- Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star

Shabazz Palaces - Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star
CRITIC SCORE
79
Based on 16 reviews
2017 Rank: #86 / 405
USER SCORE
69
Based on
46 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Loud and Quiet

Throw in the fact that these albums contain some of Butler and Maraire’s outright catchiest work, and the ‘Quazarz’ suite is an unequivocal triumph.

85
Paste
The album’s engaging musicianship makes Quazarz’s story feel cinematic the way a film score enhances a plot, especially with its psychedelic instrumentals like “Déesse Du Sang” and “The Neurochem Mixalogue.”
83
GIGsoup
'Gangster Star’ contains some of the most straight forward hip hop the duo have produced thus far, combining influences such as funk and electronic R&B into something that is, at least partially, anchored to the street.
83
A.V. Club

Quazarz listeners essentially become protagonists from a Jorge Luis Borges story, piecing together inadequate notes on an intentionally byzantine conspiracy, impossible to fully grasp.

80
Slant Magazine

No gimmicks, no shortcuts, just a profuse mass of rich, literate lyricism, propped up by an overflowing bounty of complex musical accompaniment.

80
The Skinny

For what could be a masturbatory exercise or a cheap way to create buzz for what is ultimately weird-ass inaccessible hip-hop, there’s very little filler to be found. These are sprawling works with clear focus.

80
The Independent

As if heard through alien ears, the arrangements have a weird, woozy character, with the abstract beats and trickly, liquid synth parts punctuated by unusual instruments.

80
Drowned in Sound

Born a Gangster Star is the intentionally more disorientating of the two records, introducing a strange new world where outsiders like Quazarz immediately feel alienated.

80
The Guardian

The power of Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs the Jealous Machines comes from the way they spike their dense, abstract sound with moments of accessibility: a band broadening what they do without blunting their edge or losing their uniqueness.

80
Crack Magazine
If consumed separately, the first episode of the saga – with all its string arrangements and funk-laden time signatures – may be the more accessible and plush.
76
Pitchfork

Gangster Star reads like Butler’s version of a memoir: his experience as an extraterrestrial being deposited on a hostile planet.

75
Northern Transmissions
Driving on a strange but really groove driven hip hop, this third record works a lot more often than it doesn’t as they move on solid hip hop complemented by weird production rather than the other way around.
70
AllMusic
Indeed, there's a little more life and alertness to this set than there is in the dread-laced first volume.
70
Under The Radar

Shabazz Palaces' music isn't for everyone. Even after many listens, one gets the sense that there's always going to be a hidden meaning or detail yet to be examined. For the casual listener who just wants to get the gist, Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star will suffice.

60
DIY
The idea behind Quazarz is indeed fascinating, and could have been a unique way of talking about the modern social and political climate. Unfortunately, sometimes it feels like the quest for a particular vibe has sometimes been prioritised over the underlying message.
May 6, 2017
86
like all Shabazz Palaces projects, this'll require many listens. The group is sounding poppier than ever, but still very experimental compared to hip-hop you would typically hear. It starts and ends somewhat weak, but songs 5 through 10 are among the strongest the group has ever done.
Jul 18, 2017
Errandboy
69
With a singles like the oddball 'Since C.A.Y.A' and the uncharacteristicly lavish and catchy 'Shine a Light', which with each passing day is cementing itself as my track of the year, I was expecting this to be a homerun for Shabazz Palaces. Unfortunately, while the first five tracks display the group firing on all cylinders, I can't help but feel the back end lacks the normal Shabazz Palaces aura (except Fine Ass Hairdresser is solid). As a fan, the lack of consistency is kind of disappointing, ... read more
Jul 18, 2017
Audiohype
70
There is no gravity in space so I suppose the whole muted echo-chamber production is quite fitting. Unfortunately, less isn't always more for me, and most of the album is devoid of interesting melodies or vocal patterns.

I love the alien vibe that the album has but it doesn't feel well sustained. I found The Neurochemical Mixologue through to the end very enthralling but I felt that tracks 5-7 may as well have been one track for how disengaging they were.

I understand that minimalism is ... read more
Jul 17, 2017*
pouls
63
Shabazz Palaces is back with two albums, both of which center around the character Quazarz. Personally, I've come to outgrow Shabazz Palaces. After a while, their music just became not so much for me, but I still do enjoy a few songs off of Black Up, and Lese Majesty. I came to this album of theirs with no expectations, to be completely honest, as I did not care for the singles that were off from this album when I initially heard it. Unfortunately, Shabazz Palaces does take a step back with ... read more
Jul 16, 2017*
magic_talpa
77
pretty different to other Shabazz albums, but if you like the other projects, probably you like this at the same time.
Fav Tracks:
- shine a light
- moon whip quaz
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Track List
  1. Since C.A.Y.A.
  2. When Cats Claw
  3. Shine a Light (feat. Thaddillac)
  4. Dèesse Du Sang
  5. Eel Dreams (feat. Loud Eyes Lou)
  6. Parallax (feat. The Palaceer Lazaro)
  7. Fine Ass Hairdresser
  8. The Neurochem Mixalogue
  9. That's How City Life Goes
  10. Moon Whip Quäz (feat. Darrius)
  11. Federalist Papers
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, philthy


Added on: April 25, 2017