International star to play Iowa City


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SCOPE and the Englert Theater proudly seized electronic music producer and singer/songwriter James Blake to play in Iowa City at an opportune time.

The artist, who has recently received a great amount of attention, will play at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Englert, 221 E. Washington St. Admission ranges $25 to $27.

Having seen Blake at the Pitchfork Music Festival, Englert Executive Director Andre Perry awaits his second Blake performance. Perry described Blake's musical approach as innovative, saying the performance is a riveting show and very well arranged.

"He's combined existing styles to make something new," Perry said. "It's ambient, down-tempo dub-step mixed with soul. It's innovative and it works really well."

The up and coming artist originally from London recently won the 2013 Mercury Prize for his second studio album, Overgrown. The award is among the performer's numerous nominations for Best Alternative Video and Best Colour Grade in a Video at the 2013 UK Music Video Awards.

University of Iowa's SCOPE and the Englert staff have worked on collaborations in the past.

Marketing Director Malea Dau said she is excited about future collaborations with the student-run organization.

Dau, while only having worked at the Englert for a matter of months, has been anticipating Blake's performance over the course of her time at the theater. While she was unfamiliar with the artist when he was initially booked, she has since become a big fan.

"His melismatic vocal lines are very innovative," Dau said. "If he's someone who's not on your radar, he's someone that should be."

Dau said he is only going to continue to get bigger in the United States.

Katie Reynolds, the SCOPE public-relations coordinator is excited of to bring an artist from the UK to Iowa City. She said the opportunity to contract an international artist is very rare for the organization. The student, who considers herself a big fan, is drawn to Blake because of his emotional lyrics and unique sound.

"The next time [Blake] comes over to the U.S., he is very likely to be playing in much larger venues because of his escalating popularity," Reynolds said. "So it is a unique opportunity for Iowa City to see him up close and personal. Everyone should take advantage."

James Blake
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Englert, 221 E. Washington
Admission: $25 to $27

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