A Quick Guide to: DELS

The last couple of weeks have been hectic for me, causing me to miss out on not only my first love but my second love too. Thankfully today I’ve had the time to start finding some new artists for myself and I’ve got one guy in particular I’d love to share with you.

Ipswich rapper DELS first came into the limelight when the legend that is John Peel put him on the radio back when he was only 17! Since then he’s been moving his career forward, avoiding the mainstream trap that a lot of up-and-coming black artists let themselves fall into. He’s currently signed to Big Dada record label, the label where Ty produced his best music, where Roots Manuva continues to produce good music, and one which has also supported cLOUDDEAD and Busdriver in the past. Back in 2006 he released his first video, entitled Line After Line, a pretty typical hip hop track but one that deserves a listen. You’ll understand why in a second.

So far so good, but nothing great. DELS is good but there isn’t anything that particularly distinguishes him from everyone else. The solution, it seems, is to add some indie: Hot Chip to be precise. Joe Goddard has been producing for a while now (check out Go Bananas from Harvest Festival) and he’s been adding a whole raft of electronic noises to DELS’ music ever since they met back in 2006. Shapeshift gives a good example of this and is a fantastic track to boot.

Expanding on this further, DELS’ has just released a new single, Trumpalump. Again produced by Joe Goddard, this track isn’t as bass heavy as Shapeshifter and the first half of it is even more Flying Lotus-esque than the previous track. Yet it comes into its own around 1:40 where it switches through a breakdown into an almost completely different track. This makes the track brilliant in my eyes and makes me very glad I came across him! Oh, and guess who sings the final chorus..

Before we move on there’s a good cover he did of Bonobo‘s track Eyesdown. Instead of attempting a remix he’s simply added verses to the track, kept Adriana Triana’s chorus, and avoided the strange delusion many DJ’s have where they believe that they can automatically improve any track no matter how good it already is. If you heard the original you’ll be hard pressed not to like his version.

Since I’ve already mentioned Flying Lotus in this post it’d be a bit unfair not to draw your attention to his latest video, a block based animation for the single Kill Your Co-Workers. Like many Flying Lotus songs the track begins with me thinking it’s not that good and then by the end of the video I’m completely immersed in it. Check it out.

One final act to bring you is Fatlip. Formerly of The Pharcyde he’s been pursuing a solo career for about 5 years now. He’s had some mixed success and I think his new track LA Girl is pretty damn awful (or maybe he’s being ironic?) but an older, more introspective track is well worth checking out simply for its rarity in hip hop nowadays. Hip Hop artists often have an overtly masculine brand, they don’t often do something like this. It’s scarcity means you should give this a listen.


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