dälek – Latitudes Session (Untitled 6 July 2005)
From the liner notes
July 2005 was a crazy time in my universe. John Loder, my mentor and surrogate big brother, who I had worked alongside at Southern for 20 years, was very ill – battling a brain tumour diagnosed 18 months earlier. Dälek were holed up in my flat, on the sharp end of reducing their number from three to just two. They were recording a session for our relatively new Latitudes imprint – spending days in the studio laying tracks and nights in my living room, working on ideas. We got to know each other, really. (I have the photos of Alap passed out drunk in his boxer shorts to prove it.) I discovered that the hip-hop bravado and crushing beats were only one layer of these guys. They had a secret Metal past, a serious Alt-Country present, and hearts as big as New Jersey. Their love and knowledge of music ran deep.
On the 7th, I got up to head into the office/studio, and left them sleeping away. Half way to the bus stop I got a call from Tony saying turn around, go home, don’t get on the bus or the tube. He said there had been explosions in the Underground. I turned around, went home and turned on the news. Alap and Will sat with me and watched London’s own version of 9-11 unfold, and then, full of determination and grit, headed into the studio to finish recording. And what did they produce?
Why it’s taken this long for this recording to be released is only down to me, and the battles that I’ve fought in the intervening five years. In August of 2005, John Loder left us. Since then I’ve had to work very hard to keep Southern going, and though we had to close our warehouse and as a result lose most of our staff last year, we’ve survived, and actually come out all the better for it. It’s like the old days – we’re compact, which means we can fight our battles like guerilla warriors – which is pretty much what you need to do to make ends meet these days.
None of this has much to do with the epic grooves that Dälek laid down on this session. And it has everything to do with it, at least when I listen to what MC Dälek is saying. Sonically, this session is a real departure from Dälek’s albums. It’s a gorgeous, multi-cultural melting pot of sound and space, a serious shot to the head, an opening of the third eye. I strongly urge you to explore the magnificence of this session on headphones, in a darkened room, and let it take you away.
I love it so much that I guess I wanted to keep it to myself for all this time. But it’s time to share, and to apologise to you all for taking so long.
– Allison Schnackenberg, August 2010