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.