Wednesday, January 19, 2011
#8 James Blake: A Bright Emptiness
Today's post features Pitchfork's #8 album of 2010, which is actually a collection of three EPs released over the course of the year by James Blake. They are all incredibly different, so I thought I'd focus in on the Klavierwerke EP, for no other reason than that I'm a classical pianist and the title is the German term for a collection of piano works (think Beethoven's sonatas, etc.). Here's the track I focused on, take a listen.
"I Only Know (What I Know Now)" by James Blake (2010)
For me, this track had a chilling quality, like being stuck in a sterile, almost entirely white room. It's bright, and there's nothing in there, so you start to notice the details. The sharp corners, maybe some dust, and the imperfections in the floor boards.
Empty Room, Portsmouth Island 5x7 photograph by Magic Island General Store $12
There is such an empty feel to this song, so much open space which is just as vital to the track as the sampled sounds. After awhile, you start to notice every individual detail of the sounds which at first seem so transparent and are actually so much more complex.
Vintage mod white tennis dress from Persnickety Vintage $6
This song forces us to see the beauty and the complexity of such simplicity, but without ever letting us feel like we've stepped out of that eerily empty room with it's sharp corners and microscopic imperfections.
Origami white top by LaBronz $75
GET THE LOOK: JAMES BLAKE'S CMYK
I thought for today's look I'd share another James Black track from one of the other 2010 EPs. This one had a very different visual connection from the one above. It's much darker, swirling shades of blue and black, with great sparkling moments, like the tiny little flashes you see when you close your eyes, rub them for awhile, and then reopen them. So here's a look with that in mind!
Vintage black and silver cocktail blouse from Allen Company Inc. $46 Leather pants by Costume National from YOOX $265 Large starburst locket with Czech glass beads by Dirdy Birdy $27 Faithful Boot by Alexander McQueen from Zappos Couture $771