Follow us:

Soundposts

A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

November 15, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Deltron 3030 with strings attached | Concert preview

(Micahel Donovan)

(Michael Donovan)

By Todd Hamm
Special to The Seattle Times

Deltron 3030 brings a whole new package of songs to complement the group’s tried-and-true repertoire for its sold out show at Showbox at the Market Sunday.

Though none of Deltron 3030′s principle actors was new to the indie-rap scene upon the release of the group’s self-titled 2000 debut, it pushed the members onto the springboard, launching each of their careers to new heights.

By no means a huge commercial success, the album’s carefully antiqued space-age beats at the hands of Dan the Automator and Del the Funky Homosapien’s goofy yet strangely affecting rhymes spoke clearly to the indie-rap audience. Demand quickly built for more material.

But the years passed and release-date rumors surrounding a follow-up became the stuff of message board lore. The trio (which also includes turntable pro Kid Koala) filled out rigorous tour and recording schedules with other projects, but in the summer of 2012, the group re-formed for a string of concerts, debuting new material. Just over a year later, a finished product finally became reality in “Event II,” bearing all of the futuristic, comic-book signifiers that gave its predecessor life.

Fans of the first album will likely appreciate the new material, though the Y2K-generation’s wild anxiety/excitement for the future has faded, making the “Event II” concept less relevant in the world of pop culture. Del’s rhymes also haven’t kept up with inflation. What were once imaginative space-saga narratives with contemporary sociopolitical parallels have lost their edge.

His voice is still booming and musical, like a tenor sax spitting rhymes, but his cadences are clunkier and more cluttered than ever, and his verses are mostly generic assortments of soft-brags that sound like they were written in a rush. Automator and Koala also sound scarily consistent with their 2000 selves (partially because many of the beats were reportedly made the better part of a decade ago), but their style has stood the test of time. The beats sound more refreshed than rehashed.

There are still flashes of brilliance, and their past successes make even their failures endearing. But it takes old friends like Faith No More’s Mike Patton (who collaborated with Automator on his Lovage project), Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha and Damon Albarn (who appeared on Deltron’s first album, and contracted the whole Deltron team to help him craft his first platinum-selling Gorillaz album) to bring about the disk’s best moments.

The Deltron gang is pulling out all the stops on this tour, performing with a 16-piece orchestra, which should make “3030″ sound pretty epic, especially since the source material for “3030″ was a string orchestra piece by Willem Sheller, “Introite.” Hearing it played live with an orchestra should bring everything full ciricle.

Deltron 3030

8 p.m. Sunday atShowbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, Seattle; sold out (206-628-3151 or showboxonline.com).

Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop, Rock/Pop | Topics: "Event II", Concert Preview, Deltron 3030


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►