During their decade of existence, Blue Sky Black Death, if only for a moment, made it feel like everything was in its right place, and sometimes even convinced you that maybe, in some strange unknowable way, that everything is. They embraced the stark poetry of duality and through their cinematic soundscapes, took you on a journey through every color of the emotional spectrum.
Although the production duo was officially laid to “eternal rest” in 2016, the Blue Sky Black Death sound continues to endure, and not just endure, but thrive through Young God, now reborn as Televangel. While Emergency Heart does inevitably skirt on the fringes of past glory, it also leans toward a more futuristic ambiguous sound that sets it apart from anything else in the catalogue. Compared to the story-like feel of the debut Anthropocene Blues, the general vibe is more playful, dynamic and divergent this time around, the giddiness of a producer’s newfound creative control clearly in the air throughout.
The restless energy of first track “Emergency Heart” feels like an electric limbo of indecision after being faced with an overwhelming choice of directions after walking down the same road for so long. The central melody of “Framed In A doorway” sounds like cosmic morse code being sent out to space, with the thumping bassline and drifting, icy vocals of Lotte Kestner further seducing aliens to the artistic delights contained within the biosphere. After the lush drum blitz of “Spectacle,” and the spaced-out choppy rapture of “Fictions,” “If There Were Ever Gods” dives full on into sweeping sepia-tinted Noir nostalgia. Faded violins and grainy drums carry the sense of drama generated from the intro as it eventually diverts into something more chic, cyclic and cerebral.
Arguably the standout of the record, at nearly five minutes “Panglossian” (the view that this world is the best of worlds) is a scattering of disjointed samples, starry jingles and neon synth strokes bridged together by wavy ambient interludes. In the midst of those spaces are two recurring lost voices that’s distant echoes snap your focus back to the present, acting like pins holding silk up on the mantelpiece less it slips off and takes you away with it.
The seven tracks on Emergency Heart are the kaleidoscopic memoirs of a veteran of many scenes, and the beginning of Televangel organically allowing his influences and experience to coalesce and challenge the creative parameters subconsciously set over the years. At 30 minutes Emergency Heart feels like a mini album in its own right, and while it does inherit moods and ideas, it doesn’t pick up where Anthropocene Blues left off. It is a snapshot from a different lens. A fleeting feeling, not coherent enough to weave into a full-length narrative, but still a quirky and upbeat short film worthy of remembrance. Its perfect daydream electronica to soundtrack the end of summer with, and an exciting new step in a legacy that’s impact in hip-hop, indie and electronic music can’t be overlooked.
Final score: 7.5/10
You can pick up Emergency Heart here.