Tag Archives: James Blake

Ones To Watch: North Side Drive

This lad. Have been meaning to write a piece on him for about a week. North Side Drive, an musician/producer from Cork. As a huge fan of anything subtle, his stuff is really out there. Very much in the James Blake piano/electronic vibe, I first found his cover of Bon Iver’s track ‘The Wolves.’ So beautiful and sparse. This is not the ordinary for me. I don’t normally write about music this classically influenced, but this is well worth a lesson. There’s gonna be more great music from this guy, I can already tell. Check out his social media stuff below, along with some tunes. Class act.




By Conor Kelly

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Track: Airhead-‘Wait’

This is really cool. Airhead will be familiar to those who are fans of James Blake. This track features neat sample of acoustic and electric guitars, alongside melancholy dub beats. Then there’s the catch, namely a Karen O vocal sample, which works really well.

By Conor Kelly

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The Top Ten Albums Of 2011: Number 3

Number 3: Drake-Take Care

The story is now famous that Drake kept a copy of James Blake’s Self-Titled debut in the studio while he recorded. Minimalism is the key to the beats in most of the tracks and he uses sampling expertly. The likes of The Weeknd(on Crew Love) and Rihanna(on Take Care) are utilized perfectly. The laid back feel to this album is very evident.

Lead single ‘Headlines’ is a brilliant slice of pop. ‘Look What You’ve Done’ is a great reflective song, showing Drizzy looking back on his career so far. Drake raps and sings better than ever on this, with a solid and consistency not seen previously.

‘The Real Her’ featuring Lil Wayne and Andre 3000 is my highlight. Andre’s lines area among the best twelve bars of the year. ‘Lord Knows’ featuring Rick Ross has a groovy beat and a cracking line from Ross. “Only fat Nigga in Sauna with Jews.” Its an outstanding album, His best work so far.

Words By Conor Kelly

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top Ten Albums Of 2011: Number 5

Number 5: James Blake-James Blake

When James Blake first started to come to peoples attention in 2009/2010, he was known for his minimalist post-dubstep production and his use of cool samples such as molding the Kelis track ‘Caught Out Here’ and the Aaliyah track ‘Are You That Somebody’ together to create ‘CMYK’.

His self-titled debut album was a complete surprise though. Featuring minimal production and plain piano filled tracks, Blake also sang vocals. ‘Wilhelms Scream’ is a gorgeous, melodic track which blends his electronic and pianist side together perfectly. ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ is a heartbreaking and subtle tune that builds and builds. The standout though is his cover of Feist’s  Limit To Your Love.’ It does what a cover should, take a completely different perception on a song and make it your own. Blake does that, as he does with the whole post-dubstep genre.

Words By Conor Kelly

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The Top 20 Tracks Of 2011 Number: 10

Number 10: Drake-The Real Her [Featuring Lil Wayne & Andre 3000]

Drake apparently kept a copy of James Blake’s debut record in the studio while recording ‘Take Care’ and you can see the influence it had. It is a hazy, chilled out recording, unlike his first album Thank Me Later.’  ‘The Real Her’ is an example of this, with a tender hook by Drizzy and spitting beats by Lil Wayne. The undoubted highlight though is Andre 3000’s vintage 12 bars. “Quote-on-quote bad bitches work the whole floor/listening to Adele, I feel you baby/someone like you, someone unlike you.” Essential stuff.

Words By Conor Kelly

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Listen to New James Blake off Forthcoming EP

The ever busy James Blake is releasing his new EP ‘Love What Happened Hear’. A new track ‘Curbside’ from it was played last night on Gilles Peterson’s show on BBC Radio One. You can listen to the track via The 405. Listen to ‘A Case Of You’ from his last EP below:

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