Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • ROB SHAKER - Welcome to the SBX (Exclusive)

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    The Syllabolix crew have just expanded their roster to include a major talent in production into the famalam. He’s known as Rob Shaker and letting him record for someone else and not you becomes your problem. There is a reason why he’s kept on the speed dial of most of Perth’s hip-hop scene.

    Rob Shaker has held a longstanding position within Western Australia’s hip-hop collective since 2000, a serious contender and the only back-to-back winner of the Head Of State WA in 2012 and 2013 and was awarded the Best DJ in Australia for 2013. His recent signing with the SBX crew makes him the most recent member since Mr Grevis to join the collective of MCs, producers and DJs. A qualified audio engineer, and working out of his own Shake Down studios, Shaker has worked extensively with the SBX on numerous occasions as a live tour DJ, as he has been for many of Drapht’s gigs since 2011, including the 2012 ARIAs performance. As well as crafting the production and working the cuts, scratches, mixing and mastering on many of SBX members’ projects, most notably; The Dragon Project (2010), Mr Grevis’ The Sampler and My Escape Shaker is currently working on Graphic’s album. So it comes as no surprise to hear of the SBX snapping up his talents.

    Being jumped into the SBX crew has been one of the best things to have happened this week to Rob, apart from taking this interview for Ozhiphopshop, the other being the birth of his first son, Jase. This means for Rob, that the priority has changed. No longer can he afford to bask in his past credits and lending a free hand on hip-hop’s local front. His boy needs to eat. With an inbox stuffed to the gills, working currently with Clandestein’s own Graphic on his new solo LP and gearing up his own so-called collective project in SMOG, Rob Shaker is going full bore at his craft. The engineer’s perspective on work is borrowed from two angles, with one pulling harder on the agenda than the other, as Rob explains, which results in him having to refine his choices of artists that he works with, aligning himself with those who can make bank for his family. This proves to be great timing for his recent membership into the SBX which includes a Goodfellas-meets-School-Daze styled initiation ceremony, jokes Shaker. At some point art intersects with commerce, and for Rob Shaker it’s about that time. In probably the most tiring week of his life, one that saw him get jumped into the SBX which was still not the most exciting thing to have happened to the beatsmith this week, OHHS caught the guy between winks and shook an interview out of him. Despite the sleep deprivation Rob enjoyed letting us in to the new movements of Perth’s scene and we enjoyed hosting him. Cheers.

    ROB SHAKER interviewed Tuesday 24th March, 2015
    For OHHS & Rip2Shredz Press

    Words by RIP NICHOLSON
    Images by Dallas Purdey

    RIP: Firstly, big news this week i have read... The birth of your new son, Jase. Congratulations, man.

    ROB: Thanks mate! Yeah Coz and I are very stoked with the little fella. Couldn’t be happier. You’ll have to excuse any dumb answers or typos as I’m fairly sleep deprived at the moment.

    This must present you with a new outlook on your work, like it’s not for you now, you’re working on behalf of something greater, your son.

    Yeah it does change my perspective on my work a little bit. There’s two aspects of my studio work – The studio work I do for a living, and the projects that I really want to work on, which in recent times has been taking over from the everyday work. Jase coming has made me focus on both differently, but particularly my own projects. I feel I have to be more selective of the artists I choose to work with because I need to rely on royalties, performance fees and sales to feed him. It’s important for the projects to be dope as hell and have a quick turn around, whereas previously I would happily work with who ever was keen and take sometimes years to finish projects. Unfortunately the family can’t afford to wait around for lazy rappers any more!

    And also, somewhat a side celebration for you this week, haha. As important as this is for you. Welcome to Syllabolix. How’s the fam?

    Cheers again! Yeah it’s something I’ve secretly wanted for a long time, and decided to voice to a few of the crew more and more in recent times. A sense of urgency is something I seemed to develop when I hit 30 a few years ago and asking for what you want is part of that. I used to believe that if I let my work rate and quality speak for itself surely I’d get somewhere, but you need to be forceful sometimes too. The fam is great! An amazingly talented bunch of good people.

