Early in 2016, James Blake threw a party with his 1-800 Dinosaur label collective and early Dubstep evangelists DMZ at The Prince of Wales pub, Brixton. Through his last five years’ musical adventures, James’ exquisite song suites have taken him to lofty places. James Blake climaxed the world tour in support of his last record, Overgrown, to successive standing ovations over two nights at The Sydney Opera House. ‘Just mind-blowing, the kind of thing you dream of,’ he says. ‘Every night ended with just me and piano.’ As he releases his third suite, The Colour in Anything, James is still only 27 years old.

For every sublime, a ridiculous. In the wake of his self-titled debut, James was invited to join a choir including Antony Hegarty, Laurie Anderson and Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt to sing behind Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall for an emotional finale at a Free Tibet benefit, curated by Philip Glass. ‘The reason I still can’t play in mainland China,’ he notes. It was an experience only marred by the toke of a joint handed him from one of the cleverly obnoxious Brooklyn hip-hop trio, Das Racist, before stepping onstage. ‘There I am, my gangly 6’6” self, poking out the back of this ridiculously well-appointed choir and I’m like just feeling so awkward. And paranoid, of course. It was a bit like being in Dad’s Army.’

Read more