Over the years and through the magic of the internet, records that would never grace the ears of many listeners are given a new format to be digested, studied, and finally replicated for a new generation to hear.
With From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots, the hip-hop duo Dälek is abrasive and a pre-cursor to much of the experimental hip-hop that is being praised today. In some ways, Dälek as a group, spawning from MC Dälek and producer Oktopus, are genuine microphone and MPC gods that touch the spirit and grime of the mind.
Opening with “Spiritual Healing,” the production from Oktopus here is industrial and busts a head like a car crusher. The subtle lowkey jazz piano strikes are thrown to the side like a broken toy as the warping synths and scraping nails on metal create the production here. MC Dälek describes, “Who you pray to, my god, the black god? Who you pray to, my god, the brown god? Who you pray to, my god, the white god? Your reaction’s kind of odd for a kid who loves to nod.”
As the metal scrapes are suddenly drawn away to a reprieve while MC Dälek delivers, Oktopus wastes no time orchestrating this assault on the speakers with little to no prisoners. Dälek is primarily a conscious description through poetic writing and delivery. Their following track “Speak Volumes” is more approachable while the production becomes tamer and softer around the edges.
The kicking bass and percussion combination is still there, but “Speak Volumes” decides to capitalize on introspection rather than being worldly in their descriptions. Focusing more on the self, MC Dälek describes, “Childhood idols fell hard like third world tyrants, reviving center core. Who these you adore? Lost in urban lore, cleanse perception’s door.”
Based on trying to be more lyrical and fitting more syllables in each bar, some of the instrumental tracks like “Artichristo” are a sampled spoken word break from the continuous onslaught of writing, transporting the audience into a different status of focus.
The production is more calming, almost as if the drums and strings were sinking into the ocean, fading from view and light. As the vocals describe in Spanish about the rise of antichrists and the final days of Earth, Dälek takes this step back to breathe, and immediately gets ready for the second half of From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots.
The production on From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots really is the shining star, not to discourage MC Dälek in any way. There is just such a strong approach from the beat selection and style from Oktopus. In some ways, one of the final tracks “Trampled Brethren” is holy and majestic. But the undertones have this evil that runs deep like a river far underneath the ground.
This theme of spirituality and self-discovery on From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots becomes more clear by the second and when the final track hits, the audience is almost transcendent just for being in the same room as Dälek. Taking, but also giving; Dälek is an ancient treasure that resurrects that want to further advancement in self without creating an isolative barrier.
Living in a melted dreamworld may seem like it can be just a fantasy, but when embarking on SUNDUR’s debut project Somewhere There’s Music, this dream not only becomes a reality but is a fascinating blur between reality and dream.
In a timid, but suddenly lucid discovery, SUNDUR is the joint efforts from vocalist Savannah Lancaster and producer DJ Platurn who turns a page in the downtempo, nearly acid jazz industry of sound.
They open Somewhere There’s Music with “My Dear” that takes notes of subtle, but breathtaking instrumentation that earworms its way into the speaker. Never becoming a drowning method of style, SUNDUR gives a smooth and easy introduction to the warm but fulfilling instrumentation. Having Lancaster’s vocals over the mix is angelic and her desirable pauses that describe, “so go to sleep, go to sleep my baby” as these high notes flood becomes blissful.
Creating a yin and yang between the somewhat droning production from DJ Platurn and the simply gorgeous vocals from Lancaster makes a pattern that is not only easy to digest but creates a perfect Sunday morning. Where moments of the sun are just barely hitting the sky, oranges and pinks peel back on the title track, “Somewhere There’s Music” to give hope where there once was nothing.
Making something from the build of snares, the percussion and production on the title cut are more akin to a dinner party than any bedroom orchestration. Vocalizing over these sluggish waltz styles of play, Lancaster is able to capture the ear like a prisoner of pleasure that wants to succumb to her talents.
Other pieces like “Time Is Now” have an instrumental flow that could have a boom-bap rapper destroy on, but uses Lancaster as this conjurer of sample gold. With these chimes or bells on the production, DJ Platurn adds sporadic horns to give a real layering and depth to the piece.
Almost as an indefinite piece of progression, Somewhere There’s Music has a 40 minute run time over 12 tracks. Through these tracks, a dedication to the UGK sample that breaks this beauty and creates almost an offering to the south with the blend of percussive style and chopped instrumentation.
As a debut record for the group, Somewhere There’s Music is sanctified and is more of a treasure through each listen. When the record finally stops spinning, the wax melts to find an audience encased in sheets of silk with robes of gold tossed to the side.
Listen Here – Spotify
“A playlist of tracks that were featured on MattsMusicMine.com from the week of July 26th – August 1st. From Reviews to Streams, never miss a track with these playlists that are uploaded every single Sunday till I drop dead.”
Featuring: N8NOFACE, Drawn And Quartered, Sierra Sellers, Vince Staples, Circus, Les Baxter, Acid Casualties, Mannveira, Kevin Abstract, $NOT, Slowthai, Dawn Ray’d, Zelooperz, Danny Brown, Rome Streetz, Futurewave, The Alchemist, Pink Siifu, Turich Benjy
Track List: Don’t Die Dtla, Frontline, Death’s Disciple, Need You Bad, ARE YOU WITH THAT?, Blood Red Smile, Busy Port, The Ritual, Pillar Of Skulls, Ópin Rjúfa bögnina, SLUGGER, Wild Fire I, Wild Fire II, Bash Bandicoon, Bible Or The Rifle, Warlord Leather – Instrumental, Bussin’ (Cold)
Listen Here – BandCamp
Track List: Mule Bomb/Grenadiers, Internal Aggression
Listen/Watch Here – Youtube
Directed by Théo Sixou
Assistant: Ambre Rambaud
Production: Walid Bekhti
Production director: Amel Belghitri
Assistant: Capucine Destoc
DOP: Mario Valero + Vassili Feodoroff
Sound operator: Louis Darde
Make-up artist: Maria M Zola
Casting: Marie Mc Court
Editor: Leo Guillaume
Color grading: Adele Gregoire
Choreography: Lorenzo Dasse
Young brother: Adam BB BOY
Older brother: Zakaria BB BOY
Dancer: Sabrina Trana
Dancer: Khaled Abdulahi
Dancer: Nacim Dante