Bon Iver released his album i,i nearly a day early, and the project has already received praise from a large amount of top tier outlets. The 13-piece record has a wide array of all-star collaborators, including a particularly standout number between himself and longtime collaborator, James Blake. Their productive relationship stretches back to 2011’s “Fall Creek Boys Choir,” and this new offering, “iMi,” marks their third joint effort together.
“iMi” is a rich, sentimental piece bursting doused in lo-fi sound design. It appears that James Blake might have played a larger background role, considering his vocal contribution to the tune consisted of a mere two lines. Others working on the track alongside Blake include Wheezy, Buddy Ross, and Mike Noyce. Velvet Negroni, Camilla Staveley-Taylor also contributed their vocals to the mix.
The Roc Nation-produced festival has been a persistent Labor Day festivity since its debut in 2012. Since its inception, the festival has raised $103 million for the city. This year, proceeds will go to American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and REFORM ALLIANCE, Jay and Meek Mill‘s criminal justice reform organization.
TIDAL subscribers have access to perks along the way, such as ticket pre-sale from April 2 to April 4, fast-track entrance to the festival, artist meet and greets, and specialty merchandise. The festival will also be available for steam on TIDAL.
A cacophony of trumpets coalesces with the warm notes of a saxophone to pierce the silence on “The Beginning,” an attention-grabbing, aptly titled number that opens Louis Futon’s debut album, Way Back When. Inherently dynamic, Futon has long treated listeners to his forward thinking remixes, to place his own idiosyncratic spins on other artists’ offerings, like James Blake‘s “Retrograde,” and Travis Scott‘s “Wake Up.” Now, Futon channels his creative efforts into an extended, 14-track showing that radiates the bright, buoyant personality characteristic of a Futon single.
Way Back When engages listeners from start to finish in its unpredictability, and the fun that Futon evidently had when engineering the debut project is audible in each song of the album. The bold instrumental components of “The Beginning” are crisp commencers that yield to the twinkling synths and comparatively syrupy pace of the album’s second song, “Surreal.” Delightfully kaleidoscopic in the nature of its cuts, Way Back When dabbles in the vocal-centric on “Rewind,” with the bubbly assistance of Ashe and Armani White. Futon melds playful tones with glitchy arrangement on “Supposed To Be,” to craft a rhythmically oriented joint, accented with DUCKWRTH delivered hip-hop verses. Way Back When traverses distinctive sonic territories across its 14 comprising cuts, to emerge as a highly developed debut project that is duly diverse in its sound, and cohesive.
Louis Futon is releasing his debut album, Way Back When, on Feb. 22. To celebrate the occasion, he produced another fan favorite flip of James Blake‘s crooning “Retrograde.” Through sped-up vocals and a swinging groove, Futon caresses the core of the track with wet chords, guitar riffs, jazz flute, and saucy sax. The funky electro artist from Philly enlisted Berklee College of Music alum Hailey Niswanger for her prowess on the flute and guitar, which added much-needed jazz elements to the melodically complex rendition.
As always, Futon, shares a glimpse of his production process in a concise video, outlining the steps taken to create edit posted on his SoundCloud. Earlier this year, he gave listeners a taste of his debut album with the single, “Supposed to Be” featuring Duckwrth and Baegod.
Travis Scott was electric at 2019’s Grammy Awards, performing a selection of tracks from his latest album Astroworld. To kick things off, the Houston-born phenomenon rattled off “Stop Trying To Be God” with featured artist James Blake. They also had assistance from Earth, Wind & Fire members as well as producer Mike Dean, who aided in creating a smooth, melodic aura that was quickly interrupted by the intro for Scott’s “No Bystanders,” panning to a large cage containing an elevated Scott. It’s safe to say that utter craziness proceeded to ensue, as a mixture of fans and stuntmen charged the stage for some mosh pits and cage dancing to close out.
The 26-year-old rapper received two nominations for single “SICKO MODE” featuring Drake and one for best rap album. Scott is also featuring on Blake’s latest project Assume Form, which Dancing Astronaut reviewed here.
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.