Returning from their hiatus a few months back, dälek have confirmed their return with the release of their new album Asphalt For Eden, the successor to 2009 full-length Gutter Tactics. Released via Profound Lore, it also sees a new line-up bringing their imagination to the band’s renowned experimentation. Revived by mastermind and producer MC Dälek (aka Will Brooks) last year, with the permission of ex-member and co-producer Oktopus, and with DJ rEk on turntables and co-producer Mike Manteca on samplers and effects alongside, dälek reveal the first result of their fresh union with an album which bewitches as it intrigues, provokes as it explores new dramatic adventures in the band’s sound and imagination.
Whether it is a new pinnacle in the band’s creative endeavours we will leave others to decide but certainly Asphalt For Eden ignites the imagination with its raw noise within ambient beauty and dark trip hop meets hip hop experimentation and provocation. It opens with the hypnotic Shattered, a persistent nagging of drone and sonic repetition hugging the lyrical prowess and delivery of MC Dälek. It is a haunting waltz of dissonant shadows and throbbing resonance; reminding a little of British hip hop band Honky, with MC Dälek prowling ears and thoughts with his stirring presence.
The sensational start continues with the also toxically atmospheric Guaranteed Struggle. Again the senses are immersed in inharmonious textures and sonic trespasses, rhythms roaming with a distracted gait as the vocals spread their evocative insight. The cacophonous air is as mesmeric as the swing and vocal enticement, becoming more invasively compelling and corrosive with each passing minute of the song’s droning beauty. It increasingly seeps deeper into the psyche, magnetic in its mystique laced discordance and ravenous in its oppressive envelopment of body and mind.
Masked Laughter (Nothing’s Left) is a lighter distraction; its elegant fuzzy harmonies blossoming into halos of sonic suggestion around effect cloaked vocals whilst Critical provides an industrial toned intrusion with a carnival-esque revelry and infectiousness to its melodic undercurrent. As with its predecessors, there is a busy creative machine working away within the muggy climate of the track, new revelations emerging with every listen and in turn a fresh wave of virulent contagiousness.
The rockier incitement of 6dB comes next with its haze of sonic instrumentation and raw ambience around a brewing rhythmic stroll. It is a plaything for the imagination before Control simmers and bubbles with its bracing celestial air and harsh romance of noise around MC Dälek’s ever alluring presence. Its spatial qualities are emulated in It Just Is, a closing slice of transfixing sonic and melodic discord aligned to a pulsating trespass of charm. Though it, and the track before, do not quite ignite the same strength of reaction as those before, both leave satisfaction full in their absorbing embrace.
The biggest pleasure comes in the repetitious and enjoyably monotonous drones of sound which shape tracks in a range of differing textures and ways. It provides a mesmeric and imposing romancing of the senses and imagination simultaneously acting as fuel to the creative fire of Asphalt For Eden and spicing to its rousing explorations. It is as if dälek has never been away.
Asphalt For Eden is out now via Profound Lore across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 28/04/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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