Released 1st October 2013 – Deltron Partners/ Bulk Recordings
Hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030’s long awaited second album delivers instantly with its futuristic raps stylings and self-conscious intelligence. From the introductory narrative ramble of Stardate through the bass drop head bopper of The Return this record kicks off with a heavy and satisfying re-emergence of this captivatingly literary trio of science fiction rappers. Slow and steady with a wonderful hint to carefully considered composition these opening tracks just set up the scene for what is going to be a real treat of a record.
The overt politicism (only slightly hidden beneath the space-age storyline) and the unashamed cleverness of the rhymes mixed in with the incredible sense of fun that comes from the bouncing beats and indelible flow was incredibly refreshing after so many albums from so many rappers who seem to revel in being dumb. I mean, any group that has the balls to openly discuss the problem of misogyny in contemporary music already has my vote, and it’s really just a bonus that Deltron 3030 do it with such skill and ease.
The music too is composed wonderfully composed with its simplistic drum and bass sample sounds supporting and supported by pounding rhymes and littered with the occasional melodic chorus hook and synth grab. I mean, I found myself singing along to Nobody Can within seconds and Melding Of The Minds just grabs instantly with its out and out rock sound and riotously rebellious James Brown screech. It really is just great to finally hear a group getting back to the musical power encoding of early rap, and back to the revolutionary messages found in groups like Public Enemy. This isn’t to say that’s it’s in any way derivative or anything like that, in fact the futurist themes in this record in conjunction with its overwhelmingly futuristic sound are more than enough to pull this album firmly out of any kind of retro kitsch and firmly into its own timezone.
On an aside note, it was also pleasant to finally hear a rap record containing ‘interlude’ sections that were actually funny. I mean, the Lawnchair Quarterback story that continues throughout this record, popping up from time to time in order to break up the unrelenting political proselytizing, actually gave me good cause to chuckle with their ‘back in the day’ remembering and amusing caricatures. But, really, the main draw for this astounding record is just is sheer catchiness and enjoyability while at the same time managing to keep up a very serious sub-narrative of capitalist oppression and disenfranchisement, environmentalism, and feminism. In my experience it is incredibly (and increasingly) rare to be able to find an album with this obvious a message which is also enjoyable to listen to. Billy Bragg managed it, Black Flag occasionally nailed it, but Deltron 3030 have just delivered two record that have perfected it and made it an art.
Really, my only issue with Event II is the fact that it doesn’t focus quite heavily enough on the truly catchy hooks it manages to create at times. I mean, the flow and lyrics from each of these three is brilliant in itself, but it would have been nice to be given a bit more to get actively involved with. The whole record just gives the listener impetus to raise their fist in rage, but at very few points does the music actually give the opportunity for this to happen. What I’m talking about is the action factor: it’s all well and good to give me something to be angry about or something to think about, but when you’re pushing the revolution this hard you need to give some way for the people to get involved.
So, in conclusion I have to say that Deltron 3030’s Event II might just be one of the best hip-hop albums that has been produced this year. It’s just such a refreshing treat to hear actual intelligence and thought being put into this kind of music after a year that has given us Yeezus and B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time. It’s just the kind of album that we all needed to remind us that hip-hop is powerful and exciting genre of music. So make way all you tired clichés of thug life for the new line of attack: Deltron 3030 – the Public Enemy of the space age future.
And here is the magnificent Melding Of The Minds.
- Deltron 3030 – Event II [Album Stream] (skoodmusic.com)
- Deltron 3030 – “Event II” – ALBUM REVIEW (jakobsalbumreviews.wordpress.com)
- Guest review: Harris Pittman on Deltron 3030’s Event II (somuchsilence.com)
- Deltron 3030 Announce Live Date At Scala On December 12th (hangout.altsounds.com)
- Deltron 3030 Schedule A Ventura Theater Date (thescenestar.typepad.com)
- Deltron 3030 announce ‘Event 2’ tour dates w/ full orchestra (brooklynvegan.com)
- Deltron 3030 Also Playing The Fonda Theatre (thescenestar.typepad.com)
- Deltron 3030 – Deltron Event II (Full Album Stream) (themusicreform.com)
- Deltron 3030′s bonkers Event II features Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Damon Albarn and more (metro.co.uk)
- Listen: Deltron 3030 – Event II (sfgate.com)