By Jack Hampton, Contributor
Key tracks: “snare of a lifetime”, “the dariacore to YTP pipeline”, “she was a star, now she works in toronto”
Dltzk released their first album, Teen Week, on February 26th of 2021, and when I heard that album, I was on my way out of giving a shit about any of this hyperpop stuff. 100 gecs created a tidal wave of pitched vocal, ironic, bass heavy and youthful music that just kept coming. The duo was cool because pop music had become so utterly stale by 2018/2019 that people were looking for a different avenue to explore it through.
it’s only natural that once people realized you could still enjoy pop music while actively satirizing it, that took off. The problem is that all of it sounds exactly the same. This isn’t to say I don’t still love some of it––I absolutely do. Ever since I heard “Every Night” by Hannah Diamond in 2017 (3 years late) I’ve been hooked on this type of stuff, but it’s also not hard to recognize when things are becoming cyclical. Especially in the case of such sonically specific music as hyperpop, or 100 gecs and their ilk, it is hard to reinvent the wheel when this wheel only functions on one type of car.
Enter dltzk. Teen Week is cool because it uses the hyperpop medium that is founded on cynicism and irony, but makes it earnest. It comes full circle to the point where the most subversive—the freshest take on hyperpop––is to take it seriously. Dltzk bears their soul on that thing; it’s fucking emotional, heartwrenching even. Of course it is, they are 17. When the breakbeat in “woodside gardens 16 december 2012” hits and that scream effect that they use all over their various projects soars over it. It feels like all of the pent up anger, sadness, and resentment that is built up throughout the album is just released in this cathartic flash of brilliance. Then, as if to act as a cruel reminder that the moment is fleeting, the next track “seventeen” is a regression back into late teen depression that hangs uncompromisingly over nearly every track.
Read more: Album Review: Giant Claw – Mirror Guide
So, if you need a reprieve from the angst longer than “woodside gardens 16 december 2012”, but are tired of the David Shawty copycats, dltzk’s got you. Dariacore 2: enter here, hell to the left is dltzk’s newest project, released under the name leroy. This EP is a confluence of breakcore, plunderphonics, aughts with early 2010s pop hit revivalism and pure zoomer frenetic energy. It’s not easy to keep up with. It’s like when the subtitles move too fast on a foreign film.
The calmest moment on the whole EP is probably the first 15 seconds of track one, “dilf repellent”, where we get a sample of The 1975’s Matty Healy crooning about something or other (who cares), until it devolves (or evolves?) into a frenzy of distorted bass and chopped samples that don’t allow a single moment of rest for the next 30+ minutes.
Dariacore 2 is so attention-grabbing because every 30 seconds you hear a new vague, distorted impression of a song you might hear blasting from a car full of teenagers in 2013. Not only does it activate that “oh, I know that” response, but dltzk repurposes these songs so magnificently and freshly that I find myself singing along with songs that I normally despise: I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT I’M FEELIN’ TWENTY TWOOOOOOOO!!!!
Aside from impeccable sample choice, dltzk flexes their production prowess more on this ep than on the previous dariacore or Teen Week, as it feels like all the space is filled, every offbeat occupied with some subtle snare. It has such a glitchy feel because every synth stab, snare or 808 sample seems like it was chopped by a butcher knife. These factors combined are simply suffocating.
This album gives you the best headache. It’s abrasive, noisy and loud, but it’s also fun, happy and energetic. I can’t listen to “she was a star, now she works in toronto (bonus track)” without sporting a massive grin. I’m just glad that dltzk can take what seems like a healthy break from the isolation of something like Teen Week and put it toward something that, to me, exudes the joy of life.