8/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 08 July 2011
It's Sub Pop week for Business Lady this week and damn, the label is barely recognizable as the same label that inspired my childhood interest in music. Saying that, they occasionally snap up a quality artist here and there with Shabazz Palaces being a good example of the diversification of the label over the years. In fact, I don't think they've ever signed a MC so this is a Sub Pop first! Don't know a huge amount about Shabazz Palaces but I'm liking his mutated take on hip-hop in 2011. Not entirely sure about his voice but his flow is unique and he's obviously no stranger to experimentation as he's constantly effecting and layering his vocal rhymes. The secret formula comes courtesy of producer Knife Knights whose laid back beats, varied production technique and strange melodic phrases make for a very enjoyable listen. There's elements of the classic staples of hip-hip, ie. soul, R&B and jazz, but there's also a healthy dose of mutant beats, skittering electronics, minimalist arrangements and generally out there sounds. It's hard to make direct comparisons but it definitely sits in a post-Anticon world of fantastical sound experimentation. It's gonna take a few listens before it makes any real sense to me but it's definitely an intriging listen full of surprises. Also worth mentioning the cool velvety CD jacket and the mad artwork and titles.
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- Black Up by Shabazz Palaces
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