A group of amateurs recently revived a disco-era spacecraft orbiting the sun. The rebooted ISEE-3 came as scientists confirmed that the Voyager 1 probe, carrying a “Golden Record” that would introduce extraterrestrials to human culture, had crossed into interstellar space. Shabazz Palaces could probably relate.
“Forerunner Foray,” the latest track to surface from the out-there Seattle rap collective’s upcoming album Lese Majesty, due out July 29 via Sub Pop, once again beams an analog-era hip-hop artifact into the starry void. This detail-filled yet uncluttered synth-rap communique starts with street-smart dialog from Lightnin’ Rod’s 1973 Hustler’s Convention, an oft-sampled touchstone. But then it glides into group leader Palaceer Lazaro’s cooly oracular pronouncements, as alluring yet alien as the backdrop of flickering synths, offhanded bass notes and unhurried boom-bap.
When the former Digable Planets MC raps of “stars slung ‘cross the heavens,” you may almost hope he has special knowledge whereof he speaks. NASA’s reactivated solar observer may be out of gas; Shabazz Palaces aren’t.