Deltron 3030 is by far one of the most interesting hip-hop groups to spawn in the early 2000s, combining deep, conceptual sci-fi stories with precise lyrical skills and unusual compositions. Formed by rapper Del the Funky Homosapien and producer Dan the Automator in 1999, Deltron 3030 released its eponymous debut in 2000. The album tells the story of an epic battle between hero Deltron Osiris/Deltron Zero and a global corporatocracy in the year 3030. Deltron 3030 released the second studio album, Event 2, in September of this year.
I attended Deltron 3030’s concert at the Ventura Theater as a hip-hop fan knowing little about this particular group or its music, and was thus able to experience the performance as a new listener with fresh and eager ears, a great advantage when delving into the world of Deltron.
Simply put, the performance was mind-blowing. After playing roughly 10 minutes of what sounded like looped binaural beats, they opened with the epic seven-minute overture “3030,” an introduction that grabbed the audience by the brain just as much as the ears, and created a fully interactive experience that I’m still trying to comprehend a week later.
Kid Koala’s turntablist antics and Del’s captivating delivery along with Dan standing center stage and conducting the performance, plus the high level of musicianship exhibited by the live band accompanying Deltron 3030, provided one of the best, most enthralling live shows of the year; and the best part is that it managed to involve the audience .
A typical Ventura show consists of apathetic hipsters, Pabst tall boys and shoegazing, none of which were present at this show. Instead they were replaced by raucous cheering, dancing, singing and overall good vibrations. I was pleasantly surprised.
Deltron’s performance was one of the best I’ve seen, and one of the few hip-hop acts to skillfully pull off a full band, creating true dynamics and feel within the music. The sound quality was clean, professional — outstanding overall — as was the stage lighting. The entire performance looked and sounded as though it was on Saturday Night Live, but it felt more like being inside Madison Square Garden watching one of the largest hip-hop shows of all time. Massive energy pulsed through the theater, penetrating the souls of everyone in attendance, pulling them deeper and deeper into the show, until finally and somewhat abruptly, it was over. At this one show, I found almost everything that I had thought was missing from hip-hop music, and it was a beautiful experience.