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Third Party

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Album Review

The production team of Ian Taggart and Kingston Maguire is known mostly in musicians' circles as the beat-crafters responsible for backing tracks used by the likes of Holocaust, Hell Razah, and various members of Wu Tang Clan, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Non Phixion. When they step out on their own, they record under the name Blue Sky Black Death, and their third album finds them collaborating with singer and songwriter Alexander Chen (Boy in Static, the Consulate General). The result is a truly unique sound made up of absolutely non-unique elements. The songs are desultory but strangely attractive; the singing is cold and lackluster, but oddly comforting. The overall sound is something like '80s synth pop with the turntable set at too low a speed, and it's weird and dreamy and pretty and just slightly annoying all at the same time. Highlights include the rather dubstep-ish "Carl Sagan," the glitches-and-Casiotone ballad "Absentee," and the nicely harmonized "Institution." Everywhere the sound of cheap analog keyboards and toy rhythm machines dominates, but Taggart and Maguire make them sound more than just kitschy and cute; they reclaim these outdated sounds and use them to create something that is really quite new and, if not exciting (the singing is too enervated for that), at least deeply satisfying.

Customer Reviews

Another great album

I liked this album the first time I listened to it and each subsequent time I love it more and more.

Innovative dreamy album from BSBD

After listening to this, I immediately thought of BSBD's album, "Slow Burning Lights." Much like it, it features atmospheric/dreamy production, with a low-key singer on the vocals, and both measured 10 tracks. The main difference between the two is that this one features a guy (Alexander Chen) while SBL featured a woman (Yes Alexander). And like Alexander, Chen never does too much, but does just enough to accent BSBD's rich production. Also, this one is slightly more electro, with more of an uplifting feel to it, while SBL was a tad darker.

Either way, if you enjoyed "Slow Burning Lights," you will definitely enjoy this. If you're looking for the darker rap side of BSBD, this may not be your cup of tea. I definitely felt this one.

Is this an unreleased Depeche Mode album from 1988?

I feel like I should have stumbled onto this album while rummaging through a bin of used 80's CD's at my local record store and basking in the fact that no one who listens to modern music will ever truly understand its beautifully constructed songs. Well, done, gentlemen, well done.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Each a respected producer in his own right, Kingston and Young God joined forces when they decided to create the group Blue Sky Black Death. After they signed to Mush Records in 2005, the duo set to work on making their first record. A Heap of Broken Images, a two-disc album divided into an instrumental set and one featuring guest appearances from MCs like Guru, Sabac Red, AWOL One, Jus Allah, and Chief Kamachi, came out in June 2006, while Blue Sky Black Death Presents...
Full Bio
Third Party, Blue Sky Black Death
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Customer Ratings