Dalek .:. Deadverse Massive, Vol. 1 (rarities)

Sunday, February 1, 2009 |

Dalek, the hip hop duo, or the instrumental group with a vocalist, or the industrial group—or whatever you want to call them—comes alive and seems to almost actively duck the “rarities” moniker that’s attached to Deadverse Massive. It’s a sprawling collection of songs that is hip hop at its core, but shrouded in shadowy vocals, layered and echoed, together with grinding music that sometimes sidesteps the beat but never loses it. This is Massive Attack before they became a party band: slow, loud hip hop that specializes in ambient noises that shouldn’t work but do. Their beats are made of guitars and synths alongside crashes, wheezes, frequently disconcerting noises that sound like a 1950s computer going crazy and rampaging Manhattan—and yet, the Dälek duo never let up sounding slow, sultry and darkly, fiercely sexual. Reminiscent of Dan the Automator, but only in a good way—like, in their New Jersey basement, they stumbled upon the first Dr. Octagon album, decided that it contained the secrets of the universe, and retold it in their own image. And they keep on telling.

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