Friday, 8 March 2013

Track Review: James Blake - Digital Lion

James Blake announced his sophomore album Overgrown last month, with details about working with RZA and Brian Eno. The same day, Blake released "Retrograde" - a single worthy of the album it will be featured on, but increasingly annoying in its vocal refrain. With one month left to wait, Blake released "Digital Lion", the track which features legendary ambient musician and producer Brian Eno. 

"Digital Lion" is a surprising return to form for the London producer that opened up a whole new world of youth inspired music with 2011's self-titled album. Tracks like "I Never Learnt to Share" and "CMYK" from the EP of the same name are what's at large on "Digital Lion". It has build-ups, unexpected segments of instrumentation and the all-important vocal harmonising. Eno's existence on this track can't be ignored. His deep synthesised riff opens the track and I’m sure it's his production skills that put together the reverberating tapping which separates the introduction to the bass 'drop', as people like to call it. The reverb increases and becomes a memorable feature as the intro synthesizer riff returns and Blake's layered vocal enters. There's a strummed guitar half-way in, an instrument Blake isn’t shy of utilising correctly. The final third is repetition of Blake's voice chopped up, the Eno synthesizer and a heavily reverberated percussion segment. It ends with several different Blake's patched together.

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