Strike A Pose
by: Joseph Johnson
September 27, 2012
Fans of James Blake’s solo work will be familiar with his stripped down production, heavy basslines and delicate vocals on tracks like “Limit To Your Love,” or “Unluck.” Many people admire Blake’s experimentalism and the way he structures his songs. This is the guy who makes silence as integral to his sound as any kick, snare, or piano note.
A little less familiar are his productions under his Harmonimix moniker, but they are not to be overlooked or dismissed as merely a side project. Mainly focusing on remixes, Blake has reworked tracks by the likes of D’Angelo, Lil’ Wayne and Outkast. The Harmonimix tracks tend to be even more experimental than his solo stuff, with shifting drum patterns and a variety of vocal effects and synthesisers combining in a glorious cacophony of sounds.
His latest Harmonimix efforts have thrown the commanding vocal work of UK grime rapper Trim, over some brilliant electronic production. The official single, “Confidence Boost,” released under the artist name Trimbal, has just received an impressive video treatment from director Rollo Jackson.
The track is expertly composed, featuring police sirens, reversed percussion, and breathy samples, all coming together to provide huge amounts of atmosphere. The music builds to intense crescendos, and then drops out, before rising again. Layers are added and removed, giving the production a feeling of exceptional depth. Trim’s repeated lyrics are pushed through chipmunk effects, but their confidence-boosting message is clear: no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what you have been through, you must stand up to the haters and show them you don’t care. Just strike a pose.