As we sit here stunned–more like numbed, actually–by the “Go team!” rhetoric behind Sarah Palin’s RNC speech last night, it’s no surprise that the self-titled office has had an end-of-days cloud hovering over it from the moment we all walked through the door. Seeing as we’re masochists and all, no one wanted to pick our morale up with pop music, either.
Quite the contrary. After all, nothing screams “situation normal, all fucked up” quite like today’s must-listen LP: Abandoned Language, a disasterpiece of black-hearted hip-hop as imagined by the Godflesh-gone-Bomb Squad duo DÃ¤lek. Beginning with a 10-minute (!) title track, this isn’t the difficult listen it should be, largely due to the effortless interplay between dÃ¤lek the MC and his production partner Oktopus. Four full-lengths into a disorienting discography that includes collaborative splits with Kid 606, Faust and Techno Animal, the Newark-based duo has showed no signs of slowing down in their pursuit of post-apocalyptic rap music.
Not only that; time and time again, DÃ¤lek have proven themselves in the crowded, often-convoluted realms of drone and noise music–nasty, gnarly stuff that can be hard to swallow for people who could care less about what Wolf Eyes or Sunn O))) released this month. Which is why Abandoned Language is an engrossing experience, a pitch-dark journey into America’s underbelly rather than a ‘challenging’ chore. As horns swirl and charm snakes, as beats bump in the night along with wailing sirens and swooping strings, we’re left staring at our speakers in disbelief. Are things really that bad? Maybe. dÃ¤lek certainly seems to think so, what with the way his punchy bits of resilient poetry (“gotta fight tanks with fists, son,” “turn that page motherfucker/’cuz your story’s all scripted/six hundred years/ain’t a fucking thing different”) fill in the pair’s wide open spaces.
To top things off, DÃ¤lek knows their way around an instrumental, as epitomized by the nightmarish symphony of “Lynch,” a clear paean to the director’s waking dream narratives. Come to think of it, we suddenly feel much better about the State of Things now. All bets and gloves are off.