James Blake

At the same time dubstep started to get massive, James Blake cranked down the volume. His circa-2010 singles for the Hessle Audio and R&S labels — "The Bells Sketch," "CMYK," "Klavierwerke" — revealed a musician more interested in percussive nuance than crushing bass, and called up sounds of desolate, subtly driving beauty better than most of his 2-step peers since the first Burial releases. The following year's self-titled debut album took things even further — now he was a vocalist, as much a singer-songwriter as a super producer, with delicate melodies and neo-soul falsettos (and a cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love") pushing him even further from bass music's increasingly raucous turf into the arms of indie-pop. As hinted at by the EPs he released in the wake of James Blake, however, this year's Overgrown refines the debut's mood and finds Blake reasserting his dance-music roots, even as his fragile but piercing voice has found more up-front footing. With FaltyDL. 18+.
Wed., May 1, 8 p.m., 2013

 
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