…of the Church Basement!
And what better way to return than with the return of Kid Koala, Del the Funky Homosapien and Dan the Automator? That’s right kids. It’s the return of Deltron 3030, and it only took 13 years for the return. Their long-awaited sequel, Event II, is such a good concept album/big piece of music that just creates a story and a world. It’s really hard for me to describe this album without explaining why this album matters so much to me.
I just love every single moment of it.
Okay, I want you all to meet Deltron Zero and Automator. I learned about both gentlemen from the first Gorillaz album. Del the Funky Homosapien sang on a little song called “Clint Eastwood”. You may have heard of it. It was all the rage. Dan the Automator was the producer of the album featuring Damon Albarn of Blur along with so many other awesome musicians.
The Gorillaz opened my mind to crazy insane music that my little musical mind had no idea about. Kool Keith? Del? Doctor Octagon? Lovage? Mike Patton? And of course, Deltron 3030.
The original Deltron 3030 album was incredible. It was a game changer. It was an album that would force you to sit up, look around the world and wonder why everyone else wasn’t looking and listening to the same thing. When you look back at those moments in your life where things change and you understand them more and more as life moves on, finding the album just because I wanted to find something new and had to definitely take in everything that the people behind Gorillaz had created.
That was a lot of music to just dive headfirst into. Some stuck with me (Handsome Boy Modeling School, Lovage, Deltron). Some didn’t (Dr. Octagon). Deltron has been a member of my regular collection of records/CD’s/albums (whatever you want to call it) for a long time. Gorillaz and Deltron have stuck around longer than most others.
And when my musical tastes got more and more alternative or rock-related, Deltron and Gorillaz stayed around.
The return of Deltron 3030 means a lot to me. I’ve been waiting 13-years for this. I’ve been waiting 13 years for my musical mind to be transported to another world, another plane of existence, to be given a taste of what the future looks like. To listen to an album that creates a world better than television shows based on major blockbuster films. To listen to a record that picks you up from the scruff of your neck and throws you in the middle of an arena, ready to have a rap battle extravaganza.
Deltron 3030: Event II should have been handed to me by Del himself, as a ghost-cyborg, as I let out my last breath on this Earth and make my way to the great spaceship in the sky.
I would turn into vapor right now if Del asked me to.
It’s difficult to explain how often I looked for news of this. A transmission from the team, some news from Dan or Del or Kid Koala. Something that just gave me a glimmer of hope that this album was making its way to me. Scratches were done. Music was created. Rhymes were rhymed. And things were scrapped and re-started probably more than thrice.
And we have this album now. 13-years. And I’d wait 130 more to get this album. It is so good. It is everything I wanted and nothing I expected. Del continues to blow my mind as one of the best rappers alive. The Hieroglyphics frontman rhymes things that no one even thinks to try and rhyme. He throws in verses about physics and science and space travel and superheroics and makes them seem completely easy.
Dan puts together a series of beats and sounds that shouldn’t necessarily work together but they do. Kid Koala pulls it all together and gives you this incredible masterpiece of music.
A masterpiece that I can’t go to a goddamn record store and buy because record stores don’t exist. The first album and everything I could get my hands on by Dan the Automator and his massive collection of musical friends and family (I miss Prince Paul’s guiding hand with The Handsome Boy Modeling School) was purchased at Streetside Records.
Now? You bet your ass Best Buy isn’t going to carry this.
They barely carry anything outside of Miley Cyrus or the latest NOW Shits or whatever that crap is called. They barely carry anything that sounds like music these days. If you want to get the newest hit release album from (INSERTBANDNAMEHERE) then you’re in luck. If you want something that you can listen to, write a dissertation on, and just drink up like a fine wine, you apparently have fewer options for purchase.
There’s Mike Patton. It wouldn’t be a Deltron album without Damon Albarn, of course, who along with Del’s Hiero-in-arms emcee Casual (“There’s a pentagon inside of every pentagram/know your geometry, it’s in the center man”), help create the album’s finest track, “What is this Loneliness,” reminscent of the many great original collaborations. “Do You Remember” the greatness of Massive Attack and Portishead? Well, here’s Jamie Cullum. You’ll repeat the hypnotic, bell-tolling “My Only Love,” with Emily Wells. Hell, the intro even sports Joseph Gordon-Levitt. There’s David Cross. Amber Tamblyn. Aaron Bruno. Lonely Island. Former Bad Boy Black Rob. David Chang. Mary Elizabeth Winstead. And, finally, we get to Rage Against the Government Shutdown Machine with Zack de la Rocha, on — you guessed it — another Event II standout, “Melding of the Mind”.
The Church Basement humbly offers this album up as the best thing I’ve heard this year. It’s one of the best things I’ve had the opportunity to write about. It’s fucking beautiful, man.
Basically, you can go home again. Thanks Del, Dan, Kid Koala and all the rest. Thanks for bringing me back to the beauty that you call hip-hop.