Showing posts with label shabazz palaces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shabazz palaces. Show all posts

Monday, August 4, 2014

video review: 'lese majesty' by shabazz palaces

Yeah, I know it's late, but I needed more listens to fully digest this record, it just took a lot of time.

Also, I'm quite happy with how my new lighting setup turned out. Probably will have to get used to staring into such an illuminated set, but that's an easy enough adjustment.

Next up, Neon Jungle, because it'll take a bit of time before I'm ready to tackle Spoon, so stay tuned!

album review: 'lese majesty' by shabazz palaces

Let's talk a little about Sub Pop. Most prominently known for jumpstarting the grunge movement thanks to signing Soundgarden and Nirvana, they've also signed Sonic Youth, The Postal Service, Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Sleater-Kinney, The Shins, and all manner of indie rock bands that have earned considerable critical acclaim over the past few years. In other words, like Top Dawg Entertainment, they're a label that critics tend to keep an eye on.

But over the past few years, Sub Pop has started doing something a little unusual - signing hip-hop groups, mostly on the experimental, noisy, abrasive side of the genre. One of these groups I've talked about before, Clipping, who dropped one of my favourite hip-hop records of this year in terms of its noisy yet very accessible sound and thought-provoking lyrics. The other group, however, I have a slightly more complicated relationship with, and it's also an act I have a very hard time making heads or tails of every time I listen to their records.

Yep, I'm talking about Shabazz Palaces, who first burst onto the scene with a pair of critically acclaimed EPs before dropping the absolutely fascinating record Black Up, an album I think I appreciate a lot more than I like. The album is layered, excellently produced, and features some thought-provoking and intelligent lyrics and themes about a different paradigm in which to approach rap music. At the same time, I couldn't really call myself a fan of the record: while I loved the jazz-fusion with noisy, off-kilter rhythms and psychedelia across the album, MC Ishmael Butler aka Palaceer Lazaro didn't really impress me with his flow or energy, and I found the free-association lyrics didn't always stick the landing as effectively as they could, no matter how much desperate extrapolation was pulled from RapGenius. 

So I was curious to take a look at their newest album, Lese Majesty, especially given that there's is little-to-no critical consensus on this record across the Internet. How did it turn out?