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Shabazz Palaces – “Free Press And Curl (Live At KEXP)” May 2, 2012

Posted by gwyoung in Music, Music Videos, Track Reviews.
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Though a live performance, this version of Shabazz Palaces’ excellent “Free Press And Curl” (the opening track off of their debut album from last year, Black Up) sounds much richer and more vibrant than the original did in its studio incarnation. The Seattle-based rap/hip-hop collective’s bizarre sonic constructions are fully fleshed out in this KEXP performance, from the pulsing mechanical padding that propels the first verses of the track to the ghostly wailing accompaniment behind frontman Ishmael Butler’s resounding exclamations of “I’m free” to the blissful, soothing afro-beat- and jaw harp- inspired cooldown that appears out of nowhere in the last minute. Like Shabazz Palaces’ best compositions, the track leaves you wondering where all of these sounds came from and how they can possibly sound so good together, while the precision and energy of the live show reveal the duo’s true talents as performers and musicians. Have a listen below:

The full performance consisted of this and three other songs, some from Shabazz Palaces’ previous releases and some new, and can be viewed here. The audio was released as a 12″ in honor of this year’s Record Store Day.

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