Artist

James Blake

Influenced by the likes of D’Angelo and Stevie Wonder along with Burial and Mount Kimbie, London-based producer James Blake first gave the world a taste of his quirky, R&B-sampling strain of dubstep in 2009 when his Air & Lack Thereof 12” appeared on the Hemlock label.

Blake received quite the endorsement when the heralded Soul Jazz label picked the track up for their Steppas' Delight 2 compilation that same year. Blake raised his profile every few months during 2010 -- something of a breakout year for him -- with a succession of warmly received 12" releases: The Bells Sketch (Hessle Audio, March), CMYK (R&S, June), Klavierwerke (R&S, October), and the single-sided "Limit to Your Love" (Atlas, November). The last of the series -- a cover of a song by Feist, in which Blake's heartfelt vocal was placed front and center -- served as a precursor to his first full-length, issued the following February. He returned to Hemlock for July's Order 12", then reverted to Atlas for October's Enough Thunder -- a six-track EP with a Bon Iver collaboration and a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." Yet another 12" Love Happened Here surfaced in late 2011 and Blake spent much of 2012 working on his second album, releasing new work under the name Harmonimix and performing less often as the new songs percolated. In April of 2013 second album Overgrown appeared, featuring collaborations with Brian Eno and RZA. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi