'Limit To Your Love' hitmaker James Blake has today premiered his song 'Mile High'. Featuring Travis Scott and Metro Boomin, the new track is taken from Assume Form, the hotly-anticipated album that's a follow up to the downbeat 2016 record The Colour In Anything.
Despite a short run up - we only started hearing of the existence of the new album at the beginning of 2019 - Assume Form is without a doubt one of the event releases of the year so far.
Released this Friday 18 January 2019, it first came to our attention after discovering its release date on a French Amazon pre-order page. The track list was later posted on a Reddit Thread. The track list confirmed the then rumoured Andre 3000 collaboration; and increased hype for fans by revealing Rosalia, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin are among the guests who've recorded on it.
Images of an installation at Shoreditch High Street Station, London connected to the album was shared on social media in the first week of January, too. The internet has gone into meltdown about it ever since and official Instagram posts from Blake have followed.
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The first track to get radio play from it - 'Mile High', streaming above was first played by Zane Lowe on Beats 1 - is one of two cuts from the album featuring beats from 25-year-old chart-topping trap producer Metro Boomin.
Boomin, whose real name is Leland Tyler Wayne, made his way into the major league with a beat for Future’s 'Karate Chop'.
These minimal, dark beats are met with beautiful flute sounds.
Meanwhile, guest vocalist Travis Scott works brilliantly with Blake's androgynous falsetto. The pair have a healthy working relationship. Their musical partnership famously kicked off properly last year when Blake guested on Travis Scott's album Astroworld. They performed a track from it at the VMA's, too.
The starry cast on Assume Form (read the full tracklist below) is hardly a surprise. Since embedding himself in LA, James Blake's found himself the toast of Hollywood. It's a monumental trajectory from acclaimed post-dubstep producer being lapped up by bleary eyed students around the time 'Limit To Your Love' came out to the international superstar he is now.
But as well as big pop names such as Rosalia, Andre 3000, Blake's highly-respected by more avant-garde artists. For instance, he guested on Connan Mockasin's album Jassbusters.
Describing the collaboration, Mockasin sees Blake as someone who receives music like some sort of transmission from another place: " I like the way it’s almost like it’s not him playing." he tells Gigwise. "But he’s played enough to - technically - figure somehow to do something that you don’t know."
Indeed, Blake's classically trained strengths and esoteric flourish make him an artist of extraordinary ability. It's difficult to see how 2019 can be anything but James Blake's year.
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James Blake UK tour dates:
07 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
09 – Bristol, O2 Academy - TICKETS
18 – London, Eventim Apollo