[Inbox Jukebox, which typically runs on Fridays, will now appear daily (or as close to that schedule as possible) and will feature one track instead of five. Thanks for reading.]
Knife Knights, “Give You Game” (Sub Pop). It's only right and natural that Ishmael Butler and Erik Blood would pair off for their own project, seeing as they've spent many, many hours in the same studios conceptualizing and conjuring the avant-garde hiphop of Shabazz Palaces. Now with Knife Knights, the two Stranger Music Geniuses have another avenue in which to flex their prodigious studio skills.
The first single to emerge from the new unit is "Give You Game," a track that demonstrates its auteurs' desire to elude easy categorization and fuse genres. The stolid bass pressure and regimented yet scattershot beats come from club culture, but the main melody, Thaddillac's dew-dappled guitar, and the blissfully mellow vocals by Marquetta Miller, Stas Thee Boss, and Blood scan as dream-pop and neo-soul. And that contrast leads to a rewarding friction and frisson.
The refrain of "I brought flowers to your field/Made a sweeter wind blow through them/...I made an echo out of gold/That shined the way a light blows through a prism" reflects the songwriters' rarefied, poetic form of braggadocio. "Give You Game" is a promising hint of exceptional things to come by a group overflowing with interesting ideas.
(Note: The video—directed by Justin Henning—contains several human asses and and some sideboob, and thus may be NSFW.)