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This Little Underground: Sapphire Supper Club revisited

Cherlene live, Deltron 3030

Photo: Photo BY Michae Donovan, License: N/A

Photo BY Michae Donovan

Deltron 3030

Packing the same house less than 24 hours earlier was the more future-looking (by over a thousand years, to be exact) Deltron 3030 (April 1). In the world of hip-hop, this is a Justice League congress of alt-rap heroes. Between the incomparable Del the Funkee Homosapien, stud producer Dan “the Automator” Nakamura (Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Dr. Octagon) and star turntablist Kid Koala, these cats are game-changing architects of a forward-thinking school of beat disciples that defied the bounds of genre and media in groundbreaking ways.

In his opening set, Kid Koala showed his unconventional genius with a style that’s much more creative and abstract than technical. Unlike the tight, diamond-cut trickery of decorated battle DJs like Rectangle or SPS, he awes with his sheer inventiveness, a thing that even moves past basic turntablism and into actual music making.

The Deltron supergroup itself arrived amid intense buzz behind Event II, their long-awaited sophomore album. We’re talking 13 years’ worth of anticipation here. Luckily, they came to put on a show. Del brought his natural swag, and Kid Koala brought the sparks. Nakamura – who’s more suited to the studio than the stage – was a stiff. That mattered little, however, because they had the decency to bring three extra live players to make it a truly legit stage performance. But that extra mile is why Deltron is exceptional in both practice and theory. Instead of just relying on their collective star power to carry the day without effort like some half-stepped all-star game, they come with real commitment and concept to deliver something that’s big, cohesive and greater than the sum of its already formidable parts.

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