason and TALA. Next up is London-based Sylas.

‘Hollow’ is their first offering, a dramatic and intriguing listen. Obvious comparisons may be drawn to stars from the experimental electronic landscape such as James Blake and the aforementioned SOHN, but who really cares if it sounds this good:

We don’t know a lot about Sylas, besides the fact that one half of the duo has been perfecting his production skills under the watchful eye of no other than Brian Eno. He helped produce ‘Someday World’, Eno’s collaborative album with Karl Hyde. He’s also rumoured to have worked with Sinead O’Connor and Damon Albarn, amongst others…

Learning from the best – one to watch, wethinks.

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Human Drizzle’s Top 10 Tracks of 2013

Having bid a fond farewell to 2013, it’s time to reflect on the year’s key musical moments. The brouhaha this list caused amongst the specially-appointed Human Drizzle panel will take time to die down but, as time goes on and wounds heal, we would welcome your thoughts in the usual places (the comments below, and here and here).

Oh, and listen to them on our Best of 2013 playlist. It’s lovely.

1. CHVRCHES – Lies (Tourist Remix): It’s always difficult to put one tune above all others after a year like 2013, but we’ve had to do it for you guys. For you, the reader. We think this rework of bright young things CHVRCHES (who also blew us away live) by HD favourite Tourist, deserves that acclaim. It’s a slow-burning, ear-worming piece of vocal house and it hasn’t left us since it landed in our inbox all those months ago. Expect an awful lot more from both artists in 2014.

2. Paul Woolford – UntitledAlong with Todd Terje’s ‘Strandbar’, ‘Untitled’ was the summer house anthem of 2013. Released whilst Paul Woolford was prepping the primal ‘Soul Music’ under the Special Request moniker, it was heralded by pretty much everyone who clapped ears on it. A thrilling combination of crushing bass and slapping kick-drums leads into the echoey piano loop, which is then chopped and re-chopped over the track’s six minutes. Together this produces hands-in-the-air euphoria on a scale that was rarely matched this year.

3. Breach – Everything You Never Had (We Had It All) (Ft. Andreya Triana)Ben Westbeech had quite the year. Human Drizzle were perhaps in the minority when we didn’t fall arse over tit for ‘Jack‘, Breach’s huge hit in the first part of 2013. However, when we first heard ‘Everything You Never Had’ on T Williams’s Rinse FM show, we were spellbound. It may not be fashionable to say it, but the final drop is pretty much perfection in terms of what we would want to lose our shit to in a club.

4. Wayward – Love Jones: The hot-as-you-like London-based label Aesop’s third release came in the form of ‘Love Jones’, by London duo Wayward. The infectious vocal loop and glorious piano intertwine wonderfully, gradually building to a heartfelt crescendo. Very much looking forward to hearing more from these guys in 2014.

5. Agoria – ScalaRegular readers will know HD’s feelings towards Innervisions, and that we are partial to the odd piano-driven house banger too. So, when French producer Sebastian Devaud aka Agoria released ‘Scala’, a piano-driven house banger on Innervisions, it was highly likely to be welcomed into our top 10 with open arms. Innervisions have been releasing elegant house and techno since they started out, but they seemed to reach new highs in 2013, with Ten Walls’ ‘Gotham‘, Marcus Worgull and Peter Pardeike ‘Lenoix‘, and then the exhilarating ‘Scala’. After lush synths open the track, ‘Scala’ pauses to finally introduce a rolling piano line that is just perfect. No surprise that it was a monster hit at the end of the summer.

6. James Blake – RetrogradeDespite an eye-catching collaboration with RZA in 2013, James Blake was at his most intoxicating on ‘Retrograde’. The track constituted less of a departure from 2011’s eponymous album but it is a gorgeous piece of haunting, fragile, atmospheric music.

7. Midland – Trace: When it first came out, ‘Trace’ was unlike anything else we had heard. A warped, indecipherable sample repeating over and over on top of an infectious beat, it builds to a shuddering crescendo that melted the dancefloor every time it was dropped. It feels as fresh and exhilarating now as it did on first listen. Released on one of our favourite labels – Aus Music – Midland’s biggest hit so far is an instant classic and has paved the way for his meteoric rise. 2014 promises to be a huge year for Harry.

8. Todd Terje – Strandbar (disko): In Todd we trust. This summer we were treated to the return of Mr. Terje. The unstoppable producer penned over eight minutes of D.I.S.C.O fun that soundtracked festivals far and wide. With the recent release of ‘Spiral/Q’, he shows no sign of slowing down. HD royalty.

9. George Fitzgerald – I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)This one was everywhere in 2013, and rightly so. Taken with the thumping remix by renaissance man Paul Woolford, the tune stands out as house with one eye on the future. Bring on his new album on Double Six.

10. Clean Bandit – Dust Clears: It’s been a huge year for Clean Bandit and, with their live show winning plaudits and recent single ‘Rather Be’ heading for chart success in January, you suspect 2014 is going to be even bigger. ‘Dust Clears’ is an altogether gentler affair, but its lush melodies and brilliantly barmy video epitomise what we love about the band.

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Deptford Goth – Union & Feel Real

There’s a huge amount of hype surrounding Daniel Woodhouse’s musical project Deptford Goth as his debut album ‘Life After Defo’ was released earlier this week on Merok Records. As with the two tunes we’ve posted, Woodhouse’s fragile vocals explore sparse and atmospheric soundscapes and you can see why comparisons are being made with the DIY pop of James Blake and the post-dubstep of The XX. We’re very intrigued to see how this comes off live: sometimes it can sound bleak, but sometimes it can sound incredibly uplifting. He’s playing London’s Electrowerkz on April 24th, we suggest you grab a ticket now if you can.

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