Dalek: Atlanta MJQ Concourse

Dalek set out to deconstruct hip hop...

MJQ Concourse is underground, in body and soul. A blue and red underlit Mod romper room of a basement, MJQ is a subterranean space station where Brit Pop, hip-hop, house and drum ‘n’ bass dock side by side. On decks tonight DJ Spesh captains, laying down the laws of the jungle. Jump-up rolls between diverse acts presented by D.R.E.S. tha Beatnik.

Dead Air Transmissions broadcast tweeked-out blippy electro. Helium-voiced hippie-hop six-piece Justin Hale follow. But what follows ignites hip-hop, noise rock, gravel and good will towards man and the ashes billow back like caustic smoke. As lights flicker erratically, New Jersey’s dalek take the stage – forcefully.

Hip-hop is cannibalizing itself, and dalek say exterminate. There’s a feast available, and dalek see no point in sucking syrup and choking on ice like the inbred rest. No, dalek devour Public Enemy and Eric B and Rakim with sides of the Velvet Underground, Faust and Portishead to name a few.

To the left, producer the Oktopus pogos manically, layering raw clanging, submerged beats and wind-swept sitar drones, while on the right DJ Still bobs his wiry Afro, scraping hollow metallic percussion from a needle, wah-wah and digital delay when not seizing cascading white noise from strangled black vinyl. And in the middle stands the stern bulk of MC dalek (a twist on “dialect,” not ‘Dr. Who’), who not so much raps as recites Beat poetry (collected at www.deadverse.com).

Just off tour with The Pharcyde after misunderstood years on the indie rock circuit, dalek play songs from their debut EP ‘Negro Necro Nekros’ as well as equally incendiary material they’re currently shopping to labels. Closing with ‘Classical Homicide’, off their split 12″ with Techno Animal, a murky, powerful squall erupts as dalek falls to his knees and gags the stage monitors with his mic, the song regurgitating itself. After seeing dalek it’s hard to stomach what passes for hip-hop. They are the are the true underground, body and soul.

Tony Ware