Sunday, April 29, 2012

tune! elias rahbabi's levantine psychedelia (1974)

psych-e-delic and fat

some funky funky beats from lebanon circa 1974. elias rahbani!

Friday, April 27, 2012

tune: lovebug starski's "say what you wanna say"

1986. would love to know who produced. still ahead of its time. what greater compliment or adjective can i use to describe this revolutionary music other than...
hip hop

sartorial peek into the palaces

[via sabouha binti]

wow, what a cool idea. mtv hive talking and interviewing all about ish and tendai's style, and highlighting their tour wardrobe's plushest exhibits. that iphone case is something else- i noticed it when we met in birmingham... it looks like a solid gold bullion from the back and would definitely survive being thrown off a skyscraper (if anyone knows where to get one pls email me at eaglessoaroilflows at gmail) and the shabazz palaces sweatchirts?! i want one. they're made by tarboo, who i'm about to harass. click below to read (highly recommended):

Shabazz Palaces Combat Homogenized Hip-Hop Style by Marissa G Muller (MTV Hive)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

musicians and their masks

[via untitled]

seattleite andrew matson writes for npr on this subject, including on shabazz and words from maikoyo alley-barnes.

check it out here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

pitchfork video

is it just me or is the resolution quality of this video more vivid than real life?!

Monday, April 23, 2012

small talk with ishmael butler

(photo: Afghan Hackmanite Winchite Shown phosphorescing after exposure to UV light. from watanafghanistan via some minerals website.)

this is from acclaim mag back in january when shabazz palaces were touring down under. where women glow and men plunder. man i can't get enough of the poetry. check this out:
"By night I… exe(o)rcise my desires." well it's obvious what "exercise my desires" refers to, but "exorcise my desires" seems to refer to releasing all the music and art trapped in, as if the songs were demons that needed to literally be exorcised! that's genius, and the whole interview is very fantastick. it's funny that an irreverent little interview like this can be ten times cooler and wittier and funner than the usual boring effort. also it's cool how he talks on the prophecy of his name, which is one of the reasons i called this site "ishmaelites" and is really interesting. another time for that tale...


My name is…. what it is has always been.

By day I… live out the prophecy of my name.

By night I…. exe(o)rcise my desires.

My favourite TV show is…
Family Guy in the first two years after I discovered it.

The last movie I watched was… Tactical Advantage.

The first CD I ever bought was… on sale.

The last was…. Mellonchollie and the Infinite Sadness.

If I wasn’t making music I would probably be… doing it anyway.

I’m addicted to…. her (awet’s) touch.

The best thing about the States is… NFL and NBA.

The worst thing about the States is… Republicans.

When I get to Australia I can’t wait to…
check into my room and shower then leave and get it poppin.

The last time I was in Australia I… wasn’t alive in this incarnation.

When I tour I like to…
tell people I’m a rich diamond merchant in country on a deal.

The last thing I ate was…
a squirrel I caught up the street from my house.

My fave youtube vid is…

My computer’s wallpaper is… peeling.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

live show review from philly

image via stmruss

read original here or read on:


Ten Things We Saw and Learned at the Shabazz Palaces Show Last Night

By Beth Stollman

Many things happened in the world last night. For example, ten thousand freelance writers blew their brains out after submitting their taxes. We didn’t do that. We were at the Shabazz Palaces concert at The Blockley. A band opened for the Seattle rap project, but we don’t know who that band was. And there was a headlining band, but their name is too complicated for us to write this early in the morning. Here are 10 things we saw, heard and learned.

1. Philadelphian King Britt, who used to DJ for Shabazz boss Ishmael Butler a.k.a. Butterfly’s old group Digable Planets, was DJing when we walked in at about 9:30pm. He was kicking a Stereolab tune.

2. Make Major Moves ain’t a gossip rag, but there were some local music celebs in the building. We spotted South Philly rapper Lushlife, and Butler’s Digable Planets comrade Cee Knowledge a.k.a. Doodlebug. (We were hoping for an on-stage reunion, but that didn’t happen.) We also spotted some members of a very prestigious Philly rock band, but we don’t want to blow their covers. Let’s just say we saw members of the band “Woman Woman” enjoying the show. There were others, but we’re not saying who. You should’ve been there.

3. Butler a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro was rapping and pushing buttons on a sampler and a Mac. He was joined onstage by Shabazz partner Tendai ‘Baba’ Maraire, who is the son of Zimbabwean mbira master Dumisani Maraire. Baba was kicking a mbira, a drum kit, some small percussion instruments and adding back-up vocals.

