Monday, July 21, 2014

Shabazz Palaces Lese Majesty album premiere

Shabazz Palaces’ Lese Majesty, the highly-anticipated follow up to universally acclaimed Black Up, will be available on CD/2xLP/DL on July 28th in Europe and July 29th in North America via Sub Pop. The 7-suite, 18- track album features the highlights “They Come in Gold,” “#CAKE,” “Forerunner Foray,” “Motion Sickness” and “Ishmael.” 

Lese Majesty is now streaming in it’s entirety in the US and internationally via NPR Music’s “First Listen.” The album is also available to stream via the following territories: UK via FACT Magazine,  Canada via Exclaim, and Ireland via Nialler 9.

NPR Music says of Lese Majesty, “Raw, graceful tunes…”Dawn in Luxor” opens the 45-minute document with a line about “throwing cocktails at the Führer,” and the album’s title comes from the French phrase for sacrilege against royalty. The sentiment can be interpreted in several ways, with Butler lyrically protecting what’s precious to him — blackness, hip-hop, eccentricity — and going hard at oppressors …”Luxor” morphs into “Forerunner Foray,” which captures the buzz of the entire hip-hop era, with prototypical rapping spliced in from 1973 and fluid, controlled jazz singing from Catherine Harris-White…As melodic as much of Lese Majesty is, the words might be the album’s most important element. Close listeners will find brilliant inventions and plenty of quotable passages (see First Listen” July 21st-29th).”

Meanwhile, FACT said of the album, “”It’s a grander, more ambitious record than their debut – made in the group’s new studio, they “had the time and space to realise much more than we have before”. But it’s also a record that never spirals into pure indulgence: put simply, just like countless hip-hop classics before it, it knows that all the experimentation in the world doesn’t mean shit if the beats don’t bump and the rhymes don’t hit. Lese Majesty is rooted in tradition without ever feeling trad, and perhaps that, more than anything, is what makes it succeed (see FACT Magazine July 21st-28th)

In related news, Shabazz Palaces Ishmael Butler spoke with NPR’s “All Things Considered” about the impetus and creative process behind Lese Majesty. Additionally, Butler talked with Pitchfork about some of his favorite things, strange fan interactions, and more for their “Guest List” feature.

Shabazz Palaces previously announced 2014 tour schedule in support of Lese Majesty now includes a hometown show on August 1st at Neumos. Please find a current list of tour dates below.

Lese Majesty is available for preorder from Sub Pop Megamart, iTunes, and Amazon now.  The double vinyl version is housed in a “shark skin” embossed jacket and includes a fold-out poster, and an etching on side D. CD and LP preorders from will receive a seven-inch of exclusive non-album track “The Palace Slide” and “The Palace Slide (Instrumental)” while supplies last.

Shabazz Palaces
Lese Majesty


Suite 1: “The Phasing Shift”:

1. “Dawn in Luxor”

2. “Forerunner Foray”

3. “They Come in Gold”


Suite 2: “Touch & Agree”:

4. “Solemn Swears”

5. “Harem Aria”

6. “Noetic Noiromantics”


7. “The Ballad of Lt. Maj. Winnings”


Suite 3: “Palace War Council Meeting”:

8. “Soundview”

9. “Ishmael”

10. “…down 155th in the MCM Snorkel”


Suite 4: “Pleasure Milieu”:

11. “Divine of Form”

12. “#CAKE”


Suite 5: “Federal Bureau Boys”:

13. “Colluding Oligarchs”

14. “Suspicion of a Shape”


Suite 6: “High Climb to the Gallows”

15. “Mind Glitch Keytar Theme”

16. “Motion Sickness”


Suite 7: “Murkings on the Oxblood Starway”:

17. “New Black Wave”

18. “Sonic Myth Map for the Trip Back”

Tour Dates:

Jul. 28 – Oakland, CA – The New Parish

Jul. 29 – Oakland, CA –  The New Parish

Jul. 30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy*

Aug. 01 – Seattle, WA – Neumos*

Aug. 21 – Washington, DC – Black Cat**

Aug. 22 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer**

Aug. 23 – Brooklyn, NY – AFROPUNK @ Commodore Barry Park**

Oct. 22-26 – Helsinki, FI – Supermassive Festival

*Porter Ray

** w/ clipping.