Blue Sky Black Death have already proved adept at their production for artists such as Holocaust and Hell Razah with the former being a high point of underground albums last year. With their new album, Late Night Cinema, they explore instrumentals without the anchor of a steady voice. Late Night Cinema is their latest attempt to create a full album based only on their own beatmaking musical prowess.
The album begins with two long tracks, the 6 minute “The Era When We Sang” followed by the almost 7 minute “Lord of Our Voice”. The first track kicks off the album as a dark, rain soaked evening, as the song continually evolves with a pulsating horn sample and some arching strings. It’s easily an album highlight, however “Lord of Our Voice” follows with what sounds like an almost endlessly looping number. Not that the song is bad, but it goes on for what feels like almost twice as long as necessarily and doesn’t have the input as the first song.
Late Night Cinema continues with slow and long dirges, but does begin to add a few voices to the proceedings. “Shoot You Dead” features the peaceful singing of a female vocalist over the part of the song that gives the song an addition of emotion. But once again, the song seems to go on without any real direction.
Towards the end of the album, it begins to pull you back in starting with “Different Hours”. This song starts slow and begins to add layers – everything from some mild tempo piano to some strings, to what sounds like the ever so brief electric guitar. Eventually some folk harmonica begins to emerge and it really shows what Blue Sky Black Death are capable of. This song was one of the few that seemed to have almost more left in it before it was over.
Where most albums get slower and darker towards the end, Late Night Cinema almost sounds as though as the album progresses, the clouds clear and sun begins to shine. With a title like “All The News Is Bad Again”, you would assume it to be a dark song, but it picks up and becomes relaxing and yet uplifting as once again they build and lift to a cohesive picture of instruments fighting it out amongst themselves.
One could take “Legacy to Fuel” with its solid downbeat on the opening of every measure as their signoff to continue to build - more beats, more albums - whatever they have on their plates. While Late Night Cinema isn’t perfect, it shows the continued promise of some of the best virtually unknown beatmakers around right now and its likely that more dope collaborative LP’s will come out of this. – Dane Johnson
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