James Blake

Playing Robots Into Heaven

Polydor • 2023

On »Playing Robots Into Heaven«, James Blake hammers his roots back into the ground during eleven tracks. Beforehand, the British artist had announced his journey into the past two months ago with »Big Hammer«: With a solid groove, the thirty-four year old dubstepped back towards his roots with a time capsule. Following a fifteen-song soundscape AI dream last year and two balladic predecessors before that, James Blake finally picks up the pace with »Playing Robots Into Heaven« and teases his fans no end: the second single «Loading« also promises an album that inhales melancholy and exhales it in a smooth bass wave. In between, James Blake fills in the blanks with what he does best: a mix of 90s R&B and what made people sweat on the dance floor in the UK in the early noughties. For this, the British producer combines the feeling of being unhappily in love with its acceptance and chases it through the loop machine. What comes out in the end is danceable solitude: it feels positively liberating.