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1 January, 2000@12:00 am

 Working as the flagship project to jump-start his new 75 Ark label, producer Dan The Automator Nakamura, along with funky homosapien Del, and Ninja Tuner, Kid Koala, bring the long-awaited, Deltron 3030 project. Using the same formula as Dr. Octagon, that is, Automator on the boards, along with a spaced-out emcee (Del), and an incredible underground DJ, (Kid Koala), this project attempts to recreate the same classic magic as it’s predecessor. Although a different virus entirely, comparing the two is only natural, especially considering the critical acclaim that Octagon received.

The argument of Del being past his prime is brought up, after the overall disappointing reaction to his recent Both Sides Of The Brain release. While he had evolved since the days of No Need For Alarm, he’s taken a step even further with Deltron 3030. The vocals on this album are hardly the hilarious freestyle rhymes of his past, but instead futuristic techno-babble, lacking the quotable humor of Kool Keith’s Dr. Octagon. By no means is Del out-of-place here, as he and Automator cook up a few memorable tracks, such as the almost overdone “3030″, which sets the album off. “Things You Can Do” is another enjoyable carnival ride, featuring Del weaving in and out of Automator’s audio helix. “Positive Contact” is a great up-tempo banger that meets at the crossroads of “Earth People” and “Catch A Bad One”.

But when the envelop of creativity is pushed, the results aren’t always successful. The oddly picked first single, “Virus”, as well as its follow-up “Upgrade”, attempt to recreate the mellow, spaced out sound of Dr. Octagon, but once again, the chemistry between Del and the track just isn’t there. This problem ends up plaguing a good majority of the album, and the listener can’t help but wonder how Keith Matthew would have handled these same beats. Nevertheless, things do begin to take better form towards the end, such as on “Turbulance (Remix)”, where Del describes 3030′s Neo-Oakland in awesome detail. “Memory Loss” is also fun, with Automator’s ever evolving production, and a questionable, but cool, hook from Sean Lennon. Still, other minor discrepancies include the inclusion of way too many, somewhat funny, yet pointless, skits, which add nothing to the equation, in terms of the album’s bigger picture. Another complaint is that Kid Koala’s subtle presence is felt, but much unlike the show-stealing DJ Q-Bert of Dr. Octagon.

While many may argue that this album should not be compared to Octagon, or past Del releases, it’s almost impossible not to, considering that these artists’ past releases are considered hip-hop classics in many circles. But with so much talent on the album, it’s almost essential to peep, at least to satisfy the curiosity.

  Mixtape D.L.
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