Shabazz Palaces
Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines


3.5
great

Review

by verdant CONTRIBUTOR (66 Reviews)
July 16th, 2017 | 65 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: autocorrect has become our worst enema

Welcome 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"

...



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user ratings (38)
Chart.
3
good
related reviews

Black Up

Lese Majesty


Comments:Add a Comment 
verdant
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this marks forty in around three months, can someone lend me a life please and thanks

AsleepInTheBack
July 16th 2017


5125 Comments


Neat review friendo. Still need to check this band

frigyourgenre
July 16th 2017


3672 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Is this better than gangster star

plane
Emeritus
July 16th 2017


6803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Land, this is fucking amazing. Wow, stellar review for a massively underrated album. Such rich thematic and musical material here.

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


5718 Comments


fantastic review.. summary is amazing, hahahaha..

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


16473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is the better of the two albums, everyone agreed?

Digging: Cathal Coughlan - The Sky's Awful Blue

Frivolous
July 16th 2017


353 Comments


Does it matter which one I listen to first?

Digging: James Holden and The Animal Spirits - The Animal Spirits

Relinquished
July 16th 2017


36605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

better to listen to the first one, but it doesn't really matter

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
July 16th 2017


55359 Comments


I still need to check out the one from a few years ago

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

Lucid
July 16th 2017


8686 Comments


liked the other one more, "shine a light" and "moon whip quaz" have great hooks. didn't care about this

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
July 16th 2017


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks plane, butcher and Ben

As for whether to listen to this or Star first, who knows, but can someone pen a review for it? I can't be arsed

Toad
July 16th 2017


1397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

neato review. definitely the superior of the two records to my ears, though majesty is miles better/more interesting sonically (lyrically, eh)

Digging: The Goslings - Grandeur of Hair

Toad
July 16th 2017


1397 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

damn son had no idea ishmael butler was lil tracy's dad

what a disappointment he must be lol

BlushfulHippocrene
July 17th 2017


2017 Comments


I kinda like Lil Tracy, but he's the son of Ishmael Butler?? That's kind of insane.

"Bifurcate." Immense review, Jack. You know how I feel. Best summary, agreed.

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


16473 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not saying too much but this is my favourite hip hop album of the year so far, like a more focused version of 'Lese Majesty'.



As this is so good I'll keep trying with 'Gangster Star', but this seems more psychedelic/trippier with a way more inviting ambience so far on early listens of both.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


26797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is great.

Picked it up on limited white vinyl the other day.

Digging: Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

shoutout to robert frost for teaching me the word bifurcate



also blush, thank you. i think i may have borrowed the summary from somewhere but i can't for the life of me remember where. might be a case of, like, reverse cryptomnesia? who knows

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
July 17th 2017


8453 Comments


the first album is super boring and offensively bad in places, hoping i like this a lot more

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


26797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Only got this one as I heard it was the better of the two. I dig it enough to check out the other one even if it's not as good.

verdant
Contributing Reviewer
July 17th 2017


1878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

both are gud



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