James Blake – BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix

Yesterday morning James Blake took over the BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix decks, creating a platform for him to air his own seemingly new material amongst a wide range of all the good stuff.

Apparently one of the most eclectic selections in months, you can stream the session directly from the BBC here. Alternatively download the mp3 courtesy of Blake’s Facebook page below, for when you’re walking your dog.

mp3: James Blake – BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix


  1. Erik Satie – Gnossienne No. 5
  2. James Blake – Olivia Kept
  3. James Blake vs. Drake – Half Heat Full vs. Up All Night
  4. James Blake – Pan
  5. SALEM – Trapdoor
  6. Snoop Dogg – Drop It Like It’s Not (Harmonimix)
  7. ID – ID
  8. Klaus – Tarry
  9. D’Angelo – One Mo’ Gin
  10. Joy O – Sicko Cell
  11. Blawan – What You Do With What You Have
  12. James Blake – No More Than A Road (Dub)
  13. James Blake – At Birth (Dub)
  14. The Chain – Suffer For Your Art
  15. Peverelist – Roll With The Punches (Harmonimix)
  16. ID – Navigator
  17. Outkast – Return Of The G
  18. Africa HiTech – Out In The Street
  19. DJ Nate – 3 Peat
  20. James Blake – Deeds
  21. Gavin Bryars – Three Elegies for Nine Clarinets II
  22. Gavin Bryars – Three Elegies for Nine Clarinets III
  23. Johann Johannsson – Odi Et Amo
  24. Grouper – Vessel
  25. James Blake – ID
  26. James Blake – ID
  27. ID – What Was It
  28. The Tallest Man On Earth – Love Is All
  29. SALEM – Redlights
  30. Rev. James Cleveland – Jesus Saves
  31. Trim – Confidence Boost (Harmonimix)
  32. James Blake – Evening Fell Hard For Us
  33. James Blake – Placing Us
  34. James Blake – Words We Both Know
  35. Arthur Russell – Love Comes Back
  36. Stevie Wonder – You & I

Playing Time: 01:59:25

Further recommended listening: Gavin Bryars is an experimental English composer and double bassist. One of his best and well known pieces is ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’, which bases its intricately steady growth around a loop of an unknown homeless man singing a short hymnal stanza.

Miraculously, Bryars noticed the recording was in tune with his piano, and consequently harmonised the melody with luscious strings and brass.

Bryars says:

“In 1971, when I lived in London, I was working with a friend, Alan Power, on a film about people living rough in the area around Elephant and Castle and Waterloo Station. In the course of being filmed, some people broke into drunken song – sometimes bits of opera, sometimes sentimental ballads – and one, who in fact did not drink, sang a religious song “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet”. This was not ultimately used in the film and I was given all the unused sections of tape, including this one.

When I played it at home, I found that his singing was in tune with my piano, and I improvised a simple accompaniment. I noticed, too, that the first section of the song – 13 bars in length – formed an effective loop which repeated in a slightly unpredictable way. I took the tape loop to Leicester, where I was working in the Fine Art Department, and copied the loop onto a continuous reel of tape, thinking about perhaps adding an orchestrated accompaniment to this. The door of the recording room opened on to one of the large painting studios and I left the tape copying, with the door open, while I went to have a cup of coffee. When I came back I found the normally lively room unnaturally subdued. People were moving about much more slowly than usual and a few were sitting alone, quietly weeping.

I was puzzled until I realised that the tape was still playing and that they had been overcome by the old man’s singing. This convinced me of the emotional power of the music and of the possibilities offered by adding a simple, though gradually evolving, orchestral accompaniment that respected the tramp’s nobility and simple faith. Although he died before he could hear what I had done with his singing, the piece remains as an eloquent, but understated testimony to his spirit and optimism.”

The original 25-minute version was recorded for Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975. The 74-minute version was recorded in 1993 for the Point label, and Tom Waits sang along with the original taping of the tramp in the latter half of the song!

Taken from: ‘Tom Waits on his cherished albums of all time

5. The Sinking of the Titanic by Gavin Bryars (Point Music) [1975]

This is difficult to find, have you heard this? It’s a musical impression of the sinking of the Titanic. You hear a small chamber orchestra playing in the background, and then slowly it starts to go under water, while they play. It also has ‘Jesus Blood’ on it. I did a version of that with Gavin Bryars. I first heard it on my wife’s birthday, at about two in the morning in the kitchen, and I taped it. For a long time I just had a little crummy cassette of this song, didn’t know where it came from, it was on one of those Pacifica radio stations where you can play anything you want. This is really an interesting evening’s music.

-James Godwin, September 18th, 2011

Copyright © 2011. Informal Flick-Thru. All rights reserved.