FOLLOWING IS A TRANSMISSION FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMURDERCA ALREADY IN
LANGUAGE. WE TALK WITH GUNS. GUNS KEEP US SAFE.
DONT IMAGINE PAST THE IMAGE. PLEASE. YOU KNOW US.
KILLED LOVE WE KILLED MONEY WE KILLED PRINCE WE KILLED SHAME
KILLED HOPE WE KILLED SEX WE KILLED PRIDE WE KILLED STYLE
KILLED IMAGINATION WE KILLED FRESH WE KILLED THE GAME
KILLED AIR WE KILLED DOPE WE KILLED DEATH
Quazarz came to the Earth from somewhere
else, a musical ambassador from his place to ours. Somehow, through fire or
through fury, the Palaceer of Shabazz Palaces caught wind of the tale, and it
is through his prism that we hear the story.
The beach was there, and Atlaantiis, and
chemical alterations and cell memories and Andre Norton, Richard K. Morgan, and
always Octavia Butler. There were killings and there were votes, and brutality
in both. There was sound and there were other worlds, and there was a vastness
so participation sometimes came only at the edges. And the Palaceer coasted
down with the alien notion, like Quazarz, and so became.
On Quazarz when they look at this place
here they see the inhabitants, the humans, but they don’t assess as we do. And
so when Quazarz was sent he was sent to meet a cat with vibration, a creative
and courageous, caring, compassionate dude that stood out. The dude was a drug
dealer, but that was neither here nor there, until his dealings squashed the
rendezvous, leaving our alien alone to figure out what this place is really all
Coming from, as we all used to, a simpler
less complicated more essential innocent place, the hero could not make heads
nor tails of most advancements. From an aerial view, he saw that a good
percentage of earthly vibrations were on very small squares and it became his
belief that this world was very disposable and the spans short. His opinion was
not of anything good nor bad but simply the truth.
The machines—he noted—though at the
behest of their master’s voice, are scorned, and jealous as all hell.
And so the tale is told while surfing on
the board of Shabazz Palaces, with its sturdy sort of base angled for takeoff
on a new trajectory. There is new blood and space and room to be different and
have different assets and different art and different ways to talk and also
open up some space inside to do something new. There are pages and there are
drawings, and color and faces and inked dialogues written in ancient futuristic
hieroglyph. There are scales and there is melody and there are Sunny days and
there is Darkness, but that—it should
be noted—to the Palaceer is not a lack of illumination or brightness. Maybe it
is dark, but in it is always optimism and joy, a bright darkness and a full,
hopeful one as well.
It comes in gold, and it comes for the
night. And so Quazarz sang the Jealous Machines. And so too did the Jealous
Machines sing the Gangster Star.
…speaking of air and darkness, Born on a Gangster Star came into the
world in a big damn hurry, like nightfall on an island. You can see it
happening, but then again it’s so gradual that the next thing you know—it’s
Imbued with the energy and ideas from all
the creative embers floating in the atmosphere like fireflies, Shabazz Palaces
recorded this entire album over the course of two weeks with Blood in Seattle.
New gear and new equipment disintegrated comfort zones into dust and a new path
appeared in the ashes.
Herein the Palaceer continues the tale of
Quazars, a sentient being from somewhere else, an observer sent here to
Amurderca to chronicle and explore as a musical emissary. What he finds in our
world is a cutthroat place, a landscape where someone like him could never
quite feel comfortable amidst all the brutality and alternative facts and death
masquerading as connectivity.
Inspired by days on end spent in the
waves—water and light, both—of Southern California, the work came to the
Palaceer in a flash, like being picked up by something and carried. Always
dribbling with his head up, he can see what’s going on around him and react to
it, rather than starting in a certain direction and hoping to achieve something
What’s good?—the kids ask. What does it
even mean, and what does it even matter? Who is behind these choices? We are
all of us sitting under a waterfall of all.
this. shit. but it’s the excess that is casting us into ruts.
The Palaceer stays away from the fleeting
and the superficial nonessential. Stay away from your device—your phantom
limb—and stay away from your image—your phantom self; that is his decree.
Considering the motions behind the things you like to consume artistically,
rather than just the way something looks or sounds, and thinking in layers, and
trying to be more considerate and not so self-oriented—this is his medicine for
on a Gangster Star flirts with a pop
sensibility, but through the prism of Shabazz Palaces’s fire and fury. For the
Palaceer, that sense is all about how the groove is moving, and the
supernatural telepathy that occurs amongst his cohort. Appearing here, in body or in spirit, are Thundercat, Darrius
Willrich, Gamble and Huff, Loud Eyes Lou, Fly Guy Dai, Stu Levine & The
Jennings Sisters, Thaddillac, Ahmir, Jon Kirby, Sunny Levine, and Blood. The
story belongs to Quazarz, but the air and darkness belong to us.
And so we shine a light on the fake.