12 October 2010

James Blake - Limit To Your Love

James Blake - Limit To Your Love (Atlas)
James Blake continues to justify the hype with his new 12", a cover of Feist's Limit To Your Love, probably the best demonstration of both his singer-songwriter and production talents so far. Blake's tremulous vocals contain a wobbling funkiness that Feist's delicate crooning never manages, and Blake feels more than comfortable sliding softly through the cracks in melody and rhythm than Feist ever did. As a polar opposite to his delicate vocals, a beasting synth line, lowpassed and sine-shifting wildly growls away in the depths, and reductionist clicks and pops break through to form the rhythm. Blake slowly draws together these two opposites, matching the arrhythmic stutters and cadences in his vocals to the feedback of delay pedals and overlaid loops. It's a simple trick, but one that works to bridge the gap between heavy electro production and delicate songwriting. Through a series of stop-start breakdowns, Limit to Your Love finally emerges into a weird hybrid of modern classical and post-crunk that you can just about dance to, with a sparkling synth line complementing the brooding bass, and a loose drum pattern emerging alongside the quantised kicks ... Interesting stuff, but guaranteed to completely polarise opinion, like all good records should.

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