    You must be proud to be a part of SBX. How did it come about?

    Yep absolutely! Couldn’t be prouder really. To be included in a crew that was a huge influence in the development of the scene in Australia is massive for me. If there was no SBX there would be no hip-hop in WA! Or maybe we’d all sing like Bon Scott over folk music and call it hip hop or some shit.

    I guess it came about gradually from starting out in the scene and being around the guys a lot. Optamus ran a night at The Rosie on Perth called Scratch in the early 2000s which was just after the famous Hyde Park days. I used to be down there every Tuesday networking and being a drunk nuisance. Dazastah and Opt had a lot of time for me and gave me lots of advice which is something I’ve always tried to pass on when anyone asks me. Development and mentoring is something that they showed the scene in its early days and I’d like to help with that with the kids these days.

    In 2011, Draphto released his album “The Life of Riley” and was looking for a tour DJ. I think Bitter put in a good word for me as at the time I was working on his debut album “Isolation” and I became a member of the touring crew. That led to a pretty crazy few years of touring around Australia several times and performing on some huge stages including opening the ARIA’s the year that Draphto won the urban award. There’s not many guys I respect more than him as a musician and personally, and the experience I learnt in those years thanks to him is invaluable. I’ve also DJ’d for Bitter, Grevis, Mortar, Opto and even Hunts a few times throughout the years so my ties with SBX have been fairly strong for a while.

    Production wise I had produced beats and done some studio work on a bunch of SBX albums too including, Bitters albums, Grevis’s albums, The Dragon Project, Porsah Laine’s album and the Canteen album. So I guess that’s the lengthy answer, but it was also just good people that I’ve known and been mates with for a while and it was a natural progression to become a part of the crew. Opto wanted to announce making me a member in conjunction with the release of the new SBX cypher series called “The Syllabus” which has just dropped on youtube.

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    How does it change the trajectory of your career, being a part of a recording crew?

    It changes the direction slightly as I’ll be focusing on more SBX artists to collab on projects with. I’ve been working with guys from all around Oz from different crews and that will continue, but the drive for SBX albums to be released will be the focus for sure. People have been fiending for some albums to come out so what ever I can do to help out is what I’ll do. Purely as a hip hop fan I would love to hear another album from Layla, a combined one with Daz as well as his own project and who wouldn’t love to see the likes of Matty B, Tommo, Emjay and the rest release stuff! I would personally produce an album for Deej for free! Not many people know he was originally an MC in Downsyde and only know him for his killer design/artwork. I think when I finally get around to releasing my own production album it will be almost all SBX guys too. I’d like to tick a few features off the bucket list too though!

    What do you bring to the SBX crew? And, as a beatsmith do you fit the style to record for the guys at SBX?

    Not a whole lot to be honest haha! I can do the running man like no one you’ve ever seen!! And bring them coffee and make sandwiches whilst they write! Nah, I mean there’s no particular skill that I have that someone in the crew doesn’t already dominate in. No one can compete with Daz at making beats AND behind the decks! Opto is a beast on the beats too and Mortar, Fdel the list goes on. I guess I can offer a slightly different style of beats into the fold. I like my aggressive boom bap beats so I’ll surely add an element to the albums, and I’m always keen to lay down some cuts on any track so that’s something I could bring to the crew. More than anything I take pride in getting shit done so I think my organisation and enthusiasm will hopefully see lots of music get released and add to the live shows in whatever way I can. Obviously I run a studio full time so I’m sure I’ll be doing large portions of the recording, mixing and mastering of a lot of the projects.

    Last January you performed with Mr. Grevis and the SBX fam at the Rosemont Hotel. Is it fair to say that you’ve been with the crew for a while and it’s only now they’ve given you the official neck chain, so to speak?

