James Blake recently chatted with RADIO.COM to discuss his new EP Before, during which he unexpectedly revealed what else is sitting in his project pipeline. It turns out the producer has spent time recently dabbling in ambient music and has a full album to show for it.
The reveal came as the two were discussing Blake's need to interact with music in such a way that he remains unconstrained by any particular genre. As an outside example, Seagall pointed out that Diplo dropped an ambient album, MMXX, this year.
Blake responded and revealed that he too has an ambient album, but has been unsure about when he'll release it. The project came about impulsively during what Blake calls a "beat holiday," where the work flowed organically out of his need for calm during these stressful times.
"I’ve basically made an ambient album, but I just don’t really know when to put it out, so we’ll see. It's at that point where you go ‘oh this is an album,’" Blake said. "Ambient music can be delicate, just taking beats away from music, drum beats I mean, does not an ambient album make.”
Blake mentioned he sought expert feedback from renowned record producer and ambient artist Brian Eno, who is regarded by many as having first defined the term "ambient" music. Eno reportedly offered some constructive criticism to Blake, but was overall encouraging of his work. While the secret project has flown under the radar thus far, Blake says Eno's feedback has ultimately motivated him to commit to releasing it. The details of when that will be, however, are still unknown.