Dälek – Gutter Tactics

I know it’s still officially 2008, but the first bomb of 2009 has already hit. That’s right, I received the new Dälek album promo.  And it is just brutal. A little review.

Dälek are genre crossing outfit. They combine a solid hiphop foundation with industrial beats, noise and even metal. 2007’s Abandoned Language saw Dälek at its most accessible yet. It was a masterpiece in many ways but certainly not their darkest work albeit gloomy at times. I for one am glad Dälek switched styles again (as they clearly do for each full length). No sir, Dälek doesn’t rest on a successful formula.

Brutal is indeed the word for Gutter Tactics.
The intro is a ruthless tirade ripping on the U.S. of A. The phrase “America’s chickens are coming home to roost” will give you a good idea of what the intro is about.
The second track (No Question) sees Dälek innovating.  The first thing we hear is a familiar guitar ripping but then noise kicks in and Dälek is MC’ing on what is probably their fastest paced track yet. Vocals and melody deep in the mix, noise up front, vicious rhythms. Dälek has just become danceable. Love it.

The next 2 cuts (Armed With Krylon / Who Medgar Evers Was…) are noisy monsters. Again vocals & beats deep in the mix surrounded by walls of noise. This is Dälek at its darkest and being so without relying on the bass  too much (like on  Absence, 2004).  Don’t get me wrong though, the bass will still kick you in the nuts but I found myself more lost in the noise rather than pummeled by the beats.

The next track (Street Diction) leans more towards Abandoned Language.  More melodic elements are added and there’s mid paced MC’ing. Yet there are also certain elements from Absence noticeable on this cut,  like the hypnotic effect caused by the repetitiveness and also the samples/synths used.
The next two cuts (A Collection of Miserable thoughts laced with with / Los Macheteros/Spear Of  A Nation) are more “experimental”. Minimal beats & melody take the forefront with the vocals way back in the mix again. Especially the former  is very spaced out & jazzy. The latter is ruthlessly industrial. Reminded me of Godflesh or Techno Animal. Both of which I’m a big fan.

The next track (We Lost Sight) is another one of my highlights. It’s a pretty accessible track compared to the rest of the album because  it’s both deafening and quite  harmonic. Combined with the synths and whispered vocals it has a rather meditational effect.
Title track Gutter Tactics sort of keeps the middle ground on the album. It’s got a bit of all the present and past elements. The MC’ing is again top notch here. Some nice turntabelism as well.  This is a track that probably everyone will enjoy but on the other hand doesn’t really stand out.

Dälek has saved the best for last on this record. 2012 (The Pillage) is the most melodic track on here and will certainly please any fan of Abandoned Language or Deadverse Massive. The final track sees Dälek take on shoegazer to its most successful extent.  Walls of guitar and melancholy and vicious hiphop beats. Beautiful.

Dälek has been innovative on all of their releases. Not one sounds the same and honestly they haven’t made a disappointing album after 1998’s Negro, Necro, Necros. Ever since then each and everything they have done is right up there. Gutter Tactics is no exception. If you are introduced to Dälek through this album, you might not be sold immediately. I think this will take some time to grow on the average fan.  But anyone who has followed Dälek for the past 5 years will be blown away by this album. Another successful style change without  giving up anything what Dälek was before.  This is underground music for the masses…
I can not wait to see/hear this in a live setting. I think I might not survive.
Däleks Myspace

PS: Dälek will be in Belgium @ the Sonic City Music Fest in De Kreun in Kortrijk. More details about this later.


One Response to “Dälek – Gutter Tactics”

  1. […] no place to find fault with Gutter Tactics. And while it’s not perfect, it’s another step forward for the group, for hip hop and hopefully […]

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