Boomkat Product Review:
Pioneers of noisy, conscious hip hop, Dälek launch a new album of rap bombast and main stage guitars on Mike Patton’s Ipecac
Making no attempt to keep in step with rap movements, Dälek have held their own in the late ‘90s-early ‘00s-style rap quarters for so long that backpacks have been, gone, and come back around again. MPC-jagged rounds of live drum breaks and overdriven 808s meet swelling post-rock and cinematic noise to underline Will Brooks aka MC Dälek’s stream-of-consciousness treatise on the politics of Black power and making art in the margins.
““Precipice was a completely different record pre-pandemic.” MC Dälek explains. “We had been working on the sketch of what the album was going to be at the end of 2019. I think me and (Mike) Manteca had narrowed it down to 17 joints out of the 46 or so that we had started with. Me and Joshua Booth had taken the 17 and really fleshed out the joints. The idea was to bounce them back to Mike and then arrange and write lyrics. 2020 obviously had different plans for everybody. We basically put everything on hold. I ended up doing the MEDITATIONS series that year on my own. I think the catharsis of that project, its rawness, the pandemic, all the death, the social upheaval, everything that went down… when I went back and listened to what we had down… it just wasn’t right anymore, it wasn’t strong enough, it wasn’t heavy enough, it wasn’t angry enough. It just didn’t say what I needed it to say.”
“Boycott” comes out swinging with its rugged, head nodding drum break. MC Dälek projects directly from the eye of the storm, his words taking a harrowing account of what could be the end of days. By the time the drums drop out and the noise swells around him, MC Dälek spits “I been tried telling you…society’s been failing you!”, delivering the line with breathtaking gravity. For “Incite”, Dälek stokes the polemical fire with a damning indictment of capitalism, the State and the whole damn system at large “Genocide! With a catchier name. Perhaps building empires has all been in vain.”
With cuts like the softly meditative “Devotion (when I cry the wind disappears)”, the brickyard boom-bap of “Decimation (Dis Nation)” and “A Heretic's Inheritance” (feat. Adam Jones of Tool on guitar), the album is as wide-ranging musically as it is philosophically potent, and its sound is the result of experimental and intentional collaboration.”