Last month, the multi-talented Brit, James Blake, set the scene up in a blaze of intrigue, taunting his crowd with an unreleased André 3000 (of Outkast) collaboration at a Brooklyn DJ set.
Now, thanks to the hyper-vigilant Reddit community (specifically user: Misfitxxx) and a leaked Amazon link, all signs point toward a full-length album from the singer/songwriter, entitled Assume Form. The since-deleted Amazon pre-sale page indicated the album–purportedly slated for a Jan 25 release date–will feature a grocery-list-length sundry of illustrious industry faces from Travis Scott (whom Blake collaborated with for Astroworld-housed “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD”) to Spanish songstress, Rosalía.
Given Blake’s affinity for precipitate album-dropping (2016’s The Colour in Anything), a sans-promo (almost) release is certainly within the realm of possibility for the 1–800–Dinosaur producer.
Below is the tracklist as it appeared on the Amazon pre-sale page:
01 – “Assume Form” 02 – “Mile High” 03 – “Tell Them” 04 – “Into The Red” 05 – “Barefoot In The Park” 06 – “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow” 07 – “Are You In Love?” 08 – “Where’s The Catch?” 09 – “I’ll Come Too” 10 – “Power On” 11 – “Don’t Miss It” 12 – “Lullaby For My Insomniac”
James Blake gave fans a taste of some unreleased work on December 8 in Brooklyn, teasing a track featuring the vocals of André 3000. Blake and André 3000 worked together previously on “Look Ma No Hands,” which was released over the summer under André 3000’s name. It was a sublime example of Blake’s versatile and often somber tone.
Blake’s approach to music has always been forthright; he’s an artist that is constantly growing while never forgetting. His ability to navigate mood, genre, and medium has enabled him to work with some of this generation’s best. This year alone, he worked on Travis Scott‘s ASTROWORLD, the Black Panther soundtrack and released a handful of singles. In 2016, he toured with Vince Staples and Moses Sumney for his album, The Colour of Everything — a truly versatile mood-bending lineup.
With the art collective 1-800-Dinosaur, a “kindship of humans plus dinosaurs,” Blake has hit the late night scene dropping hints of heat, one of which can be found 7:45 into the video below. Blake also recently announced that he will be touring the US and Canada in February and March.
Miami’s III Points has announced its sixth annual lineup set to take over the Wynwood district of the city next year February15-17.
With over 100 artists on the bill, III Points is an eclectic who’s who collection of indie and electronic music heavyweights alike. SZA, Tyler, the Creator, A$AP Rocky, and Erykah Badu top this year’s bill with pleasing additions from Virtual Self, James Blake, Beach House, Blood Orange fresh off the release of Negro Swan, and many, many more, anchoring the earlier end of US festival season next year.
The roster’s underground dance talents are also in top form, including a booking from rising superstar Peggy Gou, Yaeji, DJ Koze, Ben UFO b2b Joy Orbison, DJ Stingray, Honey Dijon, Keinemusik and more. Tickets to the festival can be purchased here.
Speaking on his early entry into the music industry, James says he was “taken away from normal life essentially at an age where I was half-formed.” He reports that the “surface level” experiences artists have in the fast-paced industry do not allow for deep discussions of mental health, but instead, superficial conversations about the “good stuff.”
Blake also discussed the dietary issues that have surfaced in his career. “I would say that chemical imbalance due to diet and the deterioration of my health was a huge, huge factor in my depression and eventual suicidal thoughts,” he said. “I developed [dietary] intolerances that would lead to existential depression on a daily basis. I would eat a certain thing and then all day I would feel like there was just no point.”
In relation to the strenuous lifestyle that comes with being a touring artist, James Blake suggests staying realistic in what one person can do.
“Honestly, a lot of catharsis just came in telling lots of people to fuck off. And saying no. Saying no to constant touring. No [amount of] money will ever be enough… we’ve reached a critical point. We are the generation that’s watched several other generations of musicians turn to drugs and turn to excess and coping mechanisms that have destroyed them. And there are so many high-profile people recently who’ve taken their own lives. So we, I think, have a responsibility to talk about it and to remove the stigma.”
