Music News

Dalek

By most accounts, hip-hop is all about presence: the simple (and incredibly effective) economy of lyrical force thrust onto bone-rattling beats. But avant b-boy Dalek has little time for such easy definitions, and while the challenging Absence is unlike any hip-hop album you've ever heard, it hardly lives up to its name. On songs such as "Asylum (Permanent Underclass)" and "Distorted Prose," torrential layers of noise reign over a bed of disheveled rhythms. Dalek's lyrics are equally frantic. On the latter track, Dalek declares himself a "bastard child of Reaganomics posed in a b-boy stance" -- although his agitprop is a more cynical, postmodern take on conventional Marxism. Nothing is simple or easy in Dalek's worldview, and this isn't a record for those with weak hearts or soft minds. But for listeners willing to tread its deep waters, Absence will be overwhelming.
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Sam Chennault