Nothing has made me more excited this year then hearing about the return of one of the most exciting and boundary pushing hip hop outfits, Dalek. Daleks sound is a kind of fusion between hip hops poetic lyrics and heavy shoegazey drones and clunky kraut rhythms, which at points can be really hooky whilst also feeling like you are being beaten over the head with an Iron pole.
They originally broke out of the alternative hip hop scene stateside back in the late nineties / early 2000’s with the likes of Cloudead, Why?, Bus Driver, Beans OBE, Asop Rock, Saul Williams and Mike Ladd. Basically they offered up something that was rallying against the mainstream culture of hip hop, pushing avant guarde experimentation within the hip hop scene, paving the way for the likes of Death Grips and countless other outsider artists.
Daleks live shows are really cathartic experience, with stand off vocal delivery and walls of squealing noise coming from distortion effects and decks. Their songs are layered with atmosphere which at times can make them a quite un easy experience.
So they dropped this track earlier in the year Masked Laughter, which very much takes off from where their last record 2009’s Gutter Tactics, the New Jersey outfit hit the drones right from the off. At first the droning feels kind of quite warm but kind of turns quite brilliantly into something nauseating and uncomfortable (but not in a bad way). The beats have the feel of two bits of rustic iron being banged together which feels very referential to the German Kraut rock movement.
The vocals are right down in the mix, which I think is quite a deft move. With the fact that you have to turn the track up to a certain volume to be able to hear Daleks lyrics. It gives the track quite an interactive feel. The lyrics feel as if they are talking about the social divide going on in America at the moment and their dissatisfaction with the way things have been going.
Which ever way you look at Dalek they have created quite a unique style of production, that many other rappers would find difficult to deal with.
They are touring the UK in November with a Bristol show on November 24th at the Exchange! it will be immense.