James Blake as Zelig the Android with a Thousand Voices.

Independent critic Mark Beaumont hit the nail on the head when he coined the term. introvertronics: a useful neologism that, in the example of James Blake, signals a widespread need to reframe the relationship between machine and man beyond the realm of artistic creation. A year after flirting with A.I. Collapse (2022), composing music whose stated purpose was to induce sleep, a thirty-five-year-old man from Enfield sounds the alarm, Robot game to heaven (Republic/Polydor), an album that has just arrived on platforms and is also available in physical form, rereading the sound of its origins in the light of maturity. A project that, despite its appearance, turns out to be essentially handicraft. club but introspectively: when the artificial claims to be intelligent, the artist enjoys playing robots in heaven.

AND IT DOES IT without claiming to have poured his soul into the technology, instead entrusting it with the task of recreating fragments of the many personalities embodied throughout his career. This is the father of post-dubstep, indie storyteller, modern R&B prodigy, hip-hop producer: for those who have crossed paths with Kendrick Lamar, Brian Eno, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Beyonce, the Zelig Effect is the least you could expect . On the latest album, this internal split reflects the diameter between two extremes. Great Hammer AND If you can hear me. The first, propelled by a Ragga Twins sample, is a manifesto for Blake’s new dance direction and sums up the brighter side of the work; the second, an open letter from the son to his father – musician and singer James Litherland – is its confessional counterpart: “Took the initiative / Followed my dream / And I woke up even more tired from it.” Between these two antipodes, the artist continues to change his appearance from one track to another, from ghostly. I want you to know to digital bagpipes Night sky: Each has its own voice, made up of parts cut and modified like a loop or a drone, stuck between synthesizers, pads and almost techno drums, as in Tell me.By manipulating sounds, he reinterprets the sound of his origins on the album.

HE IS ONE With Fire the editor that we understand that we are now far from the dance floor, in the presence of a more reserved Blake, ready to conclude the discussion with the final title track: an organ tone for an almost church atmosphere combined with angelic choirs Loading.
Robot game to heaven the whole thing is an electronic bricolage that reassembles ideas sketched at different times and places in the notebook of the modular synthesizer that accompanies Blake on tour. But moving from the image to the background, behind the Android interface we recognize the artist’s stylistic signature: the tension between melody, bass and drums that has already given shape to the EP. Sketch of bells, CMYK AND Klavierwerke; self-reflection that permeated his “isolation album” Friends who break your heart; technological control of the voice and, ultimately, the new introvertronic nature of music on the border between machine and man, dance and songwriting.

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