02 ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • single lyric/melody line repeated – with slight variations in text
  • 10 x 9 bar measures – the first section has no vox.
  • the 11th and final measure is only 7 bars
  • vox flutters from left to right rapidly
  • big reverb on the vox
  • big crescendo of ‘noise’ begins at the 5th section and ends at the 11th (outro)
  • 1st: long organ chords and kik/snr intro
  • 2nd: vox
  • 3rd: counter melody + ‘drain’ percussive hit with reverb
  • 4th: vox harmonies
  • 5th: noise begins to creep in
  • 6th:
  • 7th: drums drop out – heavy bass
  • 8th: kik back in
  • 9th: opening hi hat in – gets ducked by kik
  • 10th: closed hi hat ticking in – combines with ducked open hat
  • 11th(outro): drums except kik drop out, noises dies away, vox loses verb

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. overall structure with noise crescendo
  2. single melody/lyric line repeated

01 ‘Unluck’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • intro consists of organ, kik/snr + noise as one beat (offbeat) per bar
  • chord structure = A B / A B / C D / C E /
  • drums drop out for bars 7 & 8
  • then drums return with vox and hi hat
  • poly-rhythmic hi hat
  • vox doubled in wide stereo + harmonies later
  • two lines of lyric repeated – last word overlaps with first word
  • enormous organ volume swell almost drowns track out
  • overall track switches between 2 parts – swelling organ AND suddenly muted organ
  • drums drop out, organs dies away, last word is cut suddenly

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. overlapping lyric – almost a round
  2. poly rhythmic hi hat

James Blake (2011) – James Blake

  • ‘feels’ like a singular artist’s solo album despite multiple layers of vocals and overt electronic manipulation
  • sparse, minimal materials yet result is rich
  • lyrically economical – often a single line is repeated for an entire song. non-narrative lyrics
  • use of electronics yet still highly emotive
  • unconventional song structures
  • extreme bass
  • coldly modern yet traditionally emotive at the same time
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