Enough Thunder EP: Track by track
Once We All Agree - Simultaneously atmospheric and brooding, creating a sense of space with echoing tones and minimalist feeling, yet thoroughly overloading the senses with an array of soundscapes and stunning vocals.
We Might Feel Unsound – It is almost as if Blake purposely attempts to throw off the listener with his abstract beat patterns and glitch, that he cleverly couples with strange whirring that fades in, out and across the listeners palate which should be erratic, but flows incredibly well; managing to build a sullen mood broken by dulled down bass and snare rhythms.
Fall Creek Boys Choir – Featuring indie-folk hero Bon Iver, we are treated to otherworldly, auto-tuned overlapping vocals backed by Blake’s signature disjointed organ broken by a strange noise; (Blake’s search for strange distinctive sounds finally including a dog’s distorted bark), and bizarrely enough two 80s influenced power drum breaks.
A Case Of You – Stripped down to basics of organ and voice, a rare exhibition of Blake’s raw angelic voice with equally as sweet lyrics “your my blood, your my holy wine, you taste so bitter and so sweet I could drink a case of you darling, I would still be on my feet” the soul and gospel influence exerted clearly here complete with religious reference.
Not Long Now – Ignoring James Blake has an incredible sense of provoking the senses with heavy use of build ups (baring his dubstep origins), and fluctuations in tone and volume. A silence so clear and searching, that the opening of Blake’s lips and breath become audible and exert a wholly sensual feel unto this soft beginning, until the bass enters taking over the senses, hitting a deep register connecting with the body changing the mood entirely, exerting a dance-floor feel to this brooding piece.
Enough Thunder – Rounding out his EP with a solo track with organ and voice full of echo in full force providing further emotional provocation for the sensory overload that is Enough Thunder.
James Blake's slight shift away from his dance roots is somewhat suprising (no pulsating sub-bass breaks ala Limit To Your Love, or more dance induced tracks CMYK, The Bells Sketch and I Mind) focusing instead on building atmosphere through a variety of abstract sounds, some which work incredibly well, some which don't (dog barks I'm looking at you). There is no doubting the originality of James Blake's soundscapes, they are incredibly unique and challenge the way we connect with music, both intellectually and physically, which is so exciting. James Blake's self titled debut record was in my opinion the most original record of the year, for these reasons and more. This EP comes across as somewhat of an experimentation, but showcases the physical toils of an incredible mind working far outside of the common musical spectrum.
The entire EP can be streamed here