James Blake is a much feted electronic artist, combining soulful singing with production that can usually only be described as “experimental”.
In my opinion, “Limit To Your Love” is the most accessible and the best of his older stuff. These days he is making a wide range of cool music, but some of the very coolest sounds he made are from the period where he was often tagged with the nebulous “post-dubstep” label.
The song is actually a cover of “The Limit To Your Love” performed by Feist, a woman from Canada, written by her and Chilly Gonsales and released in 2007. Blake’s version is much darker and more stripped back.
Dubstep makes it’s influence felt strongly on this. His slow piano playing and singing would make an engaging and emotional ballad by themselves, but he combines this melodious core with a sparse, echoey halftime drum beat, and a shuddering bassline which is unusually low and heavy by any standard, and makes a fascinating addition to a song like this.
The latter half of the song becomes even more dubstep based, with the bass resolving into an altogether more pleasant and traditional sub bass. The last minute of the song could literally be a dubstep dance track, if not for the rather unnecessary cymbal.
What really makes the song a winner is the piano and vocal combo; but the bass heavy pedigree really sets it apart from pretty much anything else out there.
The song was released on James Blake, his self titled 2010 debut album.
No wonder he won a Mercury Prize…