Sound Advice: Dälek with Street Sects, Massive Nights and Destruction Squad (Oct. 20)

Reinvigorated New Jersey Industrial/Hip Hop project heads to Northside Yacht Club.

Oct 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm
click to enlarge Dälek - Photo: Eric Kjensrud
Photo: Eric Kjensrud

If you've ever wondered what would happen if Reese's got bored with peanut butter and chocolate and turned its attention to Hip Hop and Industrial music, you're about 20 years too late.

Back in the late ’90s, Newark, N.J. native Will Brooks began cross-pollinating Hip Hop with a variety of disparate yet oddly complementary influences, including the Industrial clang and roar of Einstürzende Neubauten, the visceral volume of My Bloody Valentine, the bombastic cut-and-paste of Public Enemy and the experimental swirl of Can. Under the name Dälek (pronunciation guide: “Die-a-lek”), Brooks, Alap Momin (Oktopus), Joshua Booth and a rotating cast of DJs and electronic manipulators embarked on a 13-year stretch of confusing Hip Hop purists and enthralling unsuspecting audiences — the group opened for Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul and Pharcyde, as well as Melvins, Tool, Mastodon and Godflesh.

Between 1998 and 2011, Dälek churned out six full-length albums, a rarities comp, a live collaboration with The Young Gods and a half-dozen split collaborations with a variety of like-minded sonic adventurers. In 2010, Dälek released its Untitled album and worked with Metal/Hardcore/Punk outfit Starkweather on its This Sheltering Night album. At that point, Dälek and Oktopus were the only original members of the group, and Oktopus moved to Berlin shortly after. In 2011, Dälek announced that the group was on "permanent hiatus."

In 2015, Brooks resuscitated the Dälek brand with longtime turntablist DJ rEK and electronic conjurer Mike Manteca. The trio assembled its blazing comeback album, 2016's Asphalt for Eden, which was soon followed up by Endangered Philosophies, released earlier this fall on Ipecac Records. Both albums are a return to form for Dälek, sounding like a fire drill on hell's upper floors with an accompanying soundtrack that grinds like a project featuring Ministry, Chuck D and Brian Eno with its cross currents of blistering electronic drones at Metal volume, found sound samples, sociopolitical spitting and crushing beats.

Dälek's manifesto may be found in a line from Asphalt for Eden's "Control," a psalm for the new millennium: "A fat motherfucka from a culture that's malnourished/Could give a fuck what we're told that the meek will inherit."

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