Mr. Carmack – Hopscotch
J Dilla – Trucks (Gary Numan has never sounded this gooooood)
James Blake – Life Round Here DA FRESH TING
k-os – Mojo On
Daft Punk – Get Lucky (ft. Pharrell)
John Legend – Green Light (ft.Andre 3000) (Annie Starlight Remix)
ItsNate ft. GFrSH,Catch’Em x Phaze One – WSLTA (Remix) Directed by the man like H.Houdini
When critics and fans alike acclaim an artist or producer for their back catalogue and sense of invention, we all christen artists with terms such as exemplary to describe their craft and others like a certain Gayfish (see South Park) reinforce their pompous nature via self assessment. It may sound like a tagline from Band Aid, Live Aid,
First Aid or Lemonade but Music is a medium which brings together people of an older and younger generation.
The main source of this is via current artists sampling unknown gems or timeless classics of yesteryear. I know the majority of people turn their noses up (it’s an expression but i’ve never seen anyone actually do it) when they hear an indie hit being ruined by a Popstar with the word “Sellout” immediately springing to mind for the original artist. (If someone offered you a s***load of money in royalities, would you take it or continue to feast on Cheerios and Acid Rain come Christmas Day?) There’s a link to a well written and informative article below on how counter culture to the mainstream is the main engine behind Capitalist society.
Nonetheless, Sampling however obvious or miniscule enables the novice listener to take notice beyond the MP3 and restore a sense of nostalgia which was previously exhibited when looking at sleeve notes on a physical entity back in the day. Enough rambling….here are a selection of recent songs and samples which have been used, and see whether you prefer the original or recycled product.
Kanye West – Dark Fantasy
Mike Oldfield – In Higher Places (this has been on repeat for the past week….supposedly it’s a man singing… after a couple of oestrogen injections were shot in the veins)
Nas & Damien Marley – Patience
Amadou & Mariam – Sabali
James Blake – CMYK
Aaliyah – Are You That Somebody?
Kelis – Caught Out There
Kingdom – Fogs
Beyonce – Sweet Dreams
D.O.K & Spyro – Missing Step
Everything But The Girl – Missing You
Major Lazer – Can’t Stop Now ( *in n-type voice* dis one’s a PERCY INGLE)
Nora Dean – Barbwire
The “$£llout” articlepiece: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/04/12/selling-out/
In a bit
If you ask the common man (or woman) “who is James Blake?” most would either answer “he’s an American Tennis player or p*** off . Yet, the 21 year old singer and producer from London has drawn great acclaim in his short career thus far in the underground realm and is being championed by Radio One’s Zane Lowe.
His 2009 remix of Untold’s Stop What You Are Doing with it’s crunching synth and rising chord climax revealed an unconventional sound far removed from any wobble laden pop makeovers.In Springtime he released the CMYK EP which had 90’s r&b samples embedded such as Kelis’ Caught Out There and Aaliyah’s Are You That Somebody on the title track.
The versatility of Mr Blake’s production and vocal dexterity is readily apparent on his latest Klavierwerke EP. Klavierwerke is German for piano works and this classically trained artiste uses the instrument as a focal point around sparse drum loop patterns and haunting echoes on “ I Only Know (What I Know Now)” On “Klavierwerke” Blake’s alternating vocal pitch layers over a beat reminiscent of a five ball metal pendulum. The synth led “Don’t You Think I Do” remains stagnant amidst the vocal nevertheless it remains absorbing as the majority of his work is. Whilst, “Tell Her Safe” has a rolling clink reverberation which lacks the emotive encapsulation of the other songs on the EP and feels more like an album filler.
Blake’s songs build up in a measured but deliberate fashion and when that musical peak is reached you’re left intrigued as to what challenge awaits you next. The comparison with Burial would be easy to make as others have done. Yet, while the aforementioned producer was initially shrouded in anonymity James Blake is a personality not afraid of expressing or experimenting to the wider world his inner most feelings.
The Klavierwerke EP is out now on R&S Records.