James Blake

R&S continue their exceptional seam of golden forward-thinking UK bass music with James Blakes latest release, Klavierwerke. Although he continues to build a sonic guise that is quickly becoming his, James Blake goes deeper with this release which, while still nachtmusik, leaves the listener reflecting on rather than cutting shapes to.


The overwhelming talent emanating from Klavierwerke is Blakes ability to do so much with so little. Choirs are built out of reverbed pitch-shift echos and beats from bone-dry, distant kicks. Adroitly demonstrated in I Only Know (What I Know Now), we bare witness to Blakes elegant mastery of space and silence where he constructs an intense, emotive atmosphere from the barest of elements. Klavierwerke is virtuosity disguised with whats not written rather than what is.

Purely for its intrigue and restraint, this is an enticing release from an enigmatic proponent leaving tortured metaphors struggling in his wake to portray his clear talent. Klavierwerke leaves me intrigued by the direction such a boundless producer will take his tailored perception of post-garage will take next.

One last thing, and maybe its just me, but does the bassline at the end of the first track sound like the music on the computer game Commandos – Behind Enemy Lines? What a game that was.

Joaqun Madcap Hawton