4. The duo doesn’t perform songs quite like the recorded versions you may be familiar with from the albums Shabazz Palaces, Of Light and Black Up. There’s an improvisational element, and the tunes are radically expanded, provided even more space to sprawl, lounge, linger, drift, meditate, elevate. Songs begin, vanish, merge into other songs, and then other songs, and then the song that began begins again. The experience is somewhat similar to Black Up’s “Are you… Can you… Were you..?” in which three movements develop across a single track. But this was different, as tracks unexpectedly evolved into other tracks. Tracks on tracks on tracks. It was dreamlike. Like a Terry Malick flick. Like too much Nyquil for breakfast.

5. Rap concerts are normally terrible if you go for the music and not for the party. This is what happens at about 85% of the ones we go to: a DJ plays the recorded version of a song and a rapper raps over it. But the DJ doesn’t just play the instrumental, s/he plays the recorded version with the vocals included. So the rapper is rapping over her/himself. It’s disgusting. It shows us that the rapper cannot rap live the way s/he does on wax. Lazaro doesn’t do this. He raps live. There’s no track playing in the back. The instrumentation–some samples, some acoustic, some electronic–is all happening live. And since, as mentioned above, there’s a spontaneous element introduced to the performance such that the songs structurally shift in unpredictable ways, that weak shit most rappers display is not even possible for Shabazz.

6. Many rap fans don’t dig Shabazz Palaces. Namely because the music is so goddamn strange. It doesn’t quite fit into the mold of Lex Luger maximalism or “Rack City” minimalism. It doesn’t sound like anything on rap radio. It’s out. And, as a consequence, Lazaro isn’t given the props he deserves on the mic. While meditating deeply on Lazaro’s lyrics during the performance, we were reminded of a comment Philly rapper Zilla Rocca made on music blog Passion Of The Weiss about him. “Ish is fucking gangster,” wrote Zilla. “You don’t have to like the music behind Shabazz Palaces, but if you write down Ish’s lyrics and put them over Rick Ross beats, you’d understand the slickness.” It’s true. Put Lazaro over a Luger trap-beat, and he’d sound harder than Gunplay. But we prefer him spitting over his own bizarre beats and textures, which sound much more interesting than all that radio rap shat.

7. Something we didn’t expect to happen happened a few times. Lazaro and Baba had worked out some synchronized dance moves, and every once in a while they’d clap and sway in unison.

8. See that photo up there? ^^ I took that. Holler at me if you wanna hire me to shoot your wedding.

9. One of the highlights of the roughly 35 minute set was “An echo from the hosts that profess infinitum.” Baba kicked an extended mbira jam, gradually building up a series of melodies above a heavy, but minimal, bass line. (Oh yeah, that reminds us, the bass was fucked at The Blockley. It sounded like a speaker blew pretty early in the night.)

10. Another banger was “Chuch” from Of Light. This is one of Shabazz’s hardest tunes. Lazaro rapped ferociously over Baba’s rhythms: “Ever since the ships came, we kicked slick game make name mistake the claim, and never ever ever tame, and stay way fresher than the ‘presser.” And what do they call that? “Survival with style,” goes the chorus. Think about it.

–Elliott Sharp wants you to follow him on Twitter @Elliott Sharp.

available today only

...because today is (independent) record store day. a vinyl pressing of the kexp sessions last year, nothing new, but on purple wax, with a stunning leif podhajsky cover, and limited to 2000 copies. thanks to jonathan for hooking me up with a copy... can't wait to see this. click here to find your nearest independent record store and support it. we only have each other!

Friday, April 20, 2012

news ~ new remix ahoy

yet another cool band i've been introduced to via palaceer lazaro. s.c.u.m are young 'wall of sound' rockers from SE london... the single of amber hands comes with a shabazz palaces remix. haven't been this excited about a remix since the FOE one. ish's choice of tunes to remix is fascinating, and i can't imagine how this is going to sound given the attentions of shabazz. FOE's cold hard rock at least had a strong beat to begin with but the marriage of this ambient, droney wall of sound texture with the demented cosmic synth logic of sp (and will there also be vocals?) promises to be beyond anything we've ever heard before. the original is below, and the remix will be released on may 7th, that is just over 2 weeks time

Life Changing Art: Ishmael Butler

What a great idea. John Lewis of Baltimore Magazine has this series called "Life Changing Art" in which he asks people about (visual) art that changed their lives. Read the original using the above link or read it below. The art is by Mati Klarwein (1970) and he did many classic covers including Miles's Live Evil and Santana's Abraxas.