    Well yeah I guess it is fair to say that although I never expected it and took it for granted. I’ve often been included on SBX line ups including the Robert Hunter Cup all stars gig last year as well as Hunter’s last album launch “Bring it Back” spinning for the whole crew and their posse cuts. Both moments were a very surreal experience for me, but doing the back up vocals for songs I grew up listening to was spun out for sure. Grevis and I used to be a duo, but he ditched me for Daz live on the MPC (which is shit loads more interesting than watching me drink beer and occasionally scratch so who could blame him), but when he has Perth shows he lets me get my moment of shine. As a producer and DJ to be made a member is something I’m extra proud of as you could count the number of new members on one hand since the inception of SBX and I can’t think of another DJ or producer that has been made a member since then. I could be wrong though.

    And why don’t crews in Australian hip-hop give their members a logo neck chain, like Death Row or No Limit? Are we too cool, or not cool enough?

    I wish it were as simple as becoming a member and getting a chain! With SBX there is a rigorous initiation ceremony which lasts for 3 days and involves being hung upside from my testicles (so Fdel tells me).. And on top of that I’m yet to learn the intricacies of the secret handshake in which I’ve heard blood is drawn. Also, they made me shoot a dude in a drive by the other day.. laying low for a bit actually. It’s more like a cross between a college sorority and the mafia than I expected. Still, a platinum chain would be dope!

    Dope cypher that you guys delivered with this recent news. Who worked the beat, was that you?

    Optamus and Imposta cooked up that one. As a production combo they’re called IOU and they make some crazy beats. Imposta is about as impressive on the keys as any musician could be on any instrument and combined with Opto’s ear for drums and sampling they have heat for days. The new Optamus album, which we’ve been mixing at Shake Down is all produced by them and is definitely a release to look out for soon.

    Syllabus 2 is dropping shortly and the beat is produced by me so it’s a little more dark and aggressive, but with a similar feel. I won’t spoil which MCs are on it, but shit will be dope I can guarantee.

    How much work and practice goes into something like this kinda video?

    I’d like to tell you that we spent 4 days filming until we got the perfect take, but the truth is it was done within an hour thanks to Dom who is an absolute pro. It was filmed in one shot which I think is the best way to portray these types of cypher things and was probably the second or third take, then the rest of the work was with Dom in editing and grading etc.

    For those not familiar with the location, the old Freo power station is an icon in WA. The history of graff there is insane. We had a good look around and got some killer shots thanks to the homie DJP photography. Hopefully he’ll let us link some here.

    Syllabus 2 was recently filmed at Shake Down Studio and we’re hoping to see a rough copy soon, but it was filmed in multiple shots as it’s far more difficult to film a single take in such a cramped space. Keep an eye out though this one is pretty angry!

    What’s the atmosphere when you’re creating a cypher. Are you guys trying to smash each other over your bars?

    I guess that’s a better question for the MCs, but having recorded a fair few posse cuts over the years I’ve definitely noticed there’s always a bit of competition between MCs on a track together, but at the same time its 100% respectful. If I were an MC I would definitely make gun sounds with my mouth after every 16 whether it’s a battle cut or not. Bitter and I often joke about this “And then mum said I love you as she died in my arms bbrraaaappp!!!” It’s just so versatile really.

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    Tell us about Shake Down studios. Are we talking egg cartons for wallpaper in a shed?

    Haha nah that was the old Shake Down studio. My mate Al saved me egg cartons and I plastered them all over the walls along with every gig poster I’d saved. The new one is a fair bit more pro and is a purpose built home project studio designed specifically for vocals and mastering. In early 2013 I was looking to finally become an adult and buy a house so having a big detached building for a studio was important. The place I ended up buying had a massive brick car workshop out the back, which was ideal. My Dad and I spent 4 months working 6 – 7 days sometimes to get the whole thing built and it turned out really well. Was a whole lot of fun to build too! You can read about the studio build here: [ robshaker.com/blog/ ] There’s lots of info that you could learn from re: building or improving your own studio.

