Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler has had a reputation for being weird, going back to his days as a member of the Grammy-winning Digable Planets. After all, for a hip hop act, Digable Planets was extremely weird and extremely talented back then. Butler relocated to Seattle, met multi-instrumentalist Tendai “Baba” Maraire, the son of Dumisani Maraire and formed Shabazz Palaces. Their debut full-length Black Up which Sub Pop released back in 2011 was critically applauded in countless publications and across the blogosphere. As the duo announced a Southeast Asian tour, and a spot at Sub Pop Records’ Jubilee show, they released the gorgeously cinematic and at times shimmering, black and white video for “An Echo from the Hosts that Profess Infinitum,” directed by Joris Grelet.
Sonically, the track creates the sensation of staring at a kaleidoscope under the influence of LSD. You can picture the colors shimmering and dissipating and combining in ways you couldn’t possibly explain, faces melting into shapes. And as this is going on, you can hear gongs and Indian tabla backed by big, room rattling drums shaking you to your very core. It’s the rare music that’s sonically seems to a multi-sensory experience. Every time i’ve played the track, it’s felt as though I had a deeper, more profound understanding of the universe. Additionally, Butler is one of the more playfully inventive emcees i’ve heard in some time, and he’s sadly unheralded.