Getting prehistoric The evolution of James Blake’s 1-800 Dinosaur

Liam McNeilly discovers a label, club night and supply of in-jokes in brilliant progress.

Who’d have thought, when dubstep producer James Blake emerged amid heaps of expectancy in 2010, that four years later he’d be a songwriter acclaimed on a global scale… Mercury winning, Grammy nominated and with a voice capable of bringing grown men to tears. It’s a distinctly different future to the one initially predicted. That’s not to say that early EP’s and remixes weren’t worthy of the attention that they attracted, but the exploration of his vocal abilities that came with a debut full-length took Blake’s production talents to a different dimension and kickstarted what has become a continually upward career trajectory.

Album number three is well on its way to completion, with Kanye West set to feature and take his place alongside RZA and Chance The Rapper, as Blake continues to fuse his love for hip-hop in to his recorded material. But whilst he’s not hanging out with hip-hop royalty, it’s nice to know that James still has time for his mates back home, escapades with his 1-800 Dinosaur cohort firmly making sure that his roots in dubstep are kept alive and well.

The seamless nature with which ‘CMYK’ and ‘Air And Lack Thereof’ find their place in a James Blake live set points to a musician that never abandoned these roots at all. However, the rise in prominence of 1-800 Dinosaur has seen that side of his music reaching new heights with critics, as well as fans old and new, unable to score enough of a bass laden hit.

Beginning its journey three years ago, 1-800 Dinosaur now moves in different forms boasting a club night, record label and late night radio show. From humble beginnings its status continues to grow, and below DIY runs through each aspect of its development…

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