News for Shabazz Palaces

NEWS : WED, MAR 25, 2020 at 6:59 AM

Shabazz Palaces shares “Chocolate Souffle” official video from ‘The Don of Diamond Dreams’

“Chocolate Souffle” is a scorching, electrofunk standout and the second official video from Shabazz Palaces‘ The Don of Diamond Dreams, directed by David Shields and James Nugent (Marshawn Lynch: A History).  The performative visual stars Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler amid a dizzying array of images set to match the songs rapid-fire lyrics, and was compiled by Shields, Nugent, and Butler (who acts as the video’s director of photography). 


 
Recently, Butler sat down with his son Lil Tracy while in Los Angeles for Interview Magazine, where they discussed their lives, their music, and more (read the interview here).


Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams will be available April 17th, 2020 worldwide on Sub Pop. The album is now available for preorder from Sub Pop over here. Preorders 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 preorders 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, LP preorders 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.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, MAR 10, 2020 at 6:57 AM

Watch Shabazz Palaces’ official video for “Fast Learner” from forthcoming LP ‘The Don of Diamond Dreams’

On the star-drenched streets of the Quartz City, the Dancer and the Don float the red beamer towards the diamondest dreams ever known in Shabazz Palaces new video for “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” the lead single from his forthcoming album, The Don of Diamond Dreams. The visual from director Stephan Gray (“Dawn In Luxor,” “Deesse Du Sang”) stars Ishmael Butler and Umaara Elliott, a New York-based professional dancer and an activist (a co-organizer of “Millions March NYC”).


 
Released earlier this month, the “Fast Learner” single saw praise from the likes of Hip Hop DX, who called the track “another futuristic trip.” The FADER concurred, offering this, “It’s a psychedelic groove, chopped and screwed in the fifth dimension.” Meanwhile, Hypebeast had this to say, “a perfect reintroduction to the duo’s Afrofuturistic groove — hazy lo-fi electronica mashes alongside funky instrumentation, allowing for both Ishmael and Nate to rap out their lyrical abstractions.” And Stereogum says, “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.”
 
Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams will be available April 17th, 2020 worldwide on Sub Pop. The 10-track album includes the highlights features “Chocolate Souffle,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),” “Thanking The Girls,” and the aforementioned “Fast Learner,” with additional contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, percussionist Carlos Niño, Knife Knights collaborator OCnotes, saxophonist Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes.


 
The Don of Diamond Dreams is now available for preorder from Sub Pop. Preorders 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 preorders 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, LP preorders 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.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : WED, FEB 26, 2020 at 6:57 AM

New Shabazz Palaces ‘The Don of Diamond Dreams’ available worldwide April 17th - Stream lead track “Fast Learner (Ft. Purple Tape Nate)”

Shabazz Palaces new full-length The Don of Diamond Dreams will be available April 17th, 2020 worldwide on Sub Pop. The 10-track album includes the highlights “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate),” “Chocolate Souffle,” “Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss),” and “Thanking The Girls,” with additional contributions from singer/keyboardist Darrius Willrich, percussionist Carlos Niño, Knife Knights collaborator OCnotes, saxophonist Carlos Overall, and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes.

Stream the lead track “Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate)” here now.

Shabazz Palaces will tour extensively in 2020 in support of The Don of Diamond Dreams. Live dates will be announced soon.

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.


 
The Don of Diamond Dreams is now available for preorder from Sub Pop.
 
Preorders 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 preorders 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).


[Pictured above: The Mushroom zine]

Meanwhile, LP preorders 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.


