Sunday, July 3, 2011

Underrated Classic - Deltron 3030

Deltron 3030 Appreciation
By Raf Richardson-Carillo*

Rare is the concept album that truly coheres; the concept can limit and frustrate the
artist, ultimately leading to a mediocre record with a loose if not lost theme. If that
is the rule, Deltron 3030 is the exception. Dropped in the year 2000, the album – a
collaboration between Del tha Funkee Homosapien (lyricist) and Dan the Automator (producer) – offers a vision of our planet about a thousand years from now, when mankind is enslaved by evil aliens and huge corporations, and basic freedoms are all
but gone. With a busy yet laid back flow and clever wordplay, Del illustrates a world
we would never want to see, and does so with an easy, confident wit. His words are
buttressed and at times trumped by the sample-heavy, soaring instrumentals of
Dan, who is perhaps best known for his work with Handsome Boy Modeling School.

You may recognize Del’s (aka Teren Delvon Jones) voice from “Clint Eastwood,” the
first single off Gorillaz 2001 self -titled debut album, which was released in 2001. He contributed a couple of verses and appeared in the video as a giant monkey ghost who has come back to haunt the band. The trouble is that since then, he has managed to make himself a
regular sized human ghost as far as his work goes. Production on a follow up to
Deltron 3030, tentatively titled Deltron Event II, allegedly began in 2006, but as of
now there has not been so much as an internet leak to suggest that any actual tracks
have been laid down. So listen to this album, nod your head and for goodness’ sake
enjoy, because we may very well have heard the last of this man.

*Raf Richardson-Carillo is a correspondent for Officially A Yuppie. His work includes looking back at Townes Van Zandt's "Live at the Old Quarter" recording.