Pan - James Blake - Order / Pan (2011, Hemlock)
James Blake’s self-titled debut is doubtless one of 2011’s most critically acclaimed albums, and is almost undoubtedly my favourite of the year so far.
He’s just announced the release of a new single on his old label Hemlock, but even if you are familiar with the stylistic fluctuations apparent in his older releases, it still may come as a bit of a shock. Order and Pan are dark, stripped-back productions, exhibiting none of the watery, layered vocals that populated his earlier works. Blake’s post-dubstep UK bass influences become much more pronounced, with the twitchy percussion lines and sub-bass wobbles coming to the fore of the music. But even though they may be very different to the music on his sublime LP, these tracks are by no means of any lower quality, and if anything they demonstrate great flexibility from Blake as an artist.
You can also stream both Order and this track Pan online by clicking here.