Shabazz Palaces
The Don of Diamond Dreams
Tracklisting:
1. Portal North: Panthera
2. Ad Ventures
3. Fast Learner (ft. Purple Tape Nate)
4. Wet
5. Chocolate Souffle
6. Portal South: Micah
7. Bad Bitch Walking (ft. Stas THEE Boss)
8. Money Yoga (ft. Darrius)
9. Thanking The Girls
10. Reg Walks By The Looking Glass (ft. Carlos Overall)


[Photo Credit: Patrick O’Brien-Smith]

About Shabazz Palaces The Don of Diamond Dreams:
Cruise the city in a night ship, dressed to kill in the Seville. Float down waterfalls and fountains, reclined on some pimp shit. The time zone ghost returns to paint a picture that echoes through infinity. The sun is put to rest, the soliloquy is killer bee. A diamond purpose lying beneath the surface. Nothing is ever what it seems, but forever is the theme. It’s time. Shabazz Palaces are back with yet another classic of divine mathematics design. More dazzling Afrofuturist sutras to illuminate distant constellations with sacred abstractions. Enter The Don of Diamond Dreams, raw and uncut, but glowing with 10,000 karat shine.
 
If you adhere to the corporeal limitations of space and chronology, it’s been roughly a decade since Shabazz Palaces first shook the ramparts with their debut stylistic revolution, Black Up – which Pitchfork named as one of the Best of the 2010s, hailing it as an “album of impossible vision.” But the project masterminded by vocalist and producer Ishmael Butler has never conformed to gravitational consideration or terrestrial measurement. They are heirs to the astral imagination of Sun Ra and George Clinton, Octavia Butler and Alice Coltrane. If they technically claim residence in Seattle, their sound emanates much closer to Alpha Centauri than Alki Beach.
 
In his unstinting drive to reimagine hip-hop, Butler remains one of the preeminent visionaries of the last quarter-century. His first album with Digable Planets, Reachin (A New Refutation of Time and Space), nodded at Miles Davis in the first half of its title, but 27 years later, he has become one of the most vaunted inheritors of the trumpet deity’s rarefied legacy – still innovating as he enters his fourth decade as a working musician – splintering, rebuilding, and expanding the possibilities of sound. He has collaborated with like-minded visionaries Flying Lotus and Thundercat, Battles and Animal Collective. While all-timers like Radiohead and Lauryn Hill have invited him to join them on tour.
 
It remains impossible to accurately describe a Shabazz Palaces album without lapsing into cosmic tropes. Yet sometimes clichés are stand-ins for eternal truths. Therein, The Don of Diamond Dreams embodies a futuristic manifestation of ancient myth, full of robotic vocoder and warped auto-tune, Funkadelic refracted into different dimensions, weird portals and warm nocturnal joy rides alongside the coast (a reflection of it being mixed near the beach in California). The synthesizers are alien but the drums speak a universal language. It is hip-hop, dub, jazz, R&B, soul, funk, African, experimental, and occasionally even pop. But over the course of five albums, Shabazz Palaces have conceived the fluid boundaries of their own one-band genre.
 
Even though the construction of the album is meticulous, it’s a startling masterpiece of improvisation and instinct. It’s both cerebral and automatic, with Butler jotting down phrases and ideas in his phone and eventually shaping them into amorphous abstract expressionist canvasses. If anything, their latest illustrates Butler’s gift for being a conduit of sounds and experience. It’s partially shaped by his own reflection on being a parent and watching his son, Jazz, become internationally renowned as the artist, Lil Tracy. If you listen closely, you can hear the interplay between father and son, as Butler does what is impossible for most veteran artists: he absorbs the sounds of today’s youth, but filters it through his own fractured lens, spitting back convex poems with wild cadences, freestyling with the wisdom of age and the frenetic passion of someone still trying to show and prove. It’s confident and suffused with the thing that defines almost all great art: the willingness to risk attempting something new.
 
There is “Ad Ventures,” a shout out to Butler’s crew, The Black Constellation. The beat operates like a melodic free jazz hymn, with Ish boasting about Ethiopian carats and watching lakes from a theological terrace. It’s an imagistic rendering of their tours through Europe in sprinter vans, blitzing from place to place and absorbing every detail. Featuring Purple Tape Nate, “Fast Learner” offers odd splendor, spoken word reveries and flexes that wriggle through a wrinkle in time. The synthesizers sound like New Age from the 37th century crossed with 90s R&B, the drums are slow and seething. On top of that, Butler laid a guitar line down and auto-tune harmonies that instantiate the feeling of driving along PCH at night.
 
