Xaybu: The Unseen is the sophomore release from Slbyone, the international avant-rap collective led by saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman, who has been hailed by The New York Times for his “sure-footed futurism” in the realms of modern jazz and contemporary classical music. Comprised of MCs HPrizm and Gaston Bandimic, saxophonists Lehman and Maciek Lasserre, and drummer Damion Reid, their eponymous 2016 debut was hailed as a game-changing synthesis of underground hip-hop, modern jazz and live electronic music that was described by Pitchfork as “legitimately new” and a “revelation.” On Xaybu, Slbyone which means “intersection” in Wolof continues to build on its groundbreaking work with shifting rhythms and state-of-the art sound design, now with a newfound sense of effortless fluidity. The word “xaybu” in Wolof refers to the concept in Islamic mysticism of al-Ghaib that which is unknowable and unseeable. HPrizm (a.k.a. High Priest, legend of New York’s underground hip-hop scene and a founding member of Antipop Consortium), Bandimic (one of Senegal’s most distinctive young rap stars), and Lasserre are all Sufi Muslims, and that spiritual connection and sense of abandon and giving in to the unknown has been a cornerstone of the group since its inception. The result is a profound musical statement filled with otherworldly sonorities, intricate compositional structures, and cutting-edge improvisation that deftly explores spirituality and mysticism through the lens of experimental music.