Deltron 3030 back from the future
'One by one, the banks began to collapse again," Joseph Gordon-Levitt intones. "Politicians were running out of flocks to fleece. The middle class had faded into irrelevance."
A clip from a documentary? The pre-credit narration of a dystopian blockbuster? How about the beginning of a rap album?
It's been 13 years since the eponymous debut album from Deltron 3030, the collaborative effort of Del the Funkee Homosapian, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. The futuristic album imagined a time when the world is run by corporations, the environment is ruined, and hip-hop has been almost incurably corrupted. Now, the trio has reunited for "Event II," and is touring with an orchestra as backup.
We talked with Dan the Automator, best known for his work with Deltron, the Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School, in advance of the crew's two New York dates.
It's been 13 years since the first album. What took so long?
When we made the first record, we thought we'd just make a futuristic record and have fun with it. There were political undertones, but it was for fun. And then after we made the record, we realized that in order to do a record about the future, you have to address the past. Without the past, there's no baseline. It became a lot heavier process. And all these things happened between 2001 and 2010 and it became apparent we had to touch on all of this stuff.
What do you hope people take away from the album?
My philosophy is like that of someone who watches "The Simpsons." That show has plenty of political undertones. You can take from that what you wish. Or you can take Homer strangling Bart and getting poked in the eyes. You can listen to this record and think, "this is really informative," or you can just say, "these beats knock."
What would Nathaniel Merriweather (Dan's alter ego in Handsome Boy Modeling School) say about Deltron 3030?
He would enjoy the adventure and the musicality, but ultimately would wonder if it's possible to get a good cognac or cigar in the year 3040.
If you go: Deltron 3030 performs at Brooklyn Bowl on Wednesday at 8 p.m., 61 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, 718-963-3369, $30
The group is at Highline Ballroom on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m., 431 W. 16th St., 212-414-5994, $30