James Blake
The Bells Sketch


4.0
excellent

Review

by TheWayfarerElectric USER (7 Reviews)
April 15th, 2010 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Bells Sketch innovates dusbtep on so many levels.

Since his founding, James Blake has always honed a sophisticated sound in the dubstep scene. His rhythms skitter around from place to place, and his beats strike with math-rock precision, but never undermine his electronic feel. Obviously, his music's elements work best not in conception, but in his brilliant execution. An unpredictable genre-mash is the outcome. For example, the actual composition of Blake's music centers around the chromatic drama of gospel music, but chiptune videogame sounds remain evident inclusions. A classical violin swells frequently, and stops abruptly, but the spastic nature of house music remains clear. This combination is truly what sets apart Blake's music from the rest of the dance world. And The Bell's Sketch is only a testimony to his undying creativity.

Here, Blake's unquantized beats are staples to his innovative, yet anthemic sound. Above these off-kilter times are soaring melodies, awkward rhythms, and the notorious thud. Still resplendence shines through via chipper rhythms and playful mischief throughout. On "Buzzard and Kestrel", off-timbre, squealing synths vitalize the last third in a show-stopping way. Alongside this far-out oddity is a more uncertain introduction, yet its grace is the fascinating perplexity. Warbly bass intertwines with melancholic chords, yet Blake shows his knack for inventiveness and intricacy. This rings true on "The Bell's Sketch", which is jam-packed with samples, violins, Blake's own voice, and videogame noises. The combination of these components is unsettling, but strangely intriguing. One can't helped but pause when a violin collapses upon itself, or when a combative dirge of noise melds seamlessly with the rest of Blake's sound. Melodies seem to come and go, each one different than the next, and sporadic burst of energy consume the listener. What's more amazing is the fact that these elements can (and oftentimes they are) be incorporated into a single track. Still, the tracks remain coherent, leaving Blake's sound unrivaled. The Bells Sketch is a proclomation of his ongoing progression, and can be documented as one of the most genuinely experimental electronic releases in quite some time.



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user ratings (65)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugh... I can't seem to write well recently. Please critique the shit out of this.

Rationalist
April 16th 2010


880 Comments


On "Buzzard and Kestrel", off-timbre, squealing synths vitalize the last third in a show-stopping way
Fave part of the EP. Pos.

Rationalist
April 16th 2010


880 Comments


So is dubb the neww music craze within my group of musical neighbors? First Ikonika, then Blake?

Slipping Away
April 16th 2010


1261 Comments


thought this was about the tennis player james blake for a second, anyhow nice review, pos'd

TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks.

TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, Rationalist. I'm not your neighbor.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2010


31158 Comments


Nice review man. Judging by your rating and everything you've said i'll assume this is just as good as the other 2 e.p.'s i've heard from him. Will acquire when I get home

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Zizzer
April 16th 2010


915 Comments


Yeah, I though tennis too lol

Now I want to check this out

TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you enjoy Pitchfork-endorsed dubstep you'll dig.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2011


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Following his breakthrough debut 'Air & Lack Thereof', James Blake is back with 'The Bells Sketch'; a 3 track, 15 minute EP which continues to spotlight the young Londoner's want to skew dubby electronica in new directions. Glitchy, methodically paced & containing a dark, strangely eerie atmosphere, it is certainly an acquired taste. Despite all the little intricacies, variety & unpredictability however, this is not something that demands repeated listening from me personally. The melodies just don't dig in far enough, with the title track probably coming closest to doing so.

Sanders
September 4th 2011


2350 Comments


What is this dusbtep?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2011


31158 Comments


I still enjoy reading bitchfork's conversations with himself



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