BBC’s Radio 1 ended the summer with a bang, débuting the Essential Mixes of both Jamie xx and James Blake — two of the biggest names in the U.K.’s burgeoning electronic scene that has arisen in the ashes of dubstep’s high frequency flight to the U.S. The one thing that both epic sets had in common? Drake.
That’s right. Drizzy phones in a drop for Jamie at around 7:49: “Yo, what’s going on man, this is Drizzy Drake and you are now listening to the Essential Mix with my brother Jamie xx. That’s OVO family right there, man. Big up, London. Big up the whole U.K. And till I’m back, take care.” Fitting, considering Aubrey logged studio time with Jamie while in London this winter. He told the BBC: “The praises I’ll sing most is definitely The xx and Jamie, and we’re working on Take Care [Drake’s second album] together. Jamie is probably one of the most exciting producers I’ve ever heard.” In an interview with New York, Jamie elaborated on how the collab came about: “He played me some of his stuff, and I played him some of my stuff I made for him. And he was loving it. So he took some of those away to do stuff over. I might be working with him by the end of this week, or might be coming back to work with him in a few days in Toronto. He’s ridiculously busy.”
At Noah “40” Shebib’s home studio in Toronto, where Drake primarily records, Rolling Stone described the scene: “exposed brick, low lighting, plenty of high-grade weed and virtually no decoration aside from a vinyl copy of U.K. dubstep crooner James Blake’s debut on a windowsill.” Then there’s the aptly titled “James Drake,” a full-length unofficial mash-up of the two gloomy crooners. On James Blake’s Essential Mix, at around 13 minutes in, he drops a version of “Up All Night” drowned in moody ambient music, uncredited in the track list.
Not to mention Drake’s studio and stage time with Florence from Florence and the Machine, or his sampling of Jai Paul’s brilliant “BTSU” for “Dreams Money Can Buy,” or his infectious remix of SBTRKT’s “Wildfire.”
I reckon Drake fancies himself the hip-hop version of these Englishmen, with his infinite sadness and such. Looks like “Take Care” will be taking a trip across the Atlantic, and I’m excited to hear the results.
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