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Deltron 3030

Entry updated 2 April 2015. Tagged: Music.

US hip-hop supergroup comprising producer Dan the Automator (Daniel Nakamura, 9 September 1967-    ), rapper Del the Funky Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones, 12 August 1972-    ) and turntablist Kid Koala (Eric San, 1974-    ). They released their eponymous debut album in 2000. After a considerable hiatus, their second album, Event 2, appeared in 2013.

Deltron 3030 (2000) is an SF Music concept album that sees Jones adopt the persona of Deltron Zero in a post-apocalypse and dystopian 3030 CE (see Post-Holocaust; Dystopias), dishing out a heady blend of Afrofuturism and social commentary (see Politics). The album opens with a lugubrious (and seemingly ad-libbed) voiceover from Damon Albarn (see Blur) musing on Time before moving into the extraordinary "3030". In a series of dense, fluid rhymes, Zero describes his conversion from a Mecha soldier (see War) to a rebel seeking to overthrow his capitalist Cyborg masters (see Politics) using the resurrected weapon of rap (see Communications). In addition to its own delirious world-building, the track takes in a host of cultural references including William Gibson, Akira (1988), Ghost in the Shell (1995) and The Matrix (1999). This is all set to a Nakamura backing track that samples contemporary classical composer William Sheller and evokes a true Sense of Wonder.

Over the next couple of tracks, Zero flies around the solar system ("Asteroid-surfing, castor oil-burping"), ending up on Mercury (Terraforming it and establishing it as a base), before creating a Computer virus to overthrow the state. These narrative-rich tracks are punctuated by disposable skits of the sort that too often litter albums like these but can here be seen as found texts from the future of the type used by John Brunner in Stand On Zanzibar (1968). Even on those tracks that are devoted merely to boasts of the performers' prowess, the metaphors and similes are still overwhelmingly drawn from Technology and Astronomy. Hard SF purists may wince at the fact wit usually trumps scientific verisimilitude in these ("900 Newtons / Crush you like croutons") but they do take Star Wars (1977) to task for the Parsec error (Han Solo: "It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.").

Unfortunately Event 2 (2013) is less an event and more a vanity project past its sell-by date. Gordon Joseph Levitt is on intro voiceover duties this time and acts as a portentous, hagiographic hypeman for the soulless Superhero shenanigans that follow. [ML]

see also: Zager and Evans.

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