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Shabazz Palaces|The Don Of Diamond Dreams

The Don Of Diamond Dreams

Shabazz Palaces

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Ishmael Butler starts the first proper song on the fifth Shabazz Palaces album with wanderlust whispers reminiscent of Model 500's "Night Drive." The MC also echoes the early techno classic's theme of travel facilitated by nature as much as technological advancements, eagerly "hurtling through space" with moonlight as his conductor. The live-sounding retro-futuristic fusion accompanying him -- humming low end, simmering snares, and fleshy handclaps, seemingly guided by early-'70s Miles Davis sessions -- is a greater indication of what follows. Compared to SP's conceptual third and fourth LPs, which arrived together in 2017, The Don of Diamond Dreams is unified by its funkier and humanized sonics more than its lyrics. Slithering from track to track with verses chock-full of elevated non sequiturs, Butler still tends to come across as a sage, somewhat alien wordsmith, but he projects more warmth than before. Most conspicuously, affection is abundant. It's all through the burbling bass and whipping synthesizers of "Bad Bitch Walking," where the male gaze is twisted with sly remarks like "She was looking like...a genius" and an appearance from the smooth-as-ever Stas THEE Boss. On a more personal level for Butler, there's the touching "Thanking the Girls," in which he honors his wife and daughter with a slight lilt in his voice, likely grinning as he proclaims "I'm just so happy when both the girls close to me." Antagonism is limited, with Butler still at his wryest and most biting when handheld devices are in the frame ("You're a scroller, I'm an explorer"). A couple of the lengthier tracks communicate more with their titles than their music. They're at least counteracted with some of the wittiest, weirdest, and somehow most direct songs in the Shabazz Palaces catalog. Most dizzying is the John Carpenter/Junie Morrison horror-funk fantasy "Chocolate Souffle," in which Butler enumerates his self-acquired advantages, references Morris Day and Maurice Chevalier, and ices his rival with "You a data rat, I'm a black slang acrobat."
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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The Don Of Diamond Dreams

Shabazz Palaces

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1
Portal North: Panthera
00:00:17

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Carlos Nino, Composer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

2
Ad Ventures Explicit
00:04:42

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

3
Fast Learner (feat. Purple Tape Nate) Explicit
00:05:36

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer - Purple Tape Nate, Vocals, FeaturedArtist

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

4
Wet
00:03:19

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

5
Chocolate Souffle
00:05:01

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

6
Portal South: Micah
00:00:20

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Carlos Nino, Composer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

7
Bad Bitch Walking (feat. Stas THEE Boss)
00:06:20

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer - Stas THEE Boss, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Stasia Irons, Lyricist

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

8
Money Yoga (feat. Darrius) Explicit
00:05:29

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Darrius, Vocals, FeaturedArtist - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

9
Thanking The Girls
00:04:02

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

10
Reg Walks By The Looking Glass (feat. Carlos Overall)
00:07:07

Ishmael Butler, Composer, Lyricist, Producer - Carlos Nino, Composer - Shabazz Palaces, MainArtist - Erik Blood, Engineer & Mixer - Carlos Overall, Vocals, FeaturedArtist

2020 Sub Pop Records 2020 Sub Pop Records

Album Description

Ishmael Butler starts the first proper song on the fifth Shabazz Palaces album with wanderlust whispers reminiscent of Model 500's "Night Drive." The MC also echoes the early techno classic's theme of travel facilitated by nature as much as technological advancements, eagerly "hurtling through space" with moonlight as his conductor. The live-sounding retro-futuristic fusion accompanying him -- humming low end, simmering snares, and fleshy handclaps, seemingly guided by early-'70s Miles Davis sessions -- is a greater indication of what follows. Compared to SP's conceptual third and fourth LPs, which arrived together in 2017, The Don of Diamond Dreams is unified by its funkier and humanized sonics more than its lyrics. Slithering from track to track with verses chock-full of elevated non sequiturs, Butler still tends to come across as a sage, somewhat alien wordsmith, but he projects more warmth than before. Most conspicuously, affection is abundant. It's all through the burbling bass and whipping synthesizers of "Bad Bitch Walking," where the male gaze is twisted with sly remarks like "She was looking like...a genius" and an appearance from the smooth-as-ever Stas THEE Boss. On a more personal level for Butler, there's the touching "Thanking the Girls," in which he honors his wife and daughter with a slight lilt in his voice, likely grinning as he proclaims "I'm just so happy when both the girls close to me." Antagonism is limited, with Butler still at his wryest and most biting when handheld devices are in the frame ("You're a scroller, I'm an explorer"). A couple of the lengthier tracks communicate more with their titles than their music. They're at least counteracted with some of the wittiest, weirdest, and somehow most direct songs in the Shabazz Palaces catalog. Most dizzying is the John Carpenter/Junie Morrison horror-funk fantasy "Chocolate Souffle," in which Butler enumerates his self-acquired advantages, references Morris Day and Maurice Chevalier, and ices his rival with "You a data rat, I'm a black slang acrobat."
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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