“Wet” is a freestyle of sorts with Ish offering his own twist on contemporary rap cadences but making it sound like an underwater Atlantis symphony. There are Based God shoutouts and fuzzy guitars that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Ariel Pink album. “Chocolate Souffle” is some god-level shit-talking in the way that only Butler could do: replete with Maurice Chevalier allusions and admissions of being an “elitist at the zenith of slick demeanor.” While “Thanking the Girls” might be the most poignant song in the Shabazz catalog, a song that acknowledges the myriad positive ways in which women have shaped Butler’s life. The second verse is dedicated to his two daughters and the pride which they engender. Of course, this is a Shabazz Palaces song so the beat sounds like a riff on Panda Bear distilled through a bent futuristic boom-bap prism.
 
In some respects, it’s difficult to consider the possibility that this might be the best Shabazz Palaces album yet. Very few musicians have ever peaked in their fifth decade on earth, but whoever said they were actually from earth? It’s wrong to say that Shabazz Palaces have gone beyond the looking glass. This time they’ve shattered it entirely and created a brilliant new universe in each one of the shards.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, NOV 5, 2019 at 6:58 AM

Hear Clipping’s “Aquacode Databreaks” (feat. Shabazz Palaces) a New Track From “The Deep,” The Group’s Forthcoming 12” Single

You can now hear Clipping’s “Aquacode Databreaks” (feat. Shabazz Palaces), a new track from the group’s forthcoming single “The Deep,” available on DL/12” vinyl worldwide on Friday, November 29th through Sub Pop. Listen via YouTube - Spotify - Apple Music - Bandcamp

Both the vinyl and digital versions include two unreleased extra tracks (the aforementioned “Aquacode Databreaks,” and “Drownt”), while the vinyl edition also includes instrumental versions of all three tracks.

Clipping’s “The Deep” is a dark sci-fi tale about the underwater-dwelling descendants of African women thrown off slave ships and based on the mythology of Detroit electronic group Drexciya. 

The song was originally commissioned for a This American Life episode about Afrofuturism in 2017. “The Deep” also earned Clipping a nomination for a 2018 Hugo award, and the band constructed a sound installation based on “The Deep” at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

The 12” single comes on the heels of the November 5th release of The Deep, a novella by the two-time Astounding (formerly John W. Campbell) Award-nominated author Rivers Solomon (with Clipping credited as co-authors) inspired by the title track and published by Saga Press.


Clipping
“The Deep” 12” single

Tracklisting:
1. The Deep
2. Aquacode Databreaks (feat. Shabazz Palaces)
3. Drownt
4. The Deep (Instrumental)*
5. Aquacode Databreaks (Instrumental)*
6. Drownt (Instrumental)*
*vinyl-only

In further exciting news, Clipping also graces the cover of the forthcoming December issue of The Wire.


Clipping’s There Existed an Addiction to Bloodthe group’s acclaimed new album, is out now on CD, 2xLP, cassette, and a 2xLP Deluxe Limited “Lamestain” Edition from Sub Pop. The blood-splattered “Lamestain” edition is sold out online, and will only be available at select independent record stores, and via the band’s merch table at shows (while supplies last). Clipping will perform at the Adult Swim Festival on November 16th in Los Angeles. Additional live dates to be announced soon.


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, OCT 15, 2019 at 6:57 AM

Watch Knife Knights’ Psychedelic New Video for “Drag Race Legend” from ‘1 Time Mirage’

Knife Knights perform in Seattle on Wednesday, October 16th at Earshot Jazz Festival (at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute).

Today, Knife Knights (The Palaceer aka Ishmael Butler, Erik Blood, OCnotes and Marquetta Miller) share a dizzying new visual for “Drag Race Legend,” a psychedelic tale of wasted youth, directed by Joshua M. Johnson. The young man has a penchant for street racing, skipping school and getting high. He proclaims himself a legend, drinks spodie and parties with dorks like Billy Parker.”  




