KNIFE KNIGHTS

Q (UK) - - Review -

1 TIME MI­RAGE SUB POP, OUT NOW En­dur­ing left-field rap­per loses his bear­ings.

Hip-hop doesn’t of­fer many sec­ond acts. So the rein­ven­tion of Ish­mael “But­ter­fly” But­ler of early-’ 90s jazzy, con­scious rap­pers Di­ga­ble Plan­ets, some 15 years on as half of Sub Pop-signed left-field crew Shabazz Palaces, has been as heart­en­ing as it is sur­pris­ing. His new project Knife Knights, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with pro­ducer Erik Blood, takes Shabazz’s sci-fi ec­cen­tric­ity not as an out­lier, but as a cat­a­pult to go fur­ther and weirder. And it’s likely to leave many lis­ten­ers be­hind. Of­ten the beats are so clumpy that the vo­cals are left try­ing to drag things for­ward, like the stronger part­ner in a three-legged race. A rare mo­ment of beauty, the lovely, floaty My Dreams Never Sleep, hints at what might have been. ★★ STEVE YATES Lis­ten To: My Dreams Never Sleep | Low Key

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