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MC dälek (front) and Oktopus (back) performing at the Leoncavallo cultural center in Milan in 2008
MC dälek (front) and Oktopus (back) performing at the Leoncavallo cultural center in Milan in 2008
Background information
OriginNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresExperimental hip hop, industrial hip hop
Years active1998–2011, 2015–present
LabelsIpecac, Profound Lore
MembersMC dälek
Mike Manteca (aka Mike Mare)
Past membersStill
Joshua Booth

Dälek (/ˈdəˌlɛk/) (stylized in all lowercase) is an American experimental hip hop group formed in Newark, New Jersey in 1998. The group's current lineup consists of MC dälek (vocals and producer) and Mike Manteca (aka Mike Mare) (electronics and producer).


The group originated in the New Jersey DIY scene of the mid-1990s, based around a studio lineup of Dälek (Will Brooks), Oktopus (Alap Momin), and Joshua Booth. Brooks had won a scholarship at college, used it to buy an MPC3000 and dropped out to become a full-time musician and formed Dälek with Momin, who encouraged him to name the group after his stage name "like Van Halen".[1]

The group recorded and played live with several DJs, including DJ rEk on from 1998 to 2002, from 2002 and 2005 with Still (Hsi-Chang Lin), and from 2006 to 2009 with Motiv. With this core, the group released four full-length LPs on Ipecac Recordings, and a string of EPs, singles and remixes on various independent labels.

Booth left the group to complete his doctorate in 2009, and Oktopus had relocated to Berlin by 2010.[2] Dälek released a single LP, Untitled, with Brooks and Momin as the sole members, in 2011. From 2011 to 2015, the group was on permanent hiatus.

In 2015, Brooks reunited with DJ rEk and Dälek collaborator Mike Manteca (Destructo Swarmbots). In 2016, the group released a full-length LP Asphalt for Eden on Profound Lore Records.[3]

In December 2016, Ipecac Recordings announced that they had re-signed Dälek.[4] The group released Endangered Philosophies in August 2017. Spyros Stasis of PopMatters described it as an 'enticing and alluring' mix of 'hip-hop, krautrock, noise and shoegaze'.[5] Paul Simpson of AllMusic found it 'equally abrasive and hypnotic' and 'bracing yet beautiful'.[6]

In 2019 the group release Respect To The Authors, a six-track EP released on vinyl through Exile on Mainstream. The EP was re-released digitally in 2020.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the group were unable to access their Union City studio and ultimately scrapped the album they had under production. As an outlet, MC Dälek produced the Meditations series of seven download-only albums from his home.[7]

The group reconvened with Booth in 2021 and began work on Precipice, a ten track album, which was released digitally and on vinyl in April 2022. The album includes a collaboration with Adam Jones, guitarist with Tool.

Dälek have often shared the stage with artists covering a wide range of genres, such as Godflesh, Isis, Prince Paul, Melvins, Tool,[2] De La Soul, RJD2, The Young Gods, Meat Beat Manifesto, Jesu, The Pharcyde, Grandmaster Flash, KRS-One, Dub Trio, Charles Hayward, Cult of Luna, Zu, Blackie, The Gaslamp Killer, Earth, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Bug, Mastodon, and Lovage. Oktopus and MC Dälek collaborated with experimental metal/hardcore punk band Starkweather on their 2010 album This Sheltering Night.[8]

Style and influence[edit]

Dälek's music is dark, noisy and atmospheric, equally inspired by industrial music like Einstürzende Neubauten, the layered noise of My Bloody Valentine and the dense sound collages of Public Enemy. Their sound is often constructed through sampling and a musical base atypical of most hip hop, making it difficult for people to classify their sound. They have been described as trip hop, glitch hop, metal, shoegaze, and hip hop, as well as being criticized for their broad range of sound.[9]

MC dälek described the duo's music to the Chicago Sun-Times:[9]

"It's purely hip-hop, in the purest sense. If you listen to what hip-hop has historically been, it was all about digging in different crates and finding different sounds, and finding different influences to create. If Afrika Bambaataa wasn't influenced by Kraftwerk, we wouldn't have 'Planet Rock.' So, in that sense, what we do is strictly hip-hop.

If there is a difference. It's that the palette of sounds we work with is more varied than what has been called hip-hop in the last 10 years. Somehow, as hip-hop grew, it's been put into this box. I think it's funny when people are like, 'That's not hip-hop. It's this and this and this.' You can try to rationalize it as whatever you want to rationalize it as."


Dälek, Moers Festival 2008

Dälek Albums, EPs and Singles[edit]


  • Megaton/Classic Homicide (2000) split collaboration with Techno Animal
  • Ruin It (2002) in collaboration with Kid606
  • Dälek vs. Velma (2003) split collaboration with Velma
  • Derbe Respect, Alder (2004) in collaboration with Faust
  • Dälek vs. Zu (2005) - two track remix single with Zu
  • Deadverse Massive (2007) - four track 12" in collaboration with Destructo Swarmbots and Oddateee
  • My Education vs. dälek (2007) in collaboration with My Education [11]
  • Dälek vs. Ifwhen – Hear Less / No Good Trying (2008) - four song 12" with Ifwhen.
  • DJ Baku vs. Dälek (2009) - two exclusive Dälek tracks and a remix of a Dälek song by DJ Baku, and vice versa.
  • Griots And Gods – Les Eurockeennes Festival Belfort 2010 (2010) Live collaboration with The Young Gods.[12]
  • Anguish - self-titled LP and CD (2019) - 9 track album in collaboration with Hans Joachim Irmler of Faust and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and drummer Andreas Werliin of Fire! Orchestra


  1. ^ Castillo, David. "Saint Vitus Presents: Age of Quarantine #88 w/ Will Brooks of Dälek". YouTube. Christopher Enriquez. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b Bartkewicz, Anthony (April 4, 2015). "The Return of Pioneering Noise-Rap Outliers Dälek: "I Missed the Noise"". Archived from the original on November 22, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Chuter, Jack (April 1, 2016). "Interview: Dälek". Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  4. ^ "Dälek Announces 2017 Album on Ipecac Recordings". Deadverse Recordings. 20 December 2016. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  5. ^ Stasis, Spyros. "Dalek: Endangered Philosophies". Popmatters. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  6. ^ Simpson, Paul. "Endangered Philosophies". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Check-In with Will Brooks (aka MC Dälek)". Ruinous Media. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
  8. ^ Gergesha, Nick (July 5, 2010). "Transmissions: The Starkweather Interview". Hearwax. Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Jakubiak, David (March 2, 2007). "Dalek makes hip-hop without sound barriers". Chicago Sun-Times.
  10. ^ "Hydrahead announces Botch, Dälek releases". Punknews.org. 2007-06-13. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  11. ^ "Thirty Ghosts Records". Thirty Ghosts Records. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
  12. ^ "Griots And Gods – Les Eurockeennes Festival Belfort 2010". Everyone Knows. The Young Gods. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.

External links[edit]