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james blake - Air & Lack Thereof / Sparing The Horses
Exciting times for the Hemlock imprint with this debut twelve from James Blake (member of the much tipped Mount Kimbie) getting bountiful props for the last few weeks. There's a musical element to "Air & Lack Thereof" borrowed from easy listening/exotica with a cleverly utilised sampled hook imbuing proceedings with a much mellower vibe than usually associated with this sort of thing. It kind of sounds like Madlib if he made dubstep, except less complex and with a little extra space. "Sparing The Horse" over on the flip flexes Blake's vocal muscle with a bit of autotune thrown in to good effect, with a more robust squashed two-step vibe delivering an off-kilter vibe that sounds refreshingly un-pigeonholable. Which, in these times, is no small success in itself. Really good twelve = highly recommended!