Did You Say Dialect?
While mainstream rap continues to push the limits of how juvenile and cliche it can be, Dalek’s third release, entitled Absence, takes listeners to the extreme polar opposite. With politically charged rhymes and endless layers of noise this trio out of New Jersey create something that is nearly inaudible on the first listen.Initially the classic 808 drum kicks are the only element to stand out against the shrieks of filtered distortion but as the ears adapt to these harsh anti-melodic rhythms one can begin to appreciate the intricate textures that lie beneath. At times the noise is a bit much and seems dragged out but eventually patience prevails as each track blends seamlessly through the noisy fog.
The downside to this album is that the lyrics are too often indecipherable. It is understandable that the noisy nature of the production overpowers the lyrics, but the vocal front man, Dalek (as opposed to the collective group), just doesn’t hold enough weight to warrant more than an average rating as an M.C. His words are well thought out and insightful but his generic voice and simple back-and-forth delivery just doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t keep pace with the unique sound created by Oktopus (producer) and Still (turntablist).
Absence brings something undeniably original with the fusion of industrial noise and hip-hop, but it isn’t all fun and games. Dalek’s political views are at the forefront of their music and they offer no apologies. This brand of music requires a certain level of angst from listeners in order to be embraced lyrically but the instrumentals are interesting enough to draw support from those who could care less about politics.