Blue Sky Black Death
Blue Sky Black Death (abbreviated BSBD) is a production duo based in Seattle, Washington. It consists of Kingston Maguire, better known mononymously as Kingston, and Ian Taggart, better known by his stage name Young God. They are known principally for their hip hop and instrumental music, made with a mixture of live instrumentation and sampling. Their name is "a skydiving phrase alluding to beauty and death."
Everyone experiences pain in life. But there are a precious few who know how to turn it into something truly beautiful.
Growing up in the rougher neighborhoods of Sacramento, music was always a refuge for Terra Lopez. But it wasn’t until a period of quiet isolation in Long Beach after high school that she first began to write and perform her own songs, armed only with a loop pedal, a classical guitar and her haunting voice. Music was no longer just an escape, but a way of processing and sharing her pain with the world.
Around this time, Lopez wrote a letter to a close friend after a night of drinking. When she awoke the next morning, she noticed that she had inexplicably signed the letter “Sister Crayon.” The name seemed to fit perfectly with the new electronically driven songs she would soon develop with Dani Fernandez (beats/programming) and Jeffrey LaTour (keyboards/guitar).
If Sister Crayon’s songs reflect the hurt and melancholy of the human experience, their performances represent the inevitable catharsis. The band’s live show is an explosion of passion and sound, a plea for the audience to unleash their own troubles into the ether.
After releasing their debut album Bellow in February on Manimal Vinyl Records, the band toured relentlessly with acts including The Album Leaf and El Ten Eleven. They will remain on the road for much of 2012 while continuing to work on material for a new album.
Bay Area newcomer Drew Englander, also known as Real Magic, got his start in early 2011 when he recorded “No Things Left,” an experiment in which he layered his somber and heartfelt croon over a whirlwind of grimey electronics and breakneck rhythms. It was to be a jumping off point for Englander, as he continued to delve into the capabilities of his voice and songwriting.
His influences are as numerous as they are diverse, including vocal-harmony masters Simon and Garfunkel, singer/songwriters Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith, composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, and electronic artists Aphex Twin, Burial and Brian Eno.
What distinguishes this singer/producer from his sample-and-effects laden contemporaries is the surprising range and character of his vocals, which are featured prominently in the mix to create a sense of genuine humanity often absent from electronic music. Englander’s melancholy voice sits atop carefully arranged compositions of synthesizers, strings, guitars and twittering drum machines, leading the way through a soundscape that is dark and brooding, yet hopeful and triumphant.
Following his 2011 release with LA’s Heart Music Group, and subsequent features on Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan, Englander has been polishing his frenetic live show, opening for the likes of YACHT and School of Seven Bells, along with performances at festivals such as CMJ, SUNY Purchase’s Fall Fest, Goldrush and Westword Music Showcase. He released his Debut album “Deep Breathing” on March 12, 2013.