The return of New Jersey-born hip-hop trio Dälek has been a long time coming, and it's fitting that MC Dälek and his two new collaborators (DJ rEK on turntables and co-producer Mike Manteca) have resurfaced on one of the most forward-thinking labels in the game: Profound Lore. This marks the first time that the Canadian label—which is better known for Agalloch's dark woodland folk, VHÖL's progressive thrash, and Chthe'ilist's chthonic death metal—has ventured into hip-hop, but once you get an earful of Dälek's new LP, Asphalt for Eden, it makes a whole lot of sense.
Dälek's take on hip-hop is foreboding and hypnotic in a way that feels unexpected; sure, in the Age of Future, creepy, dark vibes are almost de rigeur, but Dälek takes it a step further towards the abyss by incorporating a seething electronic edge—think Einstürzende Neubauten, not Soundcloud. They've always been the odd men out in a way, but their sound is so complex and quixotic that the group has also found itself sharing stages with the disparate, experimental likes of KRS One, Tomahawk, The Melvins, TOOL, Grandmaster Flash, Jesu, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, and Earth. On Asphalt for Eden, harsh EBM and biting electronic beats mesh bizarrely well with long, winding sheets of shoegaze (see the glorious ethereal swell of "Masked Laughter (Nothing's Left)"), trills of trip-hop, and MC Dälek's purposeful, enunciated rhymes.
Pre-orders for Asphalt for Eden are live now, and we're premiering the new song "Guaranteed Struggle" below. Dig in, and if you're local, do your best to catch them live at the Bell House in Brooklyn with dreamcrusher on April 22.
Kim Kelly is going to go listen to Onyx on Twitter.