By Nathan Cramer

Lese Majesty is the second full length and cosmic offering from Seattle hip hop outfit Shabazz Palaces. It consists of 18 tracks in total, divided up into 7 ‘astral suites’. Here, the duo exhibits refinement of their sound, giving it a fresh polish so that it can be heard in a new light. And as they most likely intended, it can be caught from outer space. With sparkling arpeggios, extraterrestrial 808s, and their signature mangled vocals washing up in waves of reverb, this is Shabazz Palaces at their most intriguing. The obscure rapping being blended with textural, ambient beats signals nothing short of a psychedelic trip. The most robotic of sounds melt into saccharine chords on “They Come In Gold”; a testimony to the limitless possibilities in the other world these guys are coming from. The lyrical themes vary, but are consistent in inviting the listener into an ethereal domain with their grand surrealist gestures. If Black Up was the pair exploring the sonic realm they had created, Lese Majesty is them demonstrating what they’ve learned – and it is beautiful.

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