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Newark, New York NJ, United States (1998 – 2010)

dälek (pronounced ‘die-a-leck’) is a duo formed in Newark, New Jersey in 1998. The group comprises MC dälek (vocals) and the Oktopus (production). They have often toured with artists from radically different genres, such as Godflesh, Isis, Prince Paul, Melvins, De La Soul, RJD2 and Lovage.

dälek’s music is dark, noisy and atmospheric, equally inspired by industrial music like Einstürzende Neubauten, the layered noise of My Bloody Valentine and the dense sound collages of Public Enemy. Their sound is often constructed through sampling and a musical base atypical of most hip-hop, making it difficult for people to classify their sound. They have been described as trip hop, glitch-hop, and metal-shoegaze-hip-hop, as well as criticized for their broad range of sound.

MC dälek described the duo’s music to the Chicago Sun-Times:
“It’s purely hiphop, in the purest sense. If you listen to what hiphop has historically been, it was all about digging in different crates and finding different sounds, and finding different influences to create. If Afrika Bambaataa wasn’t influenced by Kraftwerk, we wouldn’t have ‘Planet Rock’. So, in that sense, what we do is strictly hiphop.”

“If there is a difference, it’s that the palette of sounds we work with is more varied than what has been called hiphop in the last 10 years. Somehow, as hiphop grew, it’s been put into this box. I think it’s funny when people are like “That’s not hiphop. It’s this and this and this.” You can try to rationalize it as whatever you want to rationalize it as.”

Studio albums:
• Negro Necro Nekros (1998)
• From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots (2002)
• Absence (2004)


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