What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?

The cover to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. It was the first time I saw music—the feel of the sounds—represented in imagery that seemed perfect in both its abstractness and literal interpretation.


THEESatisfaction: Queens (Video)

Directed by Dream Hampton

TheeSat are coming, bringing a refreshing femininity to hip hop culture. This video is intriguing: intimate yet distant, awkward yet smoothly confident, sexy yet respectful. Their album, Awe NaturalE, is sweet and features Palaceer Lazaro rapping on 2 cuts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Tendai Solo project


Tendai aka Baba Maraire has been busy in between tours working on this project based on Zimbabwean resistance to British Imperialism, which was led by the deluded psychopath Cecil Rhodes. Check out this hot track, and prepare to be impressed by Maraire's flow and a beat I can hear blowing up from new world to old:

You can go to the Chimurenga Rennaissance website and read more about the whole thing, as well as pick up a copy of Tendai's solo LP of traditional Zimbabwean Shona music Wona Baba Maraira. It's pretty disgraceful that Rhodes' name has escaped much of the disgrace that is his due. Partly that's due to all the cash he left people. I'm going to write a bit about that later but for now I've been either looking at a screen or drawing all day and i've starting to get dizzy so good night one and all and I leave you with the video for the project made by Charles Mudede, called rhodZi!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

that unreleased track

great live footage from pittsburgh. "punk bitch was you there tonight?" who else can ask rhetorical questions involving the manipulation of linear time and make it sound so gangster i ask you

Monday, April 16, 2012

tune - todd terje

snooze 4 love. this be the shit:

in-theatre radio studio performance

a clean version of an echo with the verse from chuch: from a radio station in minneapolis called the current:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

atlanta interview: perception, abstraction, reality

Ascension by Leif Podhajsky via his blog.

Ish makes this amazing point: the songs don't just switch up beats/structure because of some kind of effort of will or conscious decision; it's an organic process- nothing in life is linear (except an office job/other creations of post-Enlightement modern western man in all his wisdom) but just like life: perception coming from all 5 senses simultaneously, as well as your intuition (from the subconscious) and how you are processing that, not only via 'thinking' but also 'feeling'. i've been reading about the 4 personality functions according to c g jung and it all makes much sense in conjunction with this idea... that for a beat to just stay the same for 4 minutes is kind of artificial and boring to say the least. in the future people will look fondly on the formative period of hip hop as musically conservative, but just as ish is on the vanguard of this new evolution, by the time others have caught up he will be onto some next shit not stopping to think about the history of this or that. too inspirational...

Read in its original home here at the Atlanta Creative Loafer website, or below:


Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler talks perception, abstraction, and reality

by Chad Radford

More than a year after Shabazz Palaces released it’s third offering, Black Up — the first hip-hop album to call Sub Pop Records home — the American underground music scene is still quietly chattering over the group’s seemingly abstract excursions into atmospheric beats, atonality, rhythm, and texture. Black Up arrived as a dense but captivating listen, but it's an album that the music’s principal mastermind Ishmael Butler (a.k.a. Palaceer Lazaro, a.k.a. Butterfly of Digable Planets) doesn’t see as eschewing the naturally non-linear pace of waking life — even in the collision in musical narratives unfolding in both the construction and titles of such songs as "Free Press and Curl," “Swerve...the Reeping of All That Is Worthwhile (Noir Not Withstanding),” and “Endeavors for Never (The Last Time We Spoke You Said...)."

This town was in an uproar when word spread that Shabazz Palaces was playing in Athens and not Atlanta.

Yeah, I wish we were playing there too, and I don’t even understand why we’re not.

It’s difficult to address this without sounding petty, but when the Athens show was announced, I had people nudging me at the bar asking things like, “Why aren’t they coming here? They must not like Atlanta hip-hop …”


Atlanta can get both protective and defensive when aesthetics enter the conversation. There are a lot of different hip-hop aesthetics being explored in the local underground scenes, but the music that gets heard the most outside of Atlanta isn’t often associated with “intellectualism” or “abstraction” — although those elements are very present in certain underground scenes here — both of which are qualities that I associate with your music, from Digable Planets to Shabazz Palaces. I think other people do to, and when they start connecting the dots on their own they draw all kinds of crazy conclusions.

