Simple Social Graces Discos
ven at a cool 30-something minutes, Transatlantic KK is a bit of a slog. The Spanish keepers-of-the-Out-Hud-flame rarely let the bass drum quit its four beats to a measure pulse. Hell, if there weren’t a huge number of delayed guitars and synthesizers swirling around the entire time, you might even call it boring. Luckily, there are—and it’s not. These accoutrements rarely decay the same way twice and even when they do, it’s a reasonable expectation to believe that you’ll be dancing too much to care all that much anyway.
As mentioned, Delorean pretty much sound like Out Hud circa “Dad, There's A Little Phrase Called Too Much Information.” Mind you, this isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s a fascinating sound and one that wasn’t explored much on Let Us Never Speak of It Again. Delorean flattens “Dad”’s rough edges out—there’s no drastic shifts in volume, for one—and they add quite a bit more oomph. (The aforementioned slog comes into play here, as much of the drumming on Transatlantic KK lacks the enveloping softness of Out Hud, for better and worse.) But they’re essentially playing with the same tension between an unyielding beat and the guitars that love to unfold around them.
The conflict yields awesome results in the early going. “Complexity Reducer,” “Soon,” and “Metropolitan Death 3” don’t mix into one another perfectly, but they flow seamlessly—applying pressure and easing off when appropriate. “No Name” slows things down a bit, as it relies more heavily on chanted vocals to make its point. Like Out Hud, voices only work when they service the groove—not when they overpower it. Single, “As Time Breaks Off,” brings things back to a boil again, but its momentum is derailed as well by the ponderous “Apocalypse Night Fight.”
Delorean’s 2006 release, Into the Plateau, features nearly the same tracklist as Transatlantic KK. The only changes are the exclusion of a track entitled “Open” between “As Time Breaks Off” and “Apocalypse Night Fight” (could it have made the transition easier between the two?) and the exchange of “Shibuya Crossing” for “Apocalypse Ghetto Blast.” I haven’t heard Plateau, so it’s hard to make much of a judgment between the two (expect to say that Transatlantic KK is far more readily available in physical format in North America), but rest assured that “Apocalypse Ghetto Blast” is the finest track the group has yet written.
The group calls the genre “breakhop” and on it they ask Lady O. to spit platitudes about the 2005 riots in France. The basic sound? Everything that has come before, pushed up about 15 bpm and then slathered with (what else?) an Out Hud-esque distressed guitar solo that convulses each time it hits a new note. It’s lightning in a bottle and I doubt they’ll ever do anything like it ever again.