Devout Ishmaelite Yoshi chips in a write up of his experience seeing Shabazz in DC a couple of weeks ago:
The duo came out like serpents, Ish slivers away and into the crowd on beat, body-nodding, only hands glued to the sample-box, everything else fluid motion. Tendai was still the whole time, a solid music box, dynamism and magic without seeming to go anywhere physically; transporter. The first song is glorious splendiferous magnificent. Choral lines, but not choir-like. Epic voices rising, but not in a melodic pattern I could frame. A sample? Probably, but how? The solid beat is power, mind-flowing. I ask after the show if this first track has already been recorded, if it is on the new album (assuming there is a new album). Ish smiles, says yes. Later on I also ask Tendai the exact same question when we get a few moments to speak, bespeak. I asked each of them individually because the song was that good. I asked them both at separate occasions because I was a detective investigating two suspects and wanting to corroborate their story. Writers like these enjoy distortions, I know this. I know who I'm dealing with. This case is too important, the music had said to me. Can't leave it up to the bureaucrats. We’ve got too much riding on this one. That beat is too gargantuan and simultaneously smooth. Too dream-like. Of course it may never be as good as the live show. It never will be quite the same. At one point towards the end of a show that seemed to never-end, Ish began another new beat. It was an off-kilter, drunken sounding shuffle of a Caribbean groove, steel pans perhaps, I forget gladly. The beat was a nonsensical drink. And there he was, rapper of the moment, still flowing some kind of flow over it. Music. What does music say? It says what Kevin Garnett once said when he beheld a golden trophy in his fingers, “Anything is possible.” And it means it.
This, my fourth opportunity to see the best live show of our era, was a gift, and surely the best yet. Often I wonder what these great guys are doing touring non-stop. I think, why not just get busy making a new album? It seems odd, if you, like I, forget that the live space is clearly a space for creation in itself. I forget that every time I am not at a Shabazz Palaces gig, and I remember it every time I am. Much like when I saw them at Santo’s Party House in 2011, there were new songs here. Some may see the light of the day, some may not. I know these two magicians know a groove when they stumble upon one, it haunts like a ghost. I know how some beats go into the night and never come back. But practical reality kicks in too, like a kick. Being a musician, one knows that shows this well rehearsed and flowed don't go entirely by spontaneity, yo. If a sample is sample, and triggered by a light, it must be real. It won't be truly forgotten. Thus, confident, I was that the two suspects would say ‘yes’ before I asked if that mesmerizing first track would be on their new album. Whatever the new album will be. A leaf falling from a tree, and being blown up and around-round for quite some time. If it falls, nobody sees it. Just the swirls of legend, and concentrated African-American girls who are won over by the beat as the concert deepens and musicality expands and Tendai loses it wildly and safely in a drum solo that somehow stays on beat through the barbaric storm of heat and meat. Through the murder that Ish kills it with through his open-source, freestyle programmed Ish-ness, which is way cooler than what the rest of the pups make up in their packets and meals, microwaved. The people were won over by it, as they must be at every show, where I see their faces slowly go, glow, realizing what this is, a display of opportunity and seed-flowering to its potential. Humans rising like trees to their beautiful specific potentialities. This show was a cool heatwave. The encore was more. Too much, I keep on thinking at these shows. "Too much!". Like I should have stopped this article a few sentences ago, but excess can be =plush= and thus enjoyable in brief fragments.