That's true ... The main misconception here is that bands go and play shows where they want to. The reality is that they go where they’re invited and where they’re booked. Atlanta is a destination that we would love to come to and play a show. The music that comes out of there — even though like you’re saying isn’t always very intellectual on the surface, we don’t really feel that way. A lot of times the intelligence in music lies in its instincts, and we love Southern music and Southern hip-hop — crunk music, and all that. We love all that music, a lot. … But when you set out on tour you don’t say, “We want to play here, here, here, and here.” It’s more like, who’s putting out offers, and who’s inviting us. But yeah, it’s not like we wouldn’t come to Atlanta because of some kind of aesthetic choice. We wouldn’t do that to any city.

I believe you when you say that you’re drawn to the abstract qualities in the music, but it’s not really like that for us. When you walk down the street your thoughts aren’t linear. The shit you see and feel, and your reactions are from being so accustomed to a variety of sensual experiences that you don’t really register as being as fantastic as they really are. The way our videos and the way the music changes represent something more literal, something that’s much closer to life than something that’s an abstraction of life. To me, you if speak about, or just stay in one kind of groove for four minutes — nothing like that happens in real life except for sleep or maybe an office job, or something like that. But we don’t really approach art from those kinds vantage points. So it’s more like we’re living and translating, transferring it all into some kind of art form, which happens to be music. So it may seem abstract, but for us it is a very literal translation of the way that life passes by.

Do you ever consider how the music that you make or how your position as an artists is perceived?

No, not really. It’s not that different from the other stuff, to me. I don’t doubt that people see it as being different or as you said, abstract, but I didn’t mean to approach it like that. We go off of instinct and do the things that seem natural, and just go with things that feel like a groove and harmony and melody or whatever. Whatever comes out, we just leave it like that. So it never really seemed all that different to me. It has been taken that way, but we don’t mind.

When Black Up was released last year, I don’t think I read anything about the record that didn’t allude to you not doing interviews, or that you keep you presence or history Digable Planets concealed. Was that real or just some sort of media virus?

No, it wasn’t real. It was just some peoples’ original take on our whole stance. I never understood the purpose of talking to a media person or a critic about the music. It’s like, … the music is there. To me it’s incumbent upon the person who has positioned himself as the critic, or the observer, or some kind of cat who can really analyze music. I never understood why they just didn’t do that. Instead they want to talk about, “hey, what’s your process? What kind of groups inspired you?” To me, that’s a misrepresentation of inspiration. To sit down and say, “This group inspired me to make this record …” That is so linear and so narrow that it seems impossible and somewhat myopic. So I always thought, look, you do your record, put it out, and then anything that happens subsequent to that in the media doesn’t necessarily need to include the person that did it, because the cat already did it. He made the artifact, so now go and do what you do with.

It wasn’t about secrecy or mystery. This talk that we’re having right now is pretty good, but during the last five interviews that I’ve done, the questions have been, “What’s the name of your group mean?” “What’s the process in the studio?” And I’m like "c’mon …" To get someone on the telephone and say "tell me something profound right now," doesn’t do the music any justice, and it veers away from the simple fact that we already put so much of what we feel and like and are sensitive to into the music.

So much talk about it kind of created an all new sense of mystery around the band, and a minor sense of mania in and of itself. People have a tendency to be really drawn to something if you tell them there’s a void in the information chain.

Yeah, but the only way that can be done properly is if whoever is doing it, really means it. It can’t be done as some sort of stunt or manipulation, which we never really wanted to do. It was what it was.

Friday, April 13, 2012

BIG news

thanks to a recent interview with mtv hive, we learn that sp is gonna collab with marley marl, as well as more stuff with thee satisfaction and spank rock. could this 'project' be the next lp? not only that, but some reworking of old african music in conjunc with king britt. wow. when tendai says "ish has a couple of tricks up his sleeve"... one of them must be the score to the tough bond documentary and subsequent concert in kenya, but the imagination is tantalised as to what else could be on the 'flyest horizon'. what an amazingly fertile period this is in ish's career.


Shabazz Palaces Working With King Britt, Marley Marl, Spank Rock
By: Marissa G. Muller | April 11, 2012

Shabazz Palaces have been quietly moving around since the release of their captivating debut Black Up. After guesting on fellow Seattleites THEESatisfaction’s recently-released album, awE naturlE and remixing Spank Rock’s “Car Song,” which features Santigold, Palaceer Lazaro (formerly known as Ishmel Butler) and his partner Tendai Maraire haven’t made much noise of their own while on tour to support their album. But that’s because they’re only warming up for more pairings to come.

