Dälek announce new record, Precipice, out on April 29th via Ipecac Recordings
We don’t usually cover many hip hop acts, but this is a special case. Forged in the fires of the East Coast underground music scene in the 90s, experimental hip hop pioneer duo Dälek has spent decades carving out a unique niche, fusing hardcore hip hop, noise and a radical approach to sound, their brutal sonic temperament pushing rap music’s capacity for noise and protest to some exhilarating conclusions. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors Public Enemy, while drawing from influences as varied as My Bloody Valentine and German experimentalists Faust, Dälek have succeeded in adding completely new textural and structural dimensions to rap music. A visceral and powerful act, both live and in the studio, Dälek spent over a decade touring and bringing their raucous and blistering performances to audiences around the world, touring with and supported by a wide range of acts in the hip hop, rock, metal and experimental genres including Flying Lotus, De La Soul, Tool, The Melvins, Grandmaster Flash, Pharcyde, Fantomas, KRS One and The Bug. For their eighth and latest record, Precipice, Dälek unleashes a work that is practically bristling with fury and power. Predominantly the work of the core duo – Will Brooks aka MC Dälek and Mike Manteca (Mike Mare) -, Precipice features the guest appearance of Adam Jones (Tool) on one of the tracks. The band has enlisted Paul Romano (Mastodon) for the striking cover art, and the packaging features the art of Mikel Elam.
Initiated before the outbreak of COVID-19, the group briefly put Precipice on hold before returning to inject a newer and more dynamic energy into the record’s songs. The result is a timely work, that is teaming with immediacy. “Precipice was a completely different record pre-pandemic.” MC Dälek explains. “We had been working on the sketch of what the album was going to be at the end of 2019. I think me and (Mike) Manteca had narrowed it down to 17 joints out of the 46 or so that we had started with. Me and Joshua Booth had taken the 17 and really fleshed out the joints. The idea was to bounce them back to Mike and then arrange and write lyrics. 2020 obviously had different plans for everybody. We basically put everything on hold. I ended up doing the MEDITATIONS series that year on my own. I think the catharsis of that project, its rawness, the pandemic, all the death, the social upheaval, everything that went down… when I went back and listened to what we had down… it just wasn’t right anymore, it wasn’t strong enough, it wasn’t heavy enough, it wasn’t angry enough. It just didn’t say what I needed it to say”. With Precipice, Dälek have once again tapped into the heartbeat of the day and used that energy to create a vital statement about the world we live in. Continuing in the long tradition of revolutionary hip hop, Precipice builds new cadences born out of tumultuous times, and below this article, you can attest to that sentiment with the first single off of the record, entitled “Decimation (Dis Nation)”. After decades of challenging and expanding the sonic fabric of hip hop itself, giving way to new approaches and possibilities, Dälek is set to take their rightful place as one of the culture’s true innovators.
Precipice will be released on April 29th via Ipecac Recordings. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.
Photo credit: Michael Patras