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London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Hip Hop EDM




"Regional rap"

Big Dada's DELS, whose debut LP, GOB, is out in April, declares the Suffolk town as instrumental in shaping him as a rapper who deals in clever concepts, evocative imagery, emotion and songs. "I like being the outsider, being from Ipswich makes me stand out a bit more. It's the reason my music sounds the way it does, because I've always done my own thing," says the softly spoken Kieren Dickins.

It also has its advantages in terms of profile: late last year, DELS' first Ipswich gig saw Dickins hailed as a "World Hip Hop" star on the front page of his local newspaper, the Evening Star. "I hadn't even released an album," laughs the self-effacing twentysomething. "It was a good gig, my family, friends and teachers were there. At the end this old guy from Ipswich said to me, 'We need some Ipswich rappers.' I said, 'I am an Ipswich rapper I just don't have a strong accent.'"

With Hot Chip's Joe Goddard (another connection made via MySpace) producing more than half of GOB, perhaps DELS will fulfil the promise of that Evening Star headline. - The Independent, UK

"Clash-track of the day"

Kieren Dickins aka Dels is one of the year's most unexpected newcomers.

A rapper, Dels drops any sign of hip hop cliche for a fresh thinking approach. Teaming up with a range of producers, the Big Dada rapper has already released a string of quality singles throughout 2010.

Capping the year with his new release, 'Trumpalump' is a typically surreal dollop of forward thinking hip hop. Dels has teamed up with man of the moment Joe Goddard, who supplies some liquid production.

Working with Hot Chip this summer, Joe Goddard has also maintained his Greco-Roman imprint while also releasing a steady stream of solo cuts.

One of the year's most defining dance producers, Goddard adds a fun, house derived centre for Dels to build on. 'Trumpalump' begins as a collage as thoughts, with the MC playing the extrovert role to the max.

However as the single progresses Dels drops in some more melancholic thoughts, assuring fans that there's more to him than a cartoon.

Out now, Joe Goddard supplies a beautiful, deeply affecting chorus. 'Trumpalump' has been re-worked by a host of producers but it is the Hot Chip guru's own take which has caught our eye.

Adding vocals from Ghostpoet, the new remix tears away the bluff to reveal the beating heart of the original. - Clash Magazine

"New Band of The Day"

DELS is a cool new rapper with a good, strong flow that invites if not compels you to listen to his words: it's somewhere between languid and urgent, but not unguent – although it will salve listeners sore from overexposure to the brrrap pack. He's made some really interesting choices with regard to collaborators that should ensure his debut album will be worth hearing – he's recorded several tracks with Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, at least one with Micachu and the Shapes, and producers Kwes and Sampha have been involved. We haven't heard any of Sampha's team-ups with DELS yet, but his own heavenly high-frequency house music is amazing, so that augurs well, and Kwes has worked with Micachu and the xx, so there is a sense that DELS, even as he works across a broad-ish canvas, will be keeping things fairly consistent and sonically unified.

We like the fact that he comes from Ipswich, where he was a "disruptive and delinquent" pupil before forming, in his teens, a 2step garage act that got played on the late John Peel's show – his music has a lightness of touch, a freshness, that suggests someone at one remove from the capital. It's hip-hop allied to the impish curiosity of indie electronica. He studied graphic design, and he handles his own artwork and videos, but more than that, there is, either because of the producers he's worked with or due to his own input, a detailed richness to his sound, an attention to tiny, funny, even silly little toyshop squiggles, bloops and boings that make it a playful pleasure to listen to – even as he makes heavy claims for himself and denounces his peers.

There's no album till 2011, but in the meantime there is his single, Shapeshift, one of several Goddard team-ups, which musically – apart from the weird unknown 1970s bubblegum pop sample at the start – is pure John Carpenter synth menace. It comes with a great video featuring legions of DELS in hoodies and a cameo from the Hot Chip man. Other DELS tracks we've heard further whet the appetite: Trumpalump, which sounds like the theme tune to a kids' show where the characters are all rappers, like a hip-hop Trumpton; Eating Clouds, the first rap track to our knowledge where the protagonist threatens to remove all comers via a process of exfoliation; and Violina, produced by Micachu, a vividly imagistic tale of love lost that portrays women as callous, carnal beasts laughing at DELS' "crystal tears" and consuming his broken heart, propelled by what sound like wild boars blowing vuvuzelas. It's like Dizzee meets the Björk of Vespertina, and who wouldn't want to listen to a whole album of that? - The Guardian, UK


Line After Line-single (Moshi Moshi 2009).
Kwesachu-mixtape (with Micachu and Kwes).
Shapeshift-single (Ninja Tune 2010).
Trumpalump-single (Ninja Tune 2010).
Gob-single (Ninja Tune, April, 2011).
Gob-album (Ninja Tune, May 2011).



In an era of homogeneous hip hop, the music of Kieren Dickins – better known as his on-stage alter ego DELS – comes as a breath of proverbial fresh air. DELS’ signature sound belies a truly eclectic range of musical influences, from his days in a two-step garage band as a teenager, to a long-standing creative partnership with Joe Goddard from electro-pop wonder team Hot Chip. The resulting product is a unique mishmash of squelchy basslines, tinkering keys, syncopated drum patterns and the occasional steel pan, all juxtaposed by DELS’ infectiously languid flow.

Having been discovered at the tender age of 16 by the legendary John Peel, DELS continued to make music whilst developing his natural artistic ability as a graphic design student. Now, DELS’ music is fast gaining recognition amongst music heads the world over, earning him a place on a European tour with Hip Hop eccentrics Yo! Majesty, as well as gigs at festivals including Glastonbury, Transmusicales and Big Chill. Having featured heavily on the acclaimed ‘Kwesachu’ mixtape by production wunderkinds Micachu and Kwes, DELS is currently adding the finishing touches to his own debut LP, which will be released on the appropriately genre-defying Big Dada / Ninja Tune label in May 2011. Named GOB it features productions from Joe Hot Chip, Kwes and Micachu.