“We have a collaboration coming up with King Britt, from Philly, who used to DJ for Digable Planets,” Maraire told Hive at their show at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall last week. “It’s been about two years in the making now. We’re taking my dad’s old records and sampling them and chopping them up and re-creating songs out of them.”

Though there’s no official release date yet, they’re working to finish it up “ASAP.”

Shabazz’s latest project will also bring THEESatisfaction back into the studio along with Spank Rock and Marley Marl. “[Ishmael’s] got a couple tricks up his sleeve too,” Maraire teased. “I don’t want to say what he’s working on.”

The eccentric pair are also spending time outside of recording with THEESatisfaction — who Butler affectionately refers to as their “little sisters” — on an ongoing cabaret-like series called Noir Night Ships. “We perform the whole show together. We do some sketch comedy, some nudity,” Butler jokes.

Nudity or not, people are feeling it all around. “The crowd participates and they’re very interactive with us,” Maraire says. “One lady came up and wanted a kiss from one of the girls [in THEESatisfaction]. It was hard to tell if she wanted just a peck.”

new slogan

seen as it's all about branding these days, ish and co have made their own slogan:

"Shabazz Palaces: The Raston Warrior Robot of Rap"

Nah just kidding, don't ask me why I'm posting this. Dr Who really stretched out our minds as kids and for me it wasn't so much the characters but the desolate, other-worldly locations. Like these slate mountains:

toronto footage

great crowd in sp's first toronto gig a few days ago. here they play "an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum", and as the audience goes crazy for what has become tendai's iconic mbira solo, it gives way to a spoken word reflection on trayvon martin's murder:

A funny thing happened on the way to the store,
Underneath a nice lush red, white and blue flag.
It gets clearer every day,
[the motto is]
Kill a nigga, and get away.

then it breaks into that white hot stone cold verse from "chuch". sound quality isn't bad actually, for a youtube clip, thanx to awesomeexcellence.

intervista italiano (in english tho)

wow this interview is cool.

Shabazz Palaces from repeat video on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

still refuting time

earliest digable promo flyer via high culture

from a recent interview with andrew matson:

You’ve performed in Seattle and New York City with Seattle duo THEESatisfaction, which includes two women who are about 15 years younger than you. Is it challenging making art with younger people? Do you sense a generation gap in that particular collaboration?

Uniform time while useful for things like arranging meetings and paddle boat rentals is proudly of no use to us dynamic electromagnetic kindred beings who love. The generation gap is a public pool on a 100 degree day, I swim.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tour Bus Notes

sp affiliate larry mizell jr gives us the scoop from the shabazz palaces bus plus some classic music

Roadtrip Funk

How to Be Successful Without Being an Asshole,

This is a must-read. Funny and true. What a piece. Thank you Charles Mudede. Part of the excellent "Rock n Roll Survival Guide" The Stranger is really coming up with the goods. Click the link below to read in its home, or just scroll down to read the interview.

How to Be Successful Without Being an Asshole
Advice from Grammy Award–Winning Non-Asshole Ishmael Butler - by Charles Mudede

Ishmael Butler has had an extraordinary career in rap music. In 1993, his group Digable Planets released a huge hit and a hiphop classic, "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)." In 1994, Digable Planets received a Grammy Award for best rap performance by a duo or group. In 1997, he contributed to Camp Lo's Uptown Saturday Night (who will ever forget his role in the "Luchini AKA This Is It" video?). At the beginning of the '00s, Ish went underground, and near the end of the decade reemerged as something wonderful: Shabazz Palaces. Two years ago, Shabazz Palaces won a Stranger Genius Award. Last year, Sub Pop released Shabazz Palaces' Black Up, a record that received praise from almost every music blog/journal/critic imaginable. Because this is a lot of success for a rapper, we asked him...

What should a rapper do if he/she becomes famous?

Cut down on the time you spend looking in the mirror.

Are you serious?

Yes! If you make it big, you can't spend more than 15 minutes a week looking at your reflection, trying to see if that jacket will go with that chain. That's what will kill you. You start losing a sense of what's happening around you. You are the biggest danger to your own success. I have seen it so many times. A rapper becomes all about himself. Then they start sounding corny. They really believe they are great because of what they did and not because of what they heard or got from other people. Stay away from the mirror.

Describe the downfall of a big-time rapper.

