|MH-243 Blue Sky Black Death - A Heap Of Broken Images
Blue Sky Black Death step on the scene with their double CD debut, A Heap Of Broken Images. Comprised of producers Kingston and Young God, this San Francisco tandem explores the nether regions of hip-hop, meshing dark samples, vocal snippets and live intrumentation into an album that holds its mood from start to finish. The first CD consists entirely of dense instrumental music, while the second is structured around guest MCs. Jus Allah, Wise Intelligent (Poor Righteous Teachers), Sabac Red (Non-Phixion), Guru (Gang Starr), Chief Kamachi, A-Plus and Pep Love (Hieroglyphics), Rob Sonic, Virtuoso, Mikah-9 (Freestyle Fellowship), Awol One, and Holocaust (Wu-Tang) all appear. This deep line up of collaborations spans the spectrum of hip-hop sound with stirring cohesion.
|Pure, unadulterated hip-hop fire - Vapors / Screams quality all throughout - Word / Stunning - Mean Street / Recommended! - Boomkat / The music is so intriguing it's impossible to stop listenining - All Music Guide / If you need something new and fresh in your life you may have just found it - UK Hip-Hop
|San Francisco-based producer Kingston has cultivated a considerable reputation over the past couple of years with his work on albums by Boston’s Virtuoso, Jus Allah and Chief Kamanchi and A Heap Of Broken Images represents his first release alongside fellow Bay Area native Young God as Blue Sky Black Death. This debut release comes across more as two albums in one, the first disc devoted entirely to brooding instrumental hiphop in the vein of DJ Shadow and Blockhead, while the second represents the MC-led half of the equation, with Gangstarr’s Guru, Rob Sonic and Freestyle Fellowship’s Mikah-9 making appearances amongst a stellar lyrical cast. From the moment the first instrumental disc unfurls with the pensive spoken samples and rolling downbeat groove of "Skies Open," lush strings uncoiling into the distance as majestic jazz horns and slow snares trail through space, there are bound to more than a few comparisons made with the likes of Downtown Science-period Blockhead and a certain Mr. Josh Davis. In this case however, the level of meticulous attention to detail and a tenacious grasp of the bigger emotional picture result in an evocative collection that easily stands on its own, regardless of the reference points. With elements veering from slowburning post-rock and Southern-tinged blues often rearing their heads amidst hiphop production on the same track (as in the case of the swooning "Days Are Years"); there’s certainly a huge instrumental palette on display here, but one that consistently comes across as heartfelt and never forced. In truth, the first disc alone would on its own easily make my albums of the year list, but the second MC-dominated half provides the perfect flipside of the coin, matching its sibling’s deep introspection with braggadocious flows and a deft grasp of the boom-bap. Inspired is the word here. - Cyclic Defrost