With years of experience under his belt, Oneohtrix Point Never is a mainstay in the world of experimental composition. Following the 2017 soundtrack to the indie film Good Time and his recent Red Bull Music Academy performance, the prolific producer has returned with his new full length LP, Age Of.
The album, that spans 13 tracks, stands as Oneohtrix Point Never’s next exploration into the lush yet jarring soundscapes found in his catalog. The album begins in a subdued fashion, with vocal performances in songs like “Babylon” and “Black Snow” adding depth to the producer’s already massive skill-set. Sourcing outside help from James Blake, ANOHNI, and more, the LP reaches levels of precision that most producers could only dream of.
There’s no doubt Mother’s Day is special, but it seems this year some artists are truly stepping up their game with their heartwarming remembrances. It’s a day to honor the holiest of thou and as such, the creative recluse and one half of the famed hip-hop duo OutKast, André 3000, has returned with nearly 22 minutes of new music.
The first track, “Me&My (To Bury Your Parents),” bears tremendous soul and, as originally reported by Pitchfork, the number was written for his late mother Sharon Benjamin Hodo who passed away on May 28, 2013. The second is a 17-minute instrumental jazz collaboration with James Blake, titled “Look Ma No Hands.”
Both songs feature André on the bass clarinet, and where “Me&My” finds its considerable depth reminiscing on childhood memories, the 17-minute free-flowing jazz escapade, “Look Ma No Hands,” bears the depths of the artist’s soul in him and Blake’s improvisational glory.
In conjunction with the releases, André 3000 rejoined Instagram and shared a photo of him and his mother with the caption “I love you mom,” as his very first post.
Outside Lands has revealed the 2018 lineup for its 11th installment in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park August 10-12.
Following a fervent 2017 edition of Gorillaz, The Who, and Metallica headlining, 2018 boasts a hefty onslaught of acts, and although the headliners see earlier appearances in the festival season — The Weeknd at Coachella and Janet Jackson at both Panorama and FYF Fest — the lineup remains rife with talent and excitement.
“If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead” is Blake’s first solo track in two years. An avant-garde shift into sonic oblivion, proving Blake’s undoubtedly at new experimental height. The track’s accompanied by a gorgeous new video directed by Alex Brown which is equally as experimental.
James Blake has gifted fans a studio recording of Don McLean’s “Vincent,” a frequent addition to his live sets over the past year. Alongside the track, the producer also posted a video of himself recording the cover live at Los Angeles’ Conway Studios earlier this month.
McLean’s original was written in tribute to Vincent Van Gogh and originally appeared on his 1971 LP American Pie. While the track’s not an outright holiday song, it does make mention of a “starry, starry, night,” which is befitting both as an ode to the late painter and as one to the warm, inviting air of the holidays.
Hundred Waters made a radical statement about the typical festival model with the launch of their FORM event series, now gearing up for its fifth annual installment. Hosted in Arizona at an artistic micro-community known as Arcosanti, the event’s curators have refined an entirely unique festival experience since 2014 that breaks down the artist-attendee barriers of a normal music event, and envelops all participants under the tightly-knit umbrella of artistry and social discourse for what is has become one of the most absorbing events of the year. Last year, the event grew to over 1,200 attendees and brought the likes of Skrillex, Solange, James Blake, and S U R V I V E to the high Arizona desert. In 2018 Hundred Waters and company will return to Arcosanti, officially announcing FORM with a new trailer ahead of next year’s event.
FORM is slated to run May 11 – 13, 2018 at Arcosanti with Hundred Waters returning for programming and curation duties. Past lineups have brought a spectrum-covering range of performers to the incredibly intimate camping venue, from Bonobo to Thundercat, Tokimonsta to Father John Misty. Details on this year’s lineup are still under wraps, but the OWSLA trio are likely to bring another diverse cast of friends along for FORM’s fifth edition.