Love What Happened Here - Single
With this EP's title track, London-based electronic music producer and singer/songwriter James Blake stays close to his signature style, offering a natural-sounding blend of rootsy R&B with innovative cut-up edits. The icy synthesizers and stark drum-machine minimalism contrast with the grinding vintage organ tones and snippets of soulful singing peppered throughout. “At Birth” follows, with a gradual swell of layered textures anchored to a four-on-the-floor beat. Blake’s knack for gathering soothing sounds into a kinetic collage culminates mid-song. The muted keyboard notes that pulse along the big warm beats are easy on the ears, as are all the peripheral noises tucked into the tune’s backing ambience. But the clincher is a female singer cooing over all this with seductive, Sade-like inflections that make for the EP's best garnish. The hip-hop–rooted “Curbside” closes with sequenced beats and percussion rolling under looped horn parts and Blake’s samplings of Lord Quasimoto’s unmistakably high-toned voice.