Great things are predicted for Shabazz Palaces, the first hip-hop outfit signed to indie/grunge label Sub Pop.
A mysterious American collective lurking behind pseudonyms, they operate in the grey area where dubstep-style electronic non-grooves meet the kind of baffling Wu Tang/Def Jux/ Pharcyde-influenced lyrical invention suggested by titles like "An Echo from the Hosts That Profess Infinitum". Opener "Free Press and Curl" is typical: over the electro pulsing and eroded glitch-beat, rapper Palaceer Lazaro talks of how "imagination's tickling my face", before it all goes ultra-sub-bass. Elsewhere, themes of lust, power politics and rebellion are smuggled in via unusual locutions, de-synchronous beats and treated sample-loops – interesting stuff, though occasionally one yearns for a decent tune.
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