January 28, 2015

88

Will Hagle is still spending money from ’88

Just one day removed from Stoned & Dethroned,  Blue Sky Black Death’s fourth collaborative Nacho Picasso LP, Kingston released Sirens, an 11-song album of instrumentals under the name 88 Ultra. It’s the producer’s first solo album, but it is recognizably rooted in the same Seattle cloudiness that the BSBD-the-duo has so graciously been pouring upon us for the past several years. Young God gets co-production credits on “Higher Than You” and provides vocals on closing track “Spells,” and frequent BSBD collaborators like Child Actor make multiple appearances. The beats are as big and explosive as the balls on Pete Carroll, but probably a bit dreamier than the image that that conjures.

Without using a literal voice, it’s difficult to find a figurative one. With Sirens, 88 Ultra has both established his own voice and pointed towards its presence in the rest of BSBD’s catalogue: the airiness of Washed Out under drums like Lex Luger, all of it soaked in reverb. Hearing one half of a great duo inevitably brings a new perspective to the collaborative work that preceded it, but the main revelation here is that Kingston is just as good at achieving the versatile sort of consistency he and Young God repeatedly reach together.

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