Outer space is scary. Everything outside of the Earth’s atmosphere is trying to kill you and it doesn’t even have the decency to reward your venturing into it with subconscious womb vibes a la the ocean. Either Shabazz Palaces didn’t get the memo or they’re genuinely from another world, because the Seattle art-rap mainstays sound positively mellow about the idea of cruising through the cosmos on their new track “Effeminence.”
The pair aren’t the type to do what’s expected — case in point: the song comes from one of two albums they’re releasing on the same day — and that goes double for bending to our species-wide ingrained dread over the vast and cold bits that make up the rest the universe. “Effeminence” sounds like cruising through a far away galaxy with your spaceship windows rolled down and making hand dolphins in an environment that’s damn near absolute zero. It’s great, but it’s Shabazz so you kind of knew that already. And look for the assist from frequent collaborator Fly Guy Dai, who keeps the understated mumble of the track alive.
“Effeminence” follows “When Cats Claw,” “Julian’s Dream (Ode To A Bad)” and “Since C.A.Y.A.,” giving us a pretty good idea of what Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star and Quazarz Vs. The Jealous Machines will sound like. Namely, an uber-weird story about a cosmic warrior with a wicked sound-based sword. Both of those are out July 14 via Sub Pop.