To promote their “DJ Baku Vs Dälek” CD, Tokyo turntablist DJ Baku and American hip-hop group Dälek (pronounced Die-a-leck) are teaming up for some shows.
DJ Baku opened for Dälek during their first Japan visit in 2005. Both acts developed a mutual appreciation for one another’s talents, which prompted Tokyo imprint Daymare Recordings to propose the joint record. The split includes two new cuts from each artist and DJ Baku remixes Dälek’s “No Question” while Dälek offers their take on “Eat” from DJ Baku’s “Spinheddz” 2006 debut.
Hailing from New Jersey, Dälek formed in the late-90s after MC Dälek and producer Oktopus met in college. They performed as a trio until the end of 2005 when they parted ways with DJ Still, returning to their roots as a duo for 2007’s lauded “Abandoned Language” and this year’s “Gutter Tactics.” Issued by Mike Patton’s (Faith No More, Fanto^mas) Ipecac Recordings, “Gutter Tactics” includes dense, dark avant-garde hip-hop tracks such as “Blessed Are They Who Bash Your Children’s Heads Against a Rock” and “A Collection of Miserable Thoughts Laced with Wit.” The band’s bio gives an extremely basic overview of their experimental stylings that even those with the slightest left-field musical tastes can grasp saying, “Think My Bloody Valentine + Tool + early Wu Tang (Clan) combined with Massive Attack and Aphex Twin.”
DJ Baku’s innovative, warped beats have pushed him to the forefront of Japan’s underground hip-hop DJ scene with his name often being mentioned alongside the likes of local luminaries such as DJ Krush and DJ Kentaro. In addition to the Dälek disc, he’s currently gigging in support of his May mixtape album, “JapaDapta” and July’s “The 12 Japs” which features collaborations between him and a dozen different Japanese rappers.
Dälek and DJ Baku play Sept. 11 at Shin-Okubo Earth Dom, Tokyo (7 p.m.; (03) 3205-4469); Sept. 12 at Ikeshita Club Upset, Nagoya (6:30 p.m.; (52) 763-5439); Sept. 13 at Unagidani Sunsui, Osaka (6:30 p.m.; (06) 6243-3641); Sept. 15 at Shibuya O-Nest, Tokyo (7 p.m.; (03) 3462-4420). Advance tickets are ¥3,500. For more information, visit www.daymarerecordings.com.