1 Time Mirage is out now on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the aforementioned “Drag Race Legend,” with additional highlights “My Dreams Never Sleep”  “Give You Game,” “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” and “Low Key,” and was as produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  1 Time Mirage includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich.


1 Time Mirage orders through megamart.subpop.comselect independent retailers and Knife Knights shows will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


What “The People” have said about Knife Knights 1 Time Mirage:
“[A] spellbinding fusion of rap, blessed funk, and tough soul” - London in Stereo
 
“The result is an album of eminently listenable sonic frontierism, and Butler’s most accessible work in years.” [4/5] - MOJO
 
 “[A] suite of sci-fi cosmic hip-hop that takes myriad turns and twists, none of them predictable, all of them compelling.”  - The Wire
 
“Like Butler’s frequent collaborator Flying Lotus, Knife Knights create a rich, fibrous world around each of the tracks on 1 Time Mirage. This is an album whose air you can breathe, whose fragrant musk seeps from each detail. Its production has an insomniac energy, oddly tranquil and unsettled at the same time, each dab of reverb and tickling delay sending ripples through the fug of warped beats and sardonic rhymes.”  [8/10] - Loud & Quiet
 
“1 Time Mirage leapfrogs across several different genres and subgenres, pulling hip-hop, psychedelic soul, and shoegaze into an 11-track set of chaotic noise. Between the woozy bounce of “Seven Wheel Motion,” the house-inflected stomp of “Can’t Draw The Line,” and the hazy pop of “Come On Let’s Go,” the album is easily as esoteric as anything created by Shabazz Palaces; but the music here feels lusher and more sophisticated.” - Bandcamp Daily


Posted by Rachel White

NEWS : TUE, AUG 27, 2019 at 6:57 AM

Watch The Fantastical New Knife Knights Video For “Seven Wheel Motion” Directed by Marcy Stone Francois

“In the towers way up high in the sky do or die you should try birds-eye who’s inside…” 

- from Knife Knights “Seven Wheel Motion” 

Today, Knife Knights are sharing a hallucinatory new visual for “Seven Wheel Motion,” from 1 Time Mirage, directed by Marcy Stone Francois (Tacocat, Lisa Prank, Wimps).  

In “Seven Wheel Motion” colossal drums puncture walls of labyrinthine noise sculpted from deranged synthesizers and mutated guitars, yielding an absolute powerhouse of a track. Butler seems to rap in dialogue with himself, detailing a threatening streetscape and shaping the experience into personal realizations. 




In the “Seven Wheel Motion” visual, the song soundtracks the fantastical “Twin Queen Tryst” short film. Set in an alien landscape, a queen (played by Rhonda Faison of Shabazz Palaces “Déesse Du Sang” video) sends her royal subject (played by The Palaceer) on a quest for a magical jewel. Along the way, he encounters a mystical being (played by OCnotes) who helps the subject with his quest to return the jewel to the queen. This wild new video also features scene art by Olde Nightrifter and cinematography from Futsum Tsegai. 

Knife Knights (The Palaceer aka Ishmael Butler, Erik Blood, OCnotes and Marquetta Miller) have a scheduled performance in Seattle on Wednesday, October 16th at Earshot Jazz Festival (at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute).


[Photo Credit: Justin Henning]

1 Time Mirage is out now on CD/LP/DL/CS worldwide from Sub Pop. The long-player features the highlights the aforementioned “My Dreams Never Sleep” along with “Give You Game,” “Seven Wheel Motion,” “Light Up Ahead (Time Mirage)” and “Low Key,” and was as produced by Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood at Protect and Exalt: A Black Space in Seattle.  1 Time Mirage includes guest appearances from labelmates Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray, along with Stas THEE Boss, OCnotes, Thaddillac, El Mizell, Marquetta Miller, Gerald Turner, and Darrius Willrich.


1 Time Mirage orders through megamart.subpop.com, select independent retailers and Knife Knights shows will receive the limited Loser edition on blue vinyl (while supplies last). The album cover also features gorgeous artwork from Robert Beatty.


Posted by Rachel White