Time to watch/stream the slow-burning visualizer for track “Wet + full album, The Don of Diamond Dreams.
The 10-track album, which includes the highlights “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” “Chocolate Souffle,” “Wet,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),” and “Thanking The Girls,” features contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, percussionist Carlos Niño, Knife Knights collaborator OCnotes, saxophonist Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes.
The New Yorker says of the album, “[Shabazz Palaces’] spontaneity and irreverence for rap conventions feel particularly urgent; these experiments are malleable and resistant to form at a time when declarative statements on the current era seem futile. Instead, the group continues bludgeoning musical complacency with songs as equivocal as inkblot tests. “This is high art / I tear the form apart,” Butler raps on “Chocolate Souffle.” He engages in a conversation—albeit an ambiguous one—with contemporary hip-hop on “Wet,” and dives headlong into a puddle of free jazz on “Reg Walks by the Looking Glass.” But the surprise is the uncharacteristically concrete “Thanking the Girls”—an ode to Butler’s daughters that unfolds over a static-filled, beautifully off-kilter.”
The Don of Diamond Dreams was recorded throughout 2019 and produced by Shabazz Palaces at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle, mixed and engineered by Erik Blood with mixing assistance from Andy Kravitz at Studio 4 Labs in Venice, California, and mastered by Scott Sedillo at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles.
Purchases of the LP through megamart.subpop.com and select independent retailers in North America will receive the limited Loser edition on clear vinyl with a silver swirl (while supplies last). All LP orders through the Sub Pop Mega Mart will also receive The Mushroom, a 90-page, 8x8 inch zine from the elusive author TTT, inspired by The Don of Diamond Dreams (the book will also be available for purchase at Shabazz Palaces live shows).
Meanwhile, fans who purchase LP through select independent retailers in the U.K. and Europe will receive the limited Loser edition on sky blue vinyl (also, while supplies last). There will also be a new T-shirt design available.
[Visualizer by Olde Nightrifter]
What people are saying about Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams:
”The Don of Diamond Dreams finds Butler’s effects-treated voice rippling through a prism of mutated funk and R&B that feels simultaneously sumptuous and deeply unconventional.” [8/10] UNCUT
“How many acts release five albums and how many out of that are still as current and relevant as on their debut? Not many. Shabazz Palaces have now joined a rare breed of artists. The Don Of Diamond Dreams is a glorious album that yields more and more with each listen. And listen you need to, because if you don’t you might miss something.” [8/10] - CLASH
“The Don of Diamond Dreams is the most fully realized Shabazz Palaces LP yet—from Butler’s new confidence in his own poetic authority to the way he and multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire create hip-hop songs that never stop experimenting.” [“Album of the Day”] - Bandcamp
“Through this long journey through different states of consciousness and emotion, Shabazz Palaces continue to serve as the intrepid explorers through the eternal form known as music. The don of diamond dreams and gold stitched jeans continues to shine his light on the path for all of us to follow.” - KEXP
“The Don of Diamond Dreams is a brilliant, buoyant work of provocation and invocation from the rapper-writer-producer. Holy, wise, abstract, and contagious, Don is intergalactic hip-hop that burrows as deep down as it does fly high.” - FLOOD Magazine
”The Don of Diamond Dreams prove Shabazz Palaces to be such a fascinating and exciting project in the age of algorithms and formulae.” [“Album of the Week”] The Guardian
“One of contemporary hip hop’s original outsiders” [★★★★] - Q
“The Don of Diamond Dreams…feels warmer and more optimistic…[It] feels imbued with a sense that alternative realities – different ways of telling stories, different mythologies to reflect our true nature – are always within our reach, if only we’re able to fully embrace our own imaginations.” - The Quietus
“Shabazz Palaces have created another exquisite album” - DJ Mag
“Expanding beyond their already broadened horizons, Shabazz Palaces are seemingly unstoppable.” [8/10] - The Line of Best Fit
“On the 10 track project, the Seattle artists continue to showcase their technologically-intertwined take on the experimental realms of rap and hip-hop, spicing up their Afrofuturist aesthetic with melty basslines, eclectic percussion, psychedelic synth pads, and more.” - Hypebeast
“The 10-track project is another futuristic ride through Butler’s otherworldly mind.” - HipHopDX
“Shabazz are at their best when they channel all their ambition into a more tightly-packed album like this one.” [“Notable Releases of the Week”] - Brooklyn Vegan
“[Shabazz Palaces] remain immersed in surrealism, but their atmospheric oddity ends up a splendid fit for today’s hip-hop landscape.” - RIFF Magazine
“The Don’s way of pulling you in is to hypnotize you with far-out jazz pageantry and devotion before cutting you loose to wander through the brilliant, idiosyncratic landscapes they created – and they make it look effortless while doing it.” [★★★★] - Spectrum Culture
“Diamond Dreams is immersive and solidifies Shabazz Palaces’ stature as one of the few hip-hop projects to emerge in the 2010s and create a wholly distinctive genre unto itself. Its intergalactic textures don’t resemble earth, but that’s a welcome escape at a historic moment when earth doesn’t feel particularly inhabitable for humans.” [The Don of Diamond Dreams] - PASTE
“It’s a psychedelic groove, chopped and screwed in the fifth dimension.” [“Fast Learner”] - The FADER
“A woozy and echo-laden lurch that the group recorded with the excellently named Purple Tape Nate…It’s a cool piece of music, a starry-eyed vibe-out, and it’s a strong indicator for how the rest of the album might sound…The track draws stylistic connections between rumbling ’80s electro, broken-up Brainfeeder beat music, and circa-now astral Auto-Tuned drug rap.” [“Fast Learner”] - Stereogum
“Play this loud, really loud. The wooziness really starts to glow with the volume turned way up on headphones or big speakers. It’s great retrofuture background music, good for speeding down the highway in a DeLorean or selling drugs to a fax machine.” [“Fast Learner”] - Washington Square News
“The brilliantly abstract Seattle rap duo returns, with a deep bass intro that spaces out into a more expansive track as Nate’s Auto-Tune support vocals waft astrally, and a simple backbone of a hook threading it all together.” [“Fast Learner”] - City Pages
“With tinges of funk engrained in their intergalactic production, Ishmael Butler vocals stretch through space with a robotic feel.” [“Chocolate Souffle”] - Hot New Hip Hop
“[Shabazz Palaces] have managed to continue Butler’s relentless desire to reimagine what hip hop should and could sound like while boldly proving that they’re the heirs to the astral imaginations of Sun Ra, George Clinton, Octavia Butler and Alice Coltrane.” - Joy of Violent Movement