Published Oct 29, 2013It took supergroup Deltron 3030 13 years to follow up their self-titled debut with sophomore album Deltron 3030: Event II. And as rapper Del the Funky Homosapien tells Exclaim!, getting the album done was no mean feat.
"Just the prospect of having to do Deltron wasn't inviting to me," the Heiro rapper explains. "It was like going back to school again or something, [and to] make it sustainable is too much work to do. Now say there was a third one, right? That would be so much work it wouldn't even be worth it."
Though we may never see another new Deltron album, the creative trio of collaborators are all hard at work on their own projects, which are in varying degrees of completion. But producer Dan the Automator explains that they'll be on hold while the group are on their ongoing North American tour.
"We're about to go on tour and do all that stuff, so we're going to be caught up for a minute. But my next record is a project called Got a Girl," Dan the Automator reveals of his next project.
Got a Girl is a collaboration with actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who sang the a cappella Shirelles cover in Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, as well as contributed the chorus on Deltron tracks "The Agony" and "Look Across the Sky." The duo released their first single, "You & Me," in May; the full album should follow in January, explains Dan the Automator. With Winstead's vocals influenced by French pop music of the '60s and Dan's low-key orchestral hip-hop production, expect a light, lounge-music vibe.
While Dan the Automator makes his music more lush and layered with multiple classical instruments, Del describes his new project with Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets as "a more musical concept, I guess, but it's dissonant. It's like a dancehall melody, primarily, 'cause one, rhythm is all you need, and two, the thing that got me into hip-hop was the fact that you didn't have no melody, no nothing. You've got to listen to it to really get it, I guess, but it's dissonant. We're kind of going in a different way."
The dissonant production will be provided by Del, while both will contribute vocally. "There's somewhat of a storyline along with it, too," Del adds, "so we're both writing that."
Ladybug first appeared alongside Del on "I Got You" from his Definitive Jux album 11th Hour, and fans may get to hear something sooner rather than later. A preliminary mix of the album has been completed, according to Del, but it still doesn't have a label.
"It's just sitting here like gold," laughs Del.
Meanwhile, Kid Koala is being no less ambitious with his follow-up projects. First up is a multi-media piece that melds live music, theatre and film as an adaptation of one of his graphic novels.
"I can't really speak that much about it," says the Montreal DJ, although he does reveal that it is a collaboration with K. K. Barrett, production designer for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, and that "a really talented animator from the UK [is] going to come up with a brilliant, visual where he's going to take a bird from one of my graphic novels and make it soar."
The show is expected to premiere in June and follow with a tour shortly thereafter.
Kid Koala also reveals that he's working on a second Slew album. Kid Koala describes this collaboration with DJ Dynomite D as "six turntables, Black Sabbath styles." Inspired by a tour accompanied by the rhythm section of Australian rock band Wolfmother, Slew started work on a second album, choosing to sample from the participating musicians, and including tracks with "some of our favourite rock vocalists," including Jon Spencer and longtime Automator collaborator Mike Patton. The album is in the midst of mixing.
In the meantime, grab Deltron 3030: Event II and catch Deltron 3030 on on of their remaining tour dates, which you can find here.