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The Planet of the Hard-Headed Holograms: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe of Deltron Zero

Posted on the 03 October 2013 by Grooveonfire @grooveonfire


The following is a guest post by GOF comrade Romney Wordsworth.

After a thirteen year gap from the eponymous debut of super-group Deltron 3030, Event 2 (on iTunes here) has finally arrived. True to form, the record is littered with spacey allusions to current injustices and thinly-veiled critiques of the 2%. For those who think Del’s flow has fallen off, you’ve been dumbed down by hard-headed holograms for too long, strap on your headphones and grab a dictionary.

The first record is a certified classic with nary a flaw to find. The sequel has its missteps. The collaboration between Deltron and Rage Against the Machine frontman, Zack de la Rocha (“Melding of the Minds”) is a miss. On paper it looks great, on wax it is disjointed and mishandled. De la Rocha previous paired with Roni Size and this track harkens back to that one (“Centre of the Storm”). All the elements of a great boom-bap are there, but it doesn’t work.

“Nobody Can” is a throwaway with a chorus so weak it overshadows great verses from DZL. It could be edited down to approximately one minute and be turned into theme music for a Deltron Saturday morning cartoon serial. It would sound great in that capacity. Incidentally, if someone out there is planning a Del-inspired cartoon trekking across the universe, I would watch that (word to Skiznod).

The skits are the major flaw with the release. They, with the exception of “Stardate”, are littered with future-y words and references (i.e. hover sandwich and homeless robot) without sounding futuristic. The first album required a complete suspension of belief and rewarded the listener by providing reinforcements to that belief at every turn, including skits. It may seem like semantics, but the poorly written/performed skits disrupt the flow of the record and cue in the audience to an album about the future instead of from the future.

All is not lost, however. With some of your hard-earned dollars, I can show you how to perfect this album and make it the Godfather II of hip-hop/science fiction concept records. The instrumental for “Nobody Can” is available on iTunes and if replaced in the playing order it supplants a weak track with a moody instrumental. Replace the skits with the mock commercials from the first. I know, I like Doctor Funke as much as the next cat, but unfunny is unfunny. Substitute “Melding of the Minds” with the “Upgrade (Figure Remix)” to keep the dark moment with an abrasive sound that works. Finally, pull “Technical Difficulties” off of The Instrumentalyst - Octagon Beats (the instrumental album of Dr. Octagon’s* Dr. Octagonecologyst) and insert. Voila.

The tracklist should go as follows:

  1. Stardate
  2. The Return
  3. Pay The Price
  4. Nobody Can [Instrumental]
  5. The News (A Wholly Owned Subsidary Of Microsoft Inc.)  (off Deltron 3030)
  6. Upgrade [Figure Remix]  (off Upgrade RMX)
  7. The Agony
  8. Technical Difficulties (off The InstrumentalystOctagon Beats)
  9. Talent Supercedes
  10. Look Across The Sky
  11. New Coke (off Deltron 3030)
  12. What Is This Loneliness
  13. My Only Love
  14. National Movie Review  (off Deltron 3030)
  15. City Rising From The Ashes
  16. Do You Remember

*Dr. Octagon, for the uneducated, is a collaboration between Kool Keith and Dan the Automator.  Kool Keith can be funny, but the Automator beats are not to be slept on. The Instrumentalyst – Octagon Beats is out of print, but you can still cop it from Amazon here.

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