We here at Sub Pop are absolutely elated to welcome Seattle MC Porter Ray to the family, who’ll release his label debut in 2015. In the interim, if you’re curious (you really, really should be) you can listen to his just-released Fundamentals mixtape through porterray.bandcamp.com.
Porter Ray has earned praise from outlets in Seattle for his three self-released efforts – BLK GLD LP (May 2013); WHT GLD and RSE GLD
EP’s (October 2013) – and his live performances. The prolific and
ascendant MC caught the attention of Ishmael Butler, Shabazz Palaces’
founder and member of Sub Pop’s A&R team, who brought Ray to the
a related note, Porter Ray will support labelmates Shabazz Palaces
tonight, Friday, August 1st with a hometown show at Neumos. You should come. I’ll be there, say hi.
What other, less biased, people have said about Porter Ray:
“A son of Seattle’s Central District,
Porter Ray namechecks [Ishmael] Butler and revered Seattle MC Infinite
as influences. Appropriately, “5950’s” is 206 from head to toe; named
for a model of New Era baseball cap, it’s described as sporting Mariner
teal throughout Porter’s stunning debut, BLK GLD.
Here, Porter reels off the minutiae of murder, betrayal and narcotic
sales with a poetic eye that recalls vintage Nas, tempered with a numb,
gray-sky detachment (and aided by a sterling verse from Nate Jack) all
over shimmering piano keys, a subdued drum shuffle and quiet-storm rain
effects. In this city — built on, around, and seemingly under water —
it’s even easier than you’d think to get washed, depending on where
you’re standing.” [“5950’s” / Heavy Rotation] - NPR
“Porter’s debut album, BLK GLD,
came out last spring, and it is one of the must-downloads of Seattle
rap music in 2013. It’s an online song bundle that holds together as a
complete musical thought, beats working with the rhymes, to showcase
Porter’s sparkling voice—a light, slangy, and relaxed instrument he
should be thanking the stars he doesn’t have to go to the trouble of
putting on. He has a gift. In conversation, it’s the same voice. That’s
just the way Porter sounds. The highlight of BLK GLD is “Blackberry Kush,” a song that’s trippy and rainy like Seattle, and deep and compassionate like Porter.” - The Stranger
firmly structured flow is more vehicle than destination, its strong,
consistent template allowing space for narrative detail. Production,
handled by a committee of seven beatmakers, plays the billowy
background, propped on lush, emotive soul samples.” [RSE GLD / Album of the Month] - City Arts
08.15 - Portland, OR - Redbull Sound Select/Music Festival Northwest w/ Flatbush Zombies
08.17 - Seattle, WA - 95 Slide Rooftop day party w/ JusMoni, Nate Jack
01 Dice Game Diagrams [Ft. D-Bleeze]
02 Ruthie Dean [Ft. Nate Jack]
03 Corner Bop
05 On the Slick [Nate Jack]
06 Fatal Attractions [Ft. Nate Jack]
10 Woman [Alana Belle Interlude]
11 French Kiss [Ft. Alana Belle]
12 Blackcherry [Ft.Cam The Mac]
13 Mind of a Mack
14 Jewelry [Ft. D-Bleeze]
16 Sunrise [Ft. JusMoni]
17 Meditate [Ft. D-Bleeze]
Lese Majesty, Shabazz Palaces’ mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed follow-up to their 2011 mind-boggling, dizzying, universally-acclaimed debut record, Black Up, is officially available wherever good records are sold. The record is truly an artistic triumph, and we here at Sub Pop couldn’t be more proud to have released it. If you haven’t had a chance to, maybe take the focus track “#Cake” out for a spin with the embedded player, and then pick up a copy of Lese Majesty from us here at Sub Pop, iTunes, Amazon, or your local independent record store.
