James Blake, Nosaj Thing

When: Thu., Nov. 21, 8 p.m. 2013

Moore's Law says that every two years computing power becomes twice as powerful and half as expensive. Thanks largely to technology, music has a similar acceleration. It's cheaper and easier to make new sounds as the internet enables ever-greater global dissemination of style, influence, and collaboration. For a picture of this bursting pace, see James Blake. In 2011 he emerged from London, lumped in as part of an emergent genre called dubstep. Blake's bass-heavy, reductionist compositions were hailed as bleeding edge. In the two years since, his eponymous debut now feels familiar, as his skeletal minimalism has taken prominent hold in other genres. In that short time, dubstep, too, became something altogether different—ubiquitous, drilling maximalism. Blake, meanwhile, seems to be shuffling toward hiphop. On this year's Mercury Prize-winning Overgrown he featured RZA, and he recently gave a beat to the marvelous and ascendant Chance the Rapper. And while Blake may indeed have some lasting power—ever rare in this accelerant era—his thin-voiced, confessional songs of woe appear scrubbed in antibacterial soap. Blake is vastly more interesting as a composer than an entertainer. ANDREW R TONRY

Price: $28

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