The industry is not at all about dancing or starting a revolution; it's about moving product. When you can't see that anymore, the fall begins. This is why you want to be humble. You can only get richer if you are paying more attention to things that are outside of yourself.

What was it like to win a Grammy?

At that time, the Grammy was not perceived as it is now. The Grammys were not a place you wanted to be or go to. You did not make an album thinking about getting a Grammy. These days, you do. You record music with a Grammy in mind. We understood it as an industry thing, so we saw it for what it was. But it was fun to be there, don't get me wrong. My parents were there; I got to meet Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra. Those are amazing people and artists. To be among them was like being awake in a dream.

[also check out shabazz engineer erik bloods good advice on recording here]


wtf... tired of reading pieces where the writer was lucky enough to interview the man and then just churns out the same old copy incorporating only a sentence or two of what ish said. boring. i would much rather they just typed out a script of the interview, or even better, audio. link to a shabazz video, and that's it, the reader can make up their own mind.

Montreal Mirror - Once more with felt by Eric Leijon

It might be unwise to heed his words, as they essentially invalidate articles such as this one, but Shabazz Palaces frontman Ishmael Butler makes some valid points about trying to keep a shroud of secrecy over one’s music. Butler, known in this incarnation as Palaceer Lazaro but more famously as Butterfly from hip hop outfit Digable Planets, is reticent about divulging too many details about the making of Black Up, Shabazz Palaces’ evocative debut album, to the extent where the liner notes don’t even credit who did what.

“When I make music,” says Butler, “these thoughts, inspirations, ideas were given to me—I don’t necessarily claim them as my own. I don’t know where they came from, and just because they came through me doesn’t mean I need to take all the credit. There are a lot of people and influences who fuelled my experiences that I would never be able to properly credit. It’s a very small representation of what truly happens when a song is made.”

In reality, Shabazz Palaces is Butler and multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire, and both recreate Black Up’s inspired codex of African instrumentation, redolent jazz flourishes and futuristic elec­tronic gurgles on stage using drum pads, congas, keyboards and effects pedals, with Butler handling the elliptical lyricism.

The association loosely began about seven years ago after Butler relocated from New York City to Seattle. They began by pressing and distributing records themselves before becoming the first hip hop act to sign with iconic Seattle imprint Sub Pop. As with most things, Butler is pretty zen about the effects of moving to the Emerald City.

“You could call Seattle slower, but at the same time it expedites other aspects of your life because of the slowness,” he says. “For me, it’s mellow and a good environment for creating, but I don’t really notice. I’m just living life and not really paying attention to the reason why things are happening or where influences come from—it’s more of a flow.”

Butler is purposely opaque in deconstructing the mysterious Black Up, a sort of spiritual sand dune separating the 90s jazz-influenced, smooth-flowing hip hop of his own Digable Planets and the harsh electronic pyrotechnics of today. Then again, the album itself provides a key to unlocking his mindset, with the line “I can’t explain it in words/I have to do it.”

“To me, a song is much more authentic, revealing, final and official than anything subsequent to it, like an interview or some anecdote on how it was made, because all the information that’s needed is in the song. If that’s a lyric that you think has some weight, then it must, because it’s supposed to, and it means we’re talking about the song and nothing else. I feel like the act of mak­ing the music says a lot, that’s why we don’t have a lot to say.”

Because of his stature, and the fact that it’s undeniably his rapping above the murky haze, Butler exists as a sort of reluctant spokesman for the project. The music has a physical manifestation as well: the CD cover is made of felt, and there’s a song named after the fabric. “I like plush things, plush thoughts, plush songs,” he says. “Something with a surface that’s smooth to the touch or to the ear or to the eye, but there’s also a depth, a warmth.” ■


Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Remix

Spank Rock - Car Song f/ Santi Gold (Shabazz Palaces remix)

Performance & Interview @ Minnesota Public Radio

over 20 minutes of shabazz for your suddenly shiny spring evening. the songs are the treat: a reworking of 100 sph that they've called bad (but i was hoping for an MJ remix!) with some great contributions from tendai. an echo is similarly mashed up, this time with the vocals from chuch. recollections of the wraith closes proceedings. the interviewer, jade tittle, doesn't go very deep into the music, asking banal questions but can't criticize her - the music is just too future for a lot of people - and anyway her voice really is something to savour, but one can't be named jade tittle and not have a suitably sexy voice, now can one?

Performance & Interview @ Minnesota Public Radio