July 29th is approaching quickly, and if you’re like many of the people who have already pre-ordered Shabazz Palaces new record, Lese Majesty, from us here at Sub Pop, then you’ve already heard the space-bound ride that is the new song “Forerunner Foray”, because we’re giving all pre-orderers of that record a stream of the record in its entirety. But, if you aren’t one of those well-equipped consumers, than this morning’s Gorilla vs. Bear premiere of the Lese Majesty track is your first go around that mind-bending track. So, head on over there, or press play in the handy embed to hear another piece of the Shabazz Palaces masterpiece, Lese Majesty.
Shabazz Palaces 2014 summer tour schedule in support of Lese Majesty now includes a performance at Brooklyn’s AFROPUNK Festival on August 23rd. Find a current list of tour dates below, and then, if you can, find your way to one of those shows, you’ll be happy you did.
Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty, the follow up to the groups universally acclaimed label debut Black Up,
is a sonic mythmap of new black wave and psychedelia, featuring
highlights “They Come In Gold”, “Dawn In Luxor,” “#CAKE,” “Ishmael” and
Lese Majesty is available for preorder from Sub Pop Mega Mart, iTunes, and Amazon
now. The double vinyl version is sheathed within a shark skin-like embossed
jacket and includes a fold-out poster, and an etching on side D. Preorders from Sub Pop
will receive the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the LP on purple vinyl AND a
seven-inch featuring the non-album track “The Palace Slide” b/w “The
Palace Slide (Instrumental)” while supplies last. Again, while supplies last. Order soon is what I’m trying to say.
Jul. 28 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
Jul. 29 - Oakland, CA - The New Parish
Jul. 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
Aug. 21 - Washington, DC - Black Cat*
Aug. 22 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer*
Aug. 23 - Brooklyn, NY - AFROPUNK @ Commodore Barry Park*
Oct. 22-26 - Helsinki, FI - Supermassive Festival
* w/ clipping.
Come July 29th, after a three year hiatus from the massively confident and genre-redefining debut Black Up, Shabazz Palaces are back with what is arguably (or if you work at Sub Pop, inarguably) the most anticipated record of the year, Lese Majesty. The record’s 18 tracks are grouped into seven suites, creating an experience for listeners that is alarmingly interesting while maintaining artistic cohesion. IT’S VERY GOOD IS WHAT WE’RE SAYING. But don’t take our word for it, listen to the lead off track “They Come In Gold”, of which, Gorilla vs. Bear had this to say:
Here’s the long-awaited first track to be unveiled from Shabazz Palaces‘ lush, dizzyingly brilliant new full-length, Lese Majesty. Not necessarily the most representative track on the new record, “They Come in Gold” kicks off with the kind of diamond-hard beat and ominous flow that made Black Up the best album of 2011,
but the comparison with the last record ends there. When taken out of
the context of the new album, only the song’s brighter, prismatic second
half begins to hint at the impossibly deep, singular astral landscape
the group has created on Lese Majesty.
All customers who pre-order the LP version of Lese Majesty will
receive the limited, “Loser Edition” of the album on purple-colored
vinyl. In addition, customers who pre-order will also receive the
following, while supplies last: -A bonus 7-inch featuring the unreleased track ”The Palace Slide” on the the a-side, and an instrumental version on the b-side.* -An instant download of the first single, “They Come in Gold”. -Advance access to stream Lese Majesty in full, 1 month before street date, from your SubPop.com account.
Lese Majesty Tracklisting:
Suite 1: The Phasing Shift
01 Dawn In Luxor
02 Forerunner Foray
03 They Come In Gold
When it comes to listening to the public, we here at Sub Pop like to stick our fingers into our ears and make a really loud humming noise, both literally and metaphorically. But, the recent hue and cry to resurrect our old “People Who Work Here” column has finally become too much for even us to ignore. “People Who Work Here” is, of course, the long-running and even longer-dormant column in which we crawl inside the heads of the weirdos who call Sub Pop HQ home for something like forty hours (give or take—usually take) each week. As the column’s original author is now too busy running our Licensing Department (way to go, Lacey Swain!) to be bothered with this sort of thing, we’ve drafted our new (and former) receptionist to take over as staff interviewer. His name is Derek Erdman and he claims to have a degree in English. You be the judge!
