Shabazz Palaces, the avant-hip-hop project of Ishmael Butler has taken a deeper turn into sculpting a world of Shabazz sound on new album Lese Majesty but not at the expense of engagement with the listener.
Lese Majesty keeps moving, keeps searching by creating mellow musical vistas that seep into each other through synthesizers, sparse beats and eerie psychedelic conjurings. It’s a trip and one that feels like a document.
It’s Butler’s voice and the sound of his words (along with Tendai Maraire) that gives the sprawling 18-track seven suite 45 minute record its human focus. He’s the space and time travelling otherworldly guide into this ambient and experimentally-leaning album. “All of our stories told in codes,” they say and while Lese Majesty is impenetrable in meaning, it’s revealing in experience.
The album is out this Friday on Subpop.