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Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star

Shabazz Palaces

Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star

One of two simultaneous release from the Seattle experimental hip-hop collective led by Ishmael Butler aka 'Palaceer Lazaro' and multi-instrumentalist Tendai 'Baba' Maraire

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  1. 9.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    Contain some of Butler and Maraire’s outright catchiest work
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  2. 8.5 |   Paste Magazine

    A rich fabric of gorgeous, reverb-laden sound
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  3. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Two releases that cement their legendary position on the outer fringes of avant-garde hip hop
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  4. 8.3 |   Gig Soup

    Easier to connect with than its sister album, at least at first
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  5. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    Zeroes in on Butler’s abstract state-of-hip-hop lyrics, epitomized by the booming, beautiful “Shine A Light.” Still, these delineations aren’t exact
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  6. 8.0 |   Prefix

    A curious new entry for the group. It expands the space-age palate of Lese Majesty, but slips in the unique tunefulness of Black Up. And yet it doesn’t quite sound like either, and — maybe unsurprisingly, at this point — it doesn’t sound like any other record you’ll hear this year
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  7. 8.0 |   Crack

    Introduces our protagonist within a brutal backdrop of bigotry and disorder
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  8. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Echo-drenched orchestral samples and beautiful vocals leave Born on a Gangster Star’s Shine a Light sounding like a psychedelicised take on opulent 70s soft soul
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  9. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    It sounds like muddled fragments on first listen, but laced with stirring melodies, turns-of-phrase and production tricks, it lures you back
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  10. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The music itself provides the surface glitz, unspooling in sumptuous tapestries
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  11. 8.0 |   Q

    Set Quazarz to stunning. Print edition only

  12. 8.0 |   Mojo

    A thrilling excursion, possessing an otherworldly ambience and substance you'll spend months decoding, every spin yielding something new. Print edition only

  13. 8.0 |   Uncut

    A light, trippy confection, reinventing R&B with rippling electronics and slippery, Prince-like funk
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  14. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    The intentionally more disorientating of the two records
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  15. 8.0 |   The Independent

    The arrangements have a weird, woozy character, with the abstract beats and trickly, liquid synth parts punctuated by unusual instruments
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  16. 7.6 |   Pitchfork

    Reads like Butler’s version of a memoir: his experience as an extraterrestrial being deposited on a hostile planet
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  17. 7.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    The album drifts along the cosmos with the character, lyrics gradually fading in importance in favor of instrumental explorations
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  18. 7.0 |   All Music

    There's a little more life and alertness to this set than there is in the dread-laced first volume. Instead of coming from a distanced observer or some being in a zombie-like state, this is more energized and direct, sometimes scathing
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  19. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    For the casual listener who just wants to get the gist, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star will suffice
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  20. 7.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    The first Shabazz release that seems to witness Butler employing and embracing a popularly-oriented, uninhibited voice
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  21. 6.5 |   Earbuddy

    It’s the best Shabazz Palaces album of 2017, if not the second-best album they’ve ever done
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  22. 6.0 |   DIY

    Sometimes it feels like the quest for a particular vibe has sometimes been prioritised over the underlying message
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  23. 6.0 |   The Observer

    Magnificently eccentric
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  24. 6.0 |   The FT

    The two albums have enough inventive passages of far-out beat-making to keep true flab at bay
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  25. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    You could argue that you’ve the makings of an excellent single album between both releases but we should perhaps welcome such cosmic excess for once
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  26. 5.0 |   PopMatters

    Maraire is the real star of the show across both of the records. His beats hit with a sense of space and organization that feels architectural
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