The first subject of the new “People Who Work Here” is, naturally, the newest (and, arguably, most famous) addition to the Sub Pop family, Ishmael Butler. Ish was no stranger to Sub Pop when he accepted the job; he’s also 1/2 of Shabazz Palaces! So far, a number of the ladies (and most likely some dudes, too) in the office have described Ish as “hunky,” and his commanding demeanor has office meetings running much more smoothly. We could go on and on, or you could just read more below.
Derek: Hello, Ish! Wait… I guess I should ask if it’s okay to call you Ish… Is it? Also, do you have any other nicknames? Anything from your childhood, or anything that you didn’t like to be called?
Ish: My friends call me Ish, you can call me Pookie or Carmine until friendship.
D: Did you have a favorite toy as a child? If so, what was it?
I: My favorite toy as a child: cigarettes.
D: What about cartoons, did you watch them as a kid? What did you like? What was your TV like? Mine was a giant wooden thing, it must have weighed 500 lbs.
I: Cartoons, of course, I’m normal. My favorites: all Looney Tunes; Sylvester, Yosemite, Daffy, Bugs, Foghorn. These beings laid the foundation for my philosophical outlook and also of course how I relate to women.
D: What about your first bike? What was it like?
I: I’d love to talk about my first bike but I’m under a sponsorship contract with Alex at 20/20 and I can’t mention any other bike or say the word bicycle.
D: One of my favorite things to know about a person: what is your favorite thing to eat? I’m really particular to Triscuits with cottage cheese on top. Do you have any food combinations that you’re fond of? Are there foods that you really don’t like at all?
I: I like to combine food with hunger, it’s a little something I do.
D: What about pet peeves about other people eating? I don’t mind when people chew with their mouth open, but I’m aware that it bothers some people. I floss my teeth while working at the front desk, does that bother you?
I: I don’t like when people say “sorry” for shit that there is no need to be sorry about. And yes, your flossing bothers us all, bro.
D: Do you remember your very first introduction to music? What was the setting? Who else was involved? Do you still re-visit that music today?
I: My first introduction to music: I was in the 9th grade and my girlfriend was in the 12th grade. She told me to walk her to her friend’s house during lunch. When we got there she had the key and we were the only ones there. She played a song for me that I had not heard until that day. Yes, I revisit that music. I’m going to listen to it when I get home.
D: What about your first introduction to Sub Pop—do you remember that?
I: The first time I came to the offices I chilled in Andy’s [Kotowicz] cube for Hella. He was playing cut after ridiculous cut. His eyes sparkling behind his glasses, talking about songs like I would talk about a girl I love.
D: What did you expect working at Sub Pop to be like?
I: I thought it would be like I had seen Tony K. doing it around town, you know, getting in free to shows, getting twisted backstage, throwing drinks in bouncers’ faces, making a fool of myself and it being ok because “I work at the Sub, bitch.” But there’re all kinds of meetings and shit.
D: How is being an employee at Sub Pop compared to being an artist on the label?
I: I expected working here to be serious and fun.
D: What advice would you give other new employees of Sub Pop? What about the ones that have been here FOREVER?
I: New employees: try to use the bathroom before lunch. Old employees: form a band called Power Trip but spell it PWr tRYp and whisper to the new employees how you should be “singin’ lead, man.”
D: Any advice you have for musicians who’d like to be signed by Sub Pop? How about for people who want to get a job here?
I: If you want to get a job here don’t try sleeping your way to the top. IT DOESNTWORK. You just get a few t-shirts and when they say you’re on the all access list, you’re not.
D: Do you have any ideas for new Sub Pop merchandise? I’ve been thinking Sub Pop shower curtains would be a good idea.
I: Sup Pop stem cell samples from bands!
D: Thanks, Ish! And welcome aboard this sinking (since 1988) ship!