The British have done it again, this time in the form of 21 year old, James Blake, who’s self titled debut studio album James Blake to be released February 7 is very likely to be on many top albums of 2011 lists and here’s why. For starters, it’s incredibly well produced. Just give Wilhelm’s Scream a listen and you may be running the risk of an ear orgasm. Now due to the internets viral tendencies, James Blake has been classified as “downtempo dubstep,” which may be the case for track 6, Limit to Your Love, a Feist cover which undoubtedly evolves into downtempo dubstep half way through the song. However, I believe the album as a whole would be more accurately described as Minimal Electro-Soul—the first album of its kind if there were such a genre. He released 3 EP’s in 2010, and 1 in 2009. The many positive reviews of EP’s CMYK and Klavierwerke in this last year, seem to have put Blake in a place of being known first and foremost as a producer, and force to be reckoned with at that. Bear in mind, he is only 21 and now with his full length studio, he has introduced his voice: a soulful cascade of vocal pulse, as minimal and refrained as the music itself. With every instrument and software synth at a producers disposal, it is hard to follow the less is more mantra except for the truly musically sensitive such as the likes of James Blake. He goes the analog route, and produces majority of his synth drones on his very cool Prophetic ‘08 Voice Analogue keyboard. The same device is used in his live performances. Most tracks on the album follow a pattern of very minimal beginnings, with a transform point about halfway through the tracks bringing in more instrumentation and rhythm. Tracks 4 and 5, Lindesfarne I & II, is a perfect example of this structure, where you will find the one song split into two separate tracks, working as an illustration of my point. Some may find his vocal production style similar to that of Imogen Heap, and this may be especially true for Lindesframe I. But I wouldn’t just leave it at that, as the genius goes far beyond poetry and minimal vocals. Track 10, I Mind is another example of this “per-track evolution” I’m trying to describe. For the impatient listener, I urge you to give a track its full listen in order to fully appreciate how this evolution takes place. Now do your self a favor, find some headphones lie down on your bed, and treat your ears to track 2 on the album, Wilhelm’s Scream, uploaded by me just for you. If you like it, buy the album when it is released on February 7.