13 years’s ago Deltron 3030, a hip hop supergroup consisting of rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, producer Dan the Automator, and turntablist Kid Koala, released their self-tilted concept album and one of the best hip hop album of the 2000’s. It was a strange album for its time, the lyrics ranged from social commentary to humor to sci-fi battles, the production had nods old school west coast G-Funk while at the same time being experimental and sounding completely out of this world. If Phillip K. Dick had made hip hop record, this is the record he would have made.
Fast forward 13 years, and Deltron 3030 are touring in support of their second album Event 2, making a stop at London’s Scala. Warming up for Deltron 3030 is their very own DJ/turntablist Kid Koala. Kid Koala, described by Dan the Automator as “Canada’s number one export”, calmly walks over to his set-up and tells the audience that he doesn’t use any laptops, only vinyl, a rarity for modern DJ’s. Starting with a brilliant mix of the classic Beastie Boy’s track “So Whatcha Want”; Kid Koala moves through an eclectic mix of new favorites and old school classics. Just watching him do his thing behind the decks is something of a spectatcle, as he scratching demonstrates extreme technique. He even managed to turn a room of fully grown adults into 4 year olds when he played a track he did for the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba, instructing the crowd to put their hands high in the air, then touch their toes, and then slowly come up.
After a short break it’s time for the main event and out comes veteran MC Del Tha Funky Homosapian, and the group kicks off with “3030”, an appropriate introduction for the show. The high energy space age funk of “Positive Contact” got the crowd moving and jumping about before they began playing material from their latest album.
Deltron 3030 is joined by orchestra of singers, horns, strings, with a sharply dressed Dan the Automator playing the conductor .The orchestral backing gave the song’s a rich depth and worked well with and the dystopian space opera created through the lyrics and the group’s sound. Dan the Automator in the role of the maestro spent most of his time up front waving the batons, interacting with the other performers onstage, and occasionally making a few quick clicks on his laptop.
Singer Jamie Cullum made a surprise guest appearance, delivering his jazzy croon in the refrain on “Do You Remember”. The intricate arrangements of “Melding of the Minds” and “If Nobody Can” shined, providing moments where all the talents of the performers come together brilliantly; Del’s rapping which switches between laid back rhymes to intense tongue twisting verses, Kid Koala’s virtuosity behind the turntable, and the rich sound and precision of the orchestra and backing band all came together to create a powerfully engaging performance. Underground classic and fan favorite “Mastermind” sounded even more out of this world than it did 13 years ago. The gig was closed by a astounding rendition of Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood”, which sent the crowd into ecstasy and left the audience begging for more as they were ushered out of the room.