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- Love What Happened Here by James Blake
9/10 Brian Staff review, 01 March 2012
That man who has polarised opinion in this office like a tech-soul dart of audaciousness is back with this long awaited beast on homebody R&S. Yes R&S, the legendary Belgian label he made his name on. Apparently now run in London by a team that actually pays their artists these days ;0), you know you're in for something quality when a vinyl bears these classic black and silver labels. Mr. Blake has been shoo-shooing the test pressings of this EP - expected last Autumn - for a couple of months now and to be honest it's turned out to be a perfect platter for a burgeoning early Spring; after a mild but troubled winter of discontent I really feel hopeful positive vibes from all three quite wonderful tracks here. On the black 45 side we get a smooth, jazzy and soulful abstract saunterer that sounded stilted and irritating yesterday but presents itself as euphoric bliss this fine morning. Full of those cheeky loving bursts of seductive organ and supremely crafted vocal edits over a his trademark future R'n'B/garage clickety minimal jazz beats. Funny how the weight of work pressure can affect your feelings for a tune, this is only the dawning of another absolute classic Blake twelve. He is the king of atmosphere, you need a less harried environment than this to lounge in his sonic aura. Flip over to tha' silvahside for something more akin to cruising seductive jazz techno with longing heartfelt vocal snippets and a fuzzy velvet static burnish to the walls. 'At Birth' is a corker. The monster track is the truly horny 'Curbside', a low-slung erotic strut of a tune that has a timpani-heavy undercurrent and a lot of mewling and moaning going on, I really don't want to be sat here at work right now if you know what I mean. This tune is doing naughty things to my mind. Fuckin' A all round, rank alongside his other two for the label, in fact it may just be nosing ahead in true spirited Ferrari style...
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