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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Feb. 29, 2008

The Newark, N.J.-based alternative hip-hop group Dalek has made a career out of defying expectations of what rap music should—or should not—sound like. On record, the band has managed to meld such disparate influences as Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine and Jesu to create a sound that remarkably coheres into something all its own. There is a sense that group members truly love all forms of underground music, and it comes across on their albums. With the horrors of the unholy late- 1990s “rap-rock” phenomenon quickly dissolving from our collective cultural memory, Dalek allows us to fully see the artistic benefits of indiscriminate genre-hopping. Yet the act of reproducing recorded rap tracks in a live setting is a skill that has eluded even some of the most gifted performers, and judging from its recent Cactus Club performance, even Dalek finds it difficult.
Friday, Feb. 29, 2008

Tonight @ the Cactus Club

Unlike so many other abstract hip-hop artists who create only flimsy, vaguely dreamlike soundscapes, Dalek runs the gamut from shoegazey atmospherics to harsh blasts of industrial noise every bit as ferocious as you’d expect from two bulky, barbarous New Jerseyians. Even though the group’s temper has . . .
Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

This Week in Milwaukee

The Drive-By Truckers’ Brighter Than Creation’s Dark is the band’s most assured and intense collection yet, a largely acoustic record that further distances the group from the Southern-rock and “cow-punk” labels they picked up early in their career.

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