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Event Archive - Knife Knights, Johnny Gr4ves at Upstairs Cabaret • Victoria, BC: Knife Knights, Johnny Gr4ves

Fri. April 26th 2019 - Fri. April 26th 2019 The Upstairs Cabaret (No Minors)
7pm - 10pm
$12 advance / $15 door
Presented by: VILA Presents
The new project from Ishmael Butler (Digable Planets, Shabazz Palaces), Knife Knights, make a stop at Upstairs Cabaret on their North American tour.

Knife Knights

Knife Knights were born of the love of mystery.

A decade ago, Ishmael Butler—the architect of the groundbreaking but long-disbanded hip-hop group Digable Planets—was preparing at last to emerge from years of near-complete silence. He unveiled his new outlet, Shabazz Palaces, in the summer of 2009 through a pair of self-released EPs, surrounding his hyperlinked verses with webs of psychedelic textures and refracted rhythms. From the start, confidentiality seemed essential: Butler wanted Shabazz Palaces to stand on its own strength, not his outsized reputation, so he adopted a nom de plume for himself.

As the project’s network expanded, though, he needed new monikers for his partnerships. Knife Knights is the name he gave to his work with Seattle engineer, producer, songwriter, and film composer Erik Blood, a vital force in the Shabazz Palaces universe. Now, after more than a decade of collaboration and the development into of a rich friendship, Butler and Blood have made a proper full-length record together as Knife Knights: 1 Time Mirage, an eleven-track odyssey that finds the pair and a cast of their friends weaving together a singular world of soul and shoegaze, hip-hop and lush noise, bass and bedlam. 1 Time Mirage represents a playground for Butler and Blood, a free space for unfettered exploration, and a radically adventurous start to something much more than a mere production duo or side project.

In the decade since Butler launched Shabazz Palaces and first christened his partnership with Blood as Knife Knights, much of that project’s external mystery has, of course, fallen away. And 1 Time Mirage is a very public step forward for the pair. That early sense of secrecy has given way to a spirit of friendship and creative candor, to the doors of experimentation being thrown open by old pals thrilled by the prospect of testing new ideas.

Still, these eleven songs retain a core of intrigue and, indeed, mystery; each listen reveals yet another connection between infinite and interlocking pieces. To wit, Robert Beatty’s brilliant cover for 1 Time Mirage depicts a futuristic vehicle, being coolly steered with one hand into some great, mildly ominous unknown. That’s how these songs feel, too—confident conquests of the dark that unlock sounds and spaces you have yet to imagine.

Johnny Gr4ves

At the early age of 16, Johnny Gr4ves started his career strong collaborating with Electronic powerhouse duo Pegboard Nerds on "Just Like That" which topped Billboard and iTunes Electronic charts. More opportunities came rushing in with the success of the song which put Johnny onto songwriting credits for ARMNHMR and the Polish Pop star Dawid Kwiatkowski. Collaborating on the album COUNTDOWN with Dawid and Konrad OldMoney won them a #1 album as well as "Album of the Year". Johnny Gr4ves' successful start only makes the next few steps of his career more promising.

Friday, April 26th
EARLY SHOW // Doors at 7pm // 19+
$12 adv / $15 door

Tickets on sale here:


Accessibility Info:
Unfortunately, the venue entrance is up a flights of stairs. Please respect the space and your fellow show attendees. If you have any questions regarding accessibility, please send us a DM.

Please approach one of the show organizers if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable by any behaviour at the show.

This event will take place on unceded Coast Salish Territories, specifically of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples. As we focus on building artistic and cultural bridges, we acknowledge the rich cultural history of the many peoples and rituals that have been affected by the ongoing process of dispossession and colonialism. We hold this understanding in our interactions and engagements with this land and its people.


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