Skip to content

Dalek – Gutter Tactics

Speaking on Gutter Tactics, the fifth album from New Jersey duo Dälek (pronounced ‘dialect’), producer okt0pus describes it, “…continually doing some early hip-hop shit but with the same attitude of [label-mates] the Melvins or Black Sabbath.” An interesting statement from a hip-hop producer; but honestly not that much of a stretch—if a stretch at all. Musically, Gutter Tactics is so heavily layered that it sounds like a wail of revolutionary war sirens: intense (and I mean THICK) ambient noise mopped over trudging hip-hop beats.


I have a hard time relating anything that doesn’t have a heavily-hooked guitar line to Sabbath; though this does have sludgy guitar feedback interludes that sound a lot like Earth… On the other hand, the Melvins reference is totally on point. This slab is also reminiscent of Meatbeat Manifesto’s Satyricon at its more psychedelic moments. Granted, rock and roll and hip-hop are certainly ‘making friends’ these days, but Gutter Tactics takes it to a whole ‘nother level with its experimentalism.

The lyrics are pretty tough, and I mean no shit. On “No Question” they take the sham prick who has claimed to be our president of-late (thankfully, our now former president) to task on his bullshit war. They tackle the intensely stretched and strange state of the world, revolutionary art, and rather out-there social concepts like the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012.

Gotta say though, these lyrics—as apropos as they are—are tough to make out as they battle with the intense noise of the production. On the up-side, this inherently makes me want to listen to Gutter Tactics again (and again) for the sake of interpretation. And in another light, this is so close to a hip-hop interpretation of a Glen Branca symphony, I could almost go without lyrics altogether (not to say they’re unappreciated…)

Give this two listens. Try not to think of U2’s Rattle and Hum. If you’ve ever loved Cop Shoot Cop and you’re have a pulse, this will make you frown-smile in a ‘fuckin’ love it’ kind of way.


Sign up to our newsletter and get updates to your mailbox