In the film world, science fiction sequels come pretty regularly, and a hit always spawns a follow-up. But in the hip-hop world, sci-fi is still an anomaly, and despite having a cult hit with their self-titled debut album, Deltron 3030 has been promising a follow-up to their futuristic concept album for years. At long last, “Event 2” dropped two months ago and the trio has gone on the road to promote it, touring with two different backing bands, depending on the venue, one a rock combo, the other an orchestral unit. The former comes to the Majestic Ventura Theater this Wednesday.
Individually, the members have their own careers. Lead rapper Del tha Funky Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones) was a founding member of Oakland’s Hieroglyphics; Dan the Automator (Dan Nakamura) rose to fame producing Kool Keith and soon became know for his odd, humorous use of samples, and being a worthwhile collaborator with Prince Paul, DJ Shadow, and Gorillaz (where Del became the voice on several hit singles); and turntablist Kid Koala (Eric San) who became a fixture of Ninja Tune records for his use of non-traditional samples, and who has also teamed up with Dan as the smooth group Lovage. So these guys are busy. But as early as 2004, Kid Koala mentioned new material was being worked on for Deltron 3030’s follow-up. This continued for so many years it almost became a running joke among hip-hop fans. So, why’d it take so long?
“Basically … Del,” laughs Dan, who is sitting with Kid Koala waiting to board a flight during the phone interview. “Not to say it’s all him. When we made the first record it was a futuristic romp, but there was a statement in there. We realized the statement is more of the point in a lot of ways. So it weighed on Del in terms of writing.”
Del, by the way, was traveling from another location, and not available for an interview ñ an almost fitting situation.
“Production wise, we went another route,” says Kid Koala. “We had to dig deeper in the production stuff. We orchestrated it, wrote counterparts, and had sessions of three turntables at the same time. And Del’s writing was so evocative, I had to go back and redo some of the ideas.”
There are no samples on this release, just parts created from loops and scored. The three wanted to go big or not go at all.
The album is also notable for its guest list, who either join in verses as different characters, like Aaron Bruno, Zack de la Rocha, The Lonely Island, Black Rob, Damon Albarn and Mike Patton; or as characters providing linking sketches, like comedy couple, David Cross and Amber Tamblyn, actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and chef, David Chang. They’re all friends of the band, Dan says.
Because of the gap, did the band find the record business had changed a lot?
“Well, we never considered ourself “in” the record business when we started,” Dan said. “Society changed, like how people communicate. Internet, social media, that all happened.
“But for us, we all grew up some, but on the other side of it, we’re all the same. I think we all enjoy the music and we keep pushing forward with it. Even though the world has changed, we still feel fresh.”
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Majestic Ventura Theater, 26 S. Chestnut St.
Information: 653-0721, www.venturatheater.net