Thursday, November 18, 2010

Negro Necro Nekros - (1998)

The debut record from Newark, NJ's Dälek is an exercise in experimental hip-hop that focuses as much on beats as it does on the heavy-handed lyrics that carry the group's message. With equally spacious and dark backgrounds created by Oktopus, aka noted indie rock producer Alap Momin, the setting is fittingly sinister for the incensed rhymes of dälek the MC, who leads their attack. Momin also provides plenty of fitting samples over his beats, which contain everything from Indian drums and strings to crazed DJ Shadow-esque breakbeats. Hammering the twisted soundtrack home are the occasionally political and often enraged lyrics. The artist raps with enough control to often hold back until it really matters. His at times whispered musings add to the musical buildups, and when he does finally break on tracks like "Swollen Tongue Bums," his combination of heart and fury carries his poetry across with force. Dälek is the rare hip-hop crew that focuses on the entire package, and the fact that they have enough faith in their beats, all of which is merited, to allow for lengthy musical interludes on tracks like "Images of 44. Casings" makes this all-too-short record a legitimate force to be reckoned with. Too many crews seem to focus on the trends of the past, but Dälek is looking boldly ahead and their ability to create an abstract new approach is their greatest strength. (

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