James Blake – 200 Press EP (1-800 Dinosaur, 2014)
Is it safe to say that James Blake is back? I’ll take the risk since we hadn’t heard from him for quite a while since the release of his second album ‘Overgrown’ in 2013. Okay, maybe it hasn’t been more than a year and a half, but it feels like forever. That’s why the news of a new EP were met with considerable excitement in the mo’fidelity camp.
‘200 Press’ EP reminds of Blake’s ‘CMYK’ years because of the abundant use of samples and the generally more club-like feel of the tracks as compared to his two albums which are more suitable for curling up in bed and crying the day away. We enjoy both, of course.
‘200 Press’ is perfect for a warm-up set at a party, since it could definitely make one move. The use of samples across the track is extensive from that Al Green sample which FaltyDL also used in his ‘Straight & Arrow’ to Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Late Nite Tip’, the choice is quite diverse. The beat of ‘200 Press’ is absolutely amazing with its vibrant cowbell and smooth kick drum.
‘200 Pressure’ is a monotonous and vicious tune with a synth that could sweep you away if it only wished and once again an impressive array of samples could be heard.
‘Building It Still’ returns to the territory that Blake is probably most know for: piano melodies, a barely audible whimper, deep bass line and a crunchy beat. The final track, ‘Words That We Both Know’ is a poem recital over a piano which contrary to any expectations, doesn’t feel out of place.
All in all, ‘200 Press’ EP is really very nice but is definitely not James Blake’s strongest work. We would be glad to hear more production in this direction but this time better because we know he can.
Stream the whole thing below via Spotify.
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