Review Summary: An album for the conspiracy theorist or Dr. Who fan who has hit one too many gravity bongs."We want to embrace you with the sound and then suffocate you."
These very words were used by dälek in describing his ambitions with his group's latest release, Abandoned Language
. Alongside Oktopus on production duties, dälek helps in creating a unique style of massive, dense hip-hop that owes just as much to shoegaze and noise music as it does to old-school and modern hip hop alike. They have even been known to tour with a wide variety of musical acts, including Isis, the Melvins, Prince Paul and De La Soul. Now how is that for artistic variety"
gives you the feeling of confusion at the first few listens, all esoteric, deranged electronic rap that seems to put the title of the album in place. But pay attention to "Abandoned Language"; "Survival's all basic, there ain't a fuckin' thing sacred."
With just examining one song, the meaning behind it all becomes somewhat more clear: that dälek is criticizing and analyzing the downfall of modern society and a government that is to blame. He goes on to say in the chorus, "Turn the page motherfucker, 'cause the story's all scripted. 600 years, ain't a fuckin' thing different."
As "Abandoned Language" progresses it becomes increasingly dense, collapsing into a sea of noise, with only a beat which has remained steady throughout.
"Lynch", an interlude, is the only instrumental song here. Taking Dälek's dissonant and often times bewildering trademark sound to the extreme, the song proves that they will pretty much do whatever the hell they want. And why not, as dälek seems to grow more world-weary and angry as the album proceeds. "Stagnant Waters" arrives, and it does not disappoint. With some of the most discernible lyrics here, it furthers the political tone with lines such as "Men and women shed tears when our people get shot, multiplied fears turn person to flock"
and "Epitaphs have no authors, patient paupers, my nation of authors turn lawless."
among descriptions slavery and revolution, and backed by gentle one note piano and warbling, out of tune instruments.
They even manage to deliver a somewhat softer song in "Tarnished", devoid of the characteristic wall of sound present on much of Abandoned Language
. It may not seem like much, but when over fifty minutes of an album is a delirious, stoner-friendly haze of detuned samples, static, warbled rhyming, and beats worthy of head nodding, a little less can count for a lot. Dälek send the message home midway through, condensing Abandoned Language
into a group of syllables: "The struggle is our lesson. Perhaps this is the blessing; existence is the lesson."