Monday, July 10, 2023

James Blakes Delivers a Sensory Explosion With Glitchy New Track 'Big Hammer'

James Blake has been making his rounds in the music industry for quite some time now. With four studio albums and eight EPs, the electronic producer and singer-songwriter has established his creativity in the "post-dubstep" world.

His new track, 'Big Hammer', is a dynamic, robotic whirlwind mirroring the cultural frenzy surrounding the rise of AI. You half expect a warbling Terminator-style voice to be reading out a message about the end of life on Earth as we know it, but the track is pretty good without it.

The opening to 'Big Hammer' surrounds you with sounds that feel like the background of downtown city life. It's Times Square on a desolate Tuesday at 3am with the distant sound of cars and the bustle of foot traffic off to your left. Before you get too used to it, a series of odd beeps followed by a punchy trap beat carries you into the main part of the song. If you've ever wondered what dancing to elevator noises or your grandma's beeping phone buttons is like, this is as close as you're going to get to that.

This nearly vocal-less track is infused with everything from car alarms to muffled radio excerpts, and it will take a second to adjust to, but it's worth a full listen. As the song pulls up to its crescendo, we get influences of Blake's 'CMYK' days with the heavy burst of quick-time, thumping vocals before the pitch goes up and begins to emulate a techno track. The song comes to a sudden halt, and you're left wondering whether that car alarm is blaring outside or if you're hearing an echo of the song.

James Blake's next album, which is set to feature this song, will be out on 7th September 2023.


Sasha Semjonova
Image: ‘Big Hammer’ Official Single Cover

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