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Dälek – From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots

Label: Ipecac Format: CD,LP

From Filthy Tongue of Gods And Griots - sleeve detailBrimming with fractured beats and an omnivorous musical approach which draws in experimental influences from Industrial, Post-Rock and Jazz as much as from the conscious side of HipHop, Dälek‘s From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots burns with a bright spark of questioning anger, musically as well as lyrically. Having collaborated with Techno Animal, 2nd Gen and Faust on occasion, coming at this outfit from that perspective their dense sound seems natural and even entirely expected – but then putting them in the context of a genre which is still the biggest format for popular music on the panet, Dälek the collective throw several spanners in the works, using them to bash out a harsh rhythm along the way.

Along with fellow HipHop noise sculptors Fever and 4AM, the collective of Dälek the MC and producers Oktopus and Still (the latter usually to be found at the decks along with DJ Rek) are shifting the paramaters of decks and beats into new directions where chaos is as important as the well-turned rhyme. He has a knack for throwaway social comment too, with couplets like “remember back when Uzis weighed a ton?/Now every kid’s got one” snapping the attention in “…From Mole Hills”. On pieces like “Black Smoke Rises”, where Oktopus scrawls discordant shrieks and atonal grind plucked screaming from electronics and who knows where else while MC Dälek talks the streamed dreamlike words of a nightmare, the atmosphere of claustrophobic dread is 180 degrees removed from the more palatable existentialist hip-hop of the (say) the Wu Tang Clan‘s various solo projects. Layered with off-key notes and spine-tingling tones to an almost uncomfortably unlistenable degree, this particular twelve minutes of leavened chaos is a vibrantly jangling highlight of the album.

There are tablas and sampled/manipulated sitar opening and underpinning “Trampled Bretheren”, which holds a murky, crackly vibe close to its circuitous prowl at the further reaches of pan-cultural mixology: this is not an easy blend of Indo-pleasantry for the cocktail set, as the trailing instrument sparks and barebones rhythmic break demonstrate. Likewise, the layered scrawls of ghostly words and fed-back noise introducing “Voices of The Ether” preface a parping hint of Jazziness and a loping beat offset by scratching and Dälek’s drifting parse-by rhymes before an Industrial fizz kicks in. The biggest cross-genre surprise comes in the shape of “Forever Close My Eyes”, as the core members are joined by a full band and soar off into widdly guitar-led territories, with live drumming leading the way into arm-waving indie-rock lyricism.

The disc ends in a final wig-out in the shape of “Classical Homicide” and its closely-packed cuts and chunky drums lifting off into harshly-lit ambiences. Picked out with the sort of slippery electronics which only comes from the combination of rapid-fire turntablism and extreme effects settings, From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots concludes as it began: diversely, noisily, and finally boiling over into a furious cathartic spasm.


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