Review Summary: autocorrect has become our worst enemaWelcome to Quazarz
is not a welcome. It is the sound that leads you into a small, suffocating room perforated by dead air. The space is full with flickering lightbulbs, clicking on and off with a rhythm; a purpose. You’re handcuffed to a lone table in the middle, waiting for an interrogation, maybe? It’s probably scarier if you don’t know what’s going on.
See, the listener is the unwitting apostle in a society that’s stumbling constantly along a production line. A spokesperson for a culture wherein people are sectioned, stamped and shipped off to their desks. If you’re wondering, though, this record isn’t just quietly seething at you – it’s pissed off at everyone who’s become docile, as if we're all part of a stupefied army, marching laconic under the Materialist’s banner.
Onto Gorgeous Sleeper Cell.
The lights turn on (and turn on you), a shadow sits composed on the other side of the table. It has a few questions:
Why do you kneel to the plastic Gods?
What better way to castigate superficiality than behind the smoke screen that is Self-Made Follownaire?
Lifeless voices float around the track as if part of a dream sequence while the author of their discontent lists off sardonic billboard phrases, bored and omnipotent. The beat, too, subtly undermines our obsession with tangibility through its liquidity; retreating into itself like some deep, crepuscular well.
Why do all your favourite artists have to be frauds?
Shabazz Palaces is an abstruse project, but it refuses to hide behind the impenetrable, the phantasmal, the sinew of foreign narratives. 30 Clip Extension’s
subject of blame bifurcates and ends at both the fans of fake rappers and the rappers themselves, analysing that toxic, self-perpetuating dynamic from a detached standpoint. From here, separated by the abstract, the duo delineates the sickness in dishonesty, the blind eye of performance art. They are angry but resigned – not in the least surprised. fuck you, I’m going to sleep.
Why do you insist on this world being black and white?
It is no coincidence that Quazarz
sounds otherworldly. It murmurs about hashtags through a phaser to create a deliberate juxtaposition, emphasising the binary in which people view the world around them. Like or dislike, famous or irrevocably alone, deeply asleep or eternally awake – it’s all so reductive. The record wants you to read between the thin white lines.
By the final track, you’re wondering why the album has been playing aloof the whole time. This isn’t an interrogation, because interrogations aren’t patient. No, this is a small step for Shabazz Palaces, who use this time with you, sitting at the other side of the table, to dig a little deeper into the machinations of the human mind. The silhouette stands up slowly and the lights just fade out. The door shuts quietly.
Who was that shadowy figure, vaguely irascible yet curious?
Where even are you?
Why am I asking so many rhetorical questions?