Last year, with his debut album, James Blake created that kind of media-hype that’s normally only reserved to the royals in England. Worldwide, editorial departments have ranked him at the very top in their annual reports. Now, right before the end of 2011, he has released Enough Thunder, just to add a little more fuel to the fire. Probably just to play it safe. And even though he had already drawn unusually much attention to himself with his first EP in the very early stage of his works, the waves of enthusiasm were to get even bigger with the release of his first LP. Then, from January 2011 on, the young man from the isle was not just praised by the underground and within the blogger-scene, but quickly became known all over town. As expected, his »dessert«, Enough Thunder, contains six tracks, which are of the typical Blake-quality. Next to the two tracks already known due to his Radio BBC 1 acoustic performances – the Joni Mitchell cover A Case Of Youand Fall Creek Boys Choir featuring Bon Iver –, there are four brand new and absolutely pure tracks to be found on the EP. And every single one of them lives up to its expectations, presenting the young, exceptional artist from England at his very best.
While A Case Of You and Enough Thunder are pure piano-tracks, »All Went In The Fire, Drowning The Sea« puts an end to all this loveliness. Auto-tune syllables and fragments of words cut through the quietness built up beforehand, and the long overdue duet with Bon Iver (who is similar in style and pace) gets on its way. Like most of the tracks by the 22-years-old-Wunderkind, the android sound of Fall Creek Boys Choir is inspired by grime, somewhat loosely bound to dubstep and – due to its artificiality – serves as an ideal excuse to discuss Blake’s work in greater detail. Especially since, most and foremost, center and focus are two different things, according to Blake. »The human being is to be prioritized«. And so his greatest achievement is the integration of quietness and openness – because his music needs room in order to enfold its full potential. Like with canny snap-shots, sobbing and fragile vocals, accompanied by sampled dial-up noises. These phone-sounds are inserted into his songs, and, no matter whether discretely or offensively so, they always fit the melody’s pattern. While Not Long Now practices a very British reservedness in that manner, until the impact of the rhythm is carefully increased at 3:21, We Might Feel Unsound works much less subtly: it »bothers« the listener from the very beginning with samples of stuck records and synths-sounds, from which James Blake’s distorted voice is being pulled back to the surface over and over again.