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Old 08-30-2011, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electrophonic Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The Twilight Zone
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Default Dälek- Gutter Tactics (2009)

Gutter Tactics

Dalek's musical engines have always been powered by anger. And their previous releases accurately reflects that the amount of anger usually dictates the quality of the album. Take Absence for example. It's a tempest of sub-sonic sludge and vitriol-filled samples and rhymes that combine into an all time hip hop album. On the other side, Abandoned Language is an hour of lecture by a very interesting college professor amongst a ghostly atmosphere. A very good album, but not near the quality of previous efforts. Gutter Tactics finds Dalek taking the blind rage of Absence, and the articulate detail of Abandoned Language, and attempting to blend them into one album. So often these 'best of both worlds' type albums never realize their potential of their source material. While Dalek's final product may not be chemically pure, Gutter Tactics will still get you high.

One flaw I found with Abandoned Language was the lack of samples on the album. Gutter Tactics wastes no time attempting to right that wrong, with a cold opening track reminiscent of Absence. The minute and a half sample of a passionate sermon from the infamous Jeremiah Wright sets the tone for the album; or at least it attempts too. As soon as Wright's rant against the hypocrisies of the USA fade out, that all-too-familiar Dalek drone creeps in, and MC dalek spits his trademark laid-back rage.

There are the typical Dalek subjects on this album, such as the sad state of hip-hop (We Lost Sight) and distaste for the government (No Questions). But while the Jeremiah Wright sample of prominent on the album, it's the last sample we hear. And again, MC dalek is a damn good emcee, but he needs some re-enforcement behind his words. Gutter Tactics also seems to feature more vocal effects on his voice, which bleeds him into the mix rather than his relaxed flow float above the music. Rather than fortify his words, the effects only lose him further into the mix.

It's unfortunate, but arguably the worst track on the album is the title track. The problem lies not in the quality of the song itself, but rather how much it sticks out from the rest of the album. The rest of the album operates at a half speed slime, while the track 'Gutter Tactics' feels too clean and fast. It's a very good song, it just does not belong on the album and disrupts the homeostasis the rest of the album manages to achieve in the first 8 tracks. But it is offset by the uniqueness of tracks like 'Los Macheteros/Spear Of A Nation', which chronicles the history of Nelson Mandala under apartheid rule. And the closer, 'Atypical Stereotype', that unleashes the held back noise on the previous tracks.

Gutter Tactics is not as much a bastard child of the previous two albums, but rather a genetically engineered experiment created in a lab. Taking the best from Absence and Abandoned Language, the album is both articulate and angry, just not to the degree of it's parent albums. Remember when I said the Jeremiah Wright sample almost sets the tone for the album? While it's a brilliant sample, it's too angry for the lyrics and music of the album as a whole. And leaves a near empty feeling on some of the tracks.

While there is a lot of negative to say about this album, it's only because Dalek has earned that level of criticism with the brilliance of their previous albums. And even the weakest efforts by Dalek trump the majority of rap today.


1. Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children's Heads Against a Rock
2. No Question
3. Armed with Krylon
4. Who Medgar Evers Was...
5. Street Diction
6. A Collection of Miserable Thoughts Laced with Wit
7. Los Macheteros/Spear of a Nation
8. We Lost Sight
9. Gutter Tactics
10. 2012 (The Pillage)
11. Atypical Stereotype

Who Medgar Evers Was...

Atypical Stereotype
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