On their fourth record, Abandoned Language, electronica- and progressive-minded rap group Dälek continues their exploration of the netherworlds of hip-hop, where dark, plodding, sewer-gas production churns with MC/producer dälek's nearly spoken rhymes. Beats are moody and delicately urgent, live strings and horns mix in with hollow drums and delayed keyboard chords, and everything is very purposeful, even in the occasional cacophony that folds itself out from amid the slow melody. The same attention to detail and effect is given to the lyrics, which again and again return to the idea of language, both oral and written.
Over the past 10 years, dälek (pronounced dialect) made a name for themselves with their relentless pursuit of a hybrid between Loveless and It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Their albums got louder and louder, denser and denser, angrier and angrier, peaking with 2004’s Absence. Their beats didn’t change much, nor did the subject matter of their raps (neither of which is meant pejoratively), but their sense of pacing and construction made each song on their albums unique, the results of the three-way collaboration of dälek, Oktopus and Still.