Bio & credentials
Ishmael Butler (or “Butterfly” as he is known within the jazz-rap collective, Digable Planets) forms the rap half of this exploratory hip-hop project. Tendai Maraire, son of African music legend, Dumisani Maraire forms the beats half. This ever elusive duo issued no promo shots, no real names, no social networking sites, no interviews or press releases during their EPs’ initial forays into the “alternately glittering and gritty urban noir” of Seattle. They successfully gained traction nonetheless, signing on to Sub Pop Records after their initial success. Since the release of EPs, “Of Light” and “Shabazz Palaces” (2009), they have since largely retained their enigmatic opacity and have continued to allow the music to speak for itself.
Pretentious description of their sound
The most striking feature of Shabazz Palaces is that their song structures eschew the rigid dictates of the verse-chorus confines. Butler’s artful transmutation of diction challenges the capacity of traditional rap schemes, with style. Occasionally, his chaotic, sprawling wordplay will crystallise over the repetition of a single chant or imperative, “I can’t explain it with words, I have to do it,” or “If you talk about it, it’s a show. But if you move about it, then it’s a go.” Butler’s flow provides a prima facie cohesion to their songs and glide over Maraire’s abstract, asymmetric, stuttering percussions which offer something new without overwhelming the genre.
To hear something fresh.
As for the rest of the week
Kick of the midweek of music with metal. For this week only, Death to Giants will be complemented with a Mongolian folk group named, Guren. Tomorrow, frequenters of local indie hotspot, le Lola will see un demi du Youngsters, Rodriguez Jr. He is seemingly dipping and diving into every niche record label going (check it: Mothership, Boxer Records, F-Communications and Giant Wheels) but will primarily be delivering tropical techno on Thursday. KTV will be hosting all Maotronic 2.0s from here on out. Telonius, who has been cinched by a top German electro record label, will be welcomed for the royal ribbon cut. Saturday sees another Rock Nadaam event, featuring special guests from Japan, Poco Poco. Finally, more folk, from famous contemporary folk artists, Zhou Yunpeng, Wan Xiaoli and Xiaohe. Despite being blinded at the age of 9, Zhou Yunpeng worked his way up from street performer to constantly touring the country, spreading the folk message to the masses. Wan Xiaoli is ubiquitously seen as modern folk’s conscience, while Xiaohe is sure to captivate with his deep delivery and unique humming performance.