Ryan Maguire, one half of production duo Blue Sky Black Death, has embarked on a variety of other projects lately, recording solo as 88 Ultra, and providing likeminded artists a label to call home in the form of Ultra Glacial Records. After releasing the Sirens LP at the beginning of the year, and The Witchtape with Nacho Picasso a few months later, he's returned again with Para Bellum, a collaborative album with producer No Merci. Ultra Glacial's roster is bound together by their unique sound, a combination of melodic ambience, pop, and chopped-and-screwed hip-hop that they fittingly describe as "glacial." The artists, many of which are from the Seattle area, all collaborate frequently, and Para Bellum is no exception, featuring contributions from Child Actor, Noah23, Zoë Wick, and I Am Snow Angel.
Maguire even took the time to make EARMILK an Ultra Glacial showcase mix, featuring the best moments from 88 Ultra and the label's underground talents. Things get off to an impressive start with Qreepz and Yes Alexander's track "Wednesday," before touching on Sirens highlights like "Higher Than You Know" and a remix of "Oceans." Little-known artists like PRFCT Storm, KID SMPL, and Furnace of Stars make memorable appearances throughout the one-hour mix. This "glacial" sound that Blue Sky Black Death pioneered is like a vast, unexplored wilderness, and it's endless fun to hear this group of artists explore it, with 88 Ultra leading the way. Check out the Sky High mixtape below, and head over to Ultra Glacial's Soundcloud to hear Para Bellum.
'88 Ultra Presents: Sky High' [EARMILK Exclusive Mix]
- Ultra Glacial Records