    I work out of the studio full time specialising in hip-hop and vocal recording and soon it will serve as a daycare for all my SBX daddies as we work on albums. Fortunately there’s enough work in WA for me to get by and pay for my part of the mortgage, which is something I’m very thankful for. It’s become very busy since it opened and I think it’s because I treat every project the same with as much attention to detail as I would my own albums as well as being able to work long hours efficiently. This feels like a resume all of a sudden haha! But for real If you want quality mastering come to Shake Down Studio/Day Care centre.. This month we are offering free mastering of your EP if you book in your kid for a week of daycare.

    I see you’ve had RA The Rugged Man walk through Shakedown. What went down that day?

    Yeah that was a very strange day indeed. Rugged Man is an MC I’ve listened to since forever so getting the opportunity to meet him let alone record him was pretty insane. Bentman from Down Underground Events is a mate of mine and was the Australian promoter when RA came in 2013. He needed a place to record a verse for his mate’s mixtape and realistically could have gone anywhere, but Gav said to hold tight until Perth and I’d help him out. I was originally booked to DJ for his Perth gig and when asked I jumped at it not realising that I was booked to DJ for Drapht in Brisbane for Sprung Festival the same night. After realising I got Defyre to help me out and DJ for RA, but I was so keen to record him that I changed my flight to the red eye so record him at 6:30 pm to fly out at around 9:30pm. He was over an hour late so we didn’t have much time to kick it so it was straight down to the business of recording his verse, He took a while to get used to the modern methods of punching in vocals and I learnt he has quite a unique way of recording which is probably not that interesting to read about as well as it would take too long to explain, but either way we knocked out the verse and were about to start adlibs when I had to head to the airport. We managed to at least have some decent convos about things and I learnt he was pretty full on, but nice dude with a typical ‘f*#ck you’ New York attitude. Turns out he ended up recording the rest of his vocals at the Hilltop Hoods Studio and who knows if they even used the vocals I tracked in the final song! Was something to tell the grandkids for sure.

    Are you more equipped and eager to record now than say 10 years ago? Are you still just as hungry, today?

    10 years ago I was probably more eager to record, but didn’t have the drive or stamina to finish projects, mainly because I was drunk and there was a lot of PS2 games that weren’t gonna play themselves. These days I’m used to spending 10 – 12 hours in the studio without exhausting my ears or perspective so I can achieve far more than I did back then. I’m definitely still extremely hungry creatively. I love nothing more than making monstrous beats whenever I can and I think that’s something I’ll do until I’m an old man.

    You have a project in the works with Graphic, is that right? How’s that coming along?

    It’s finished and mastered and It’s sounding crazy. This is an album that will turn heads without a doubt and production wise some of my proudest work. His style suits my beats so well and his attitude with recording works perfectly with my control freak nature in the studio. Ideally I like to handle all beats, recording, mixing and mastering on my own projects and that’s what he’s let me do. People often use different engineers throughout the process of making an album to get different opinions and perspectives on the project, but I prefer the opposite. I may have an idea or specific process I want to include before the album is started and I want to see that through to the end. It’s so much more of a satisfying feeling just like holding your baby for the first time where as other producers deliver their babies then handball them to another person to hold.

    The topics Graphic has chosen on this project are really going to reach a lot of people and raise a lot of awareness about things that I’m sure many don’t know about. It’s 50% raising awareness and 50% straight up bloody good hip-hop. Lyrically there’s not many as good as Graph and you’ll hear a lot of his unique patterns reminiscent of the Clan albums, but with a very different perspective to Clan stuff.

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    What can you tell us about the SMOG album coming out?

    I’m not sure what to tell you about SMOG… Some people call us a super group.. Those people are correct. In the early 2000s a show named Australian Idol saw a beat boxer named Joel Turner and his crew the Modern Day Poets fail miserably in fulfilling Mark Holden’s dream of developing a “Bardot”-esque hip-hop Australian super group… Where those idiots failed, we have succeeded. A combination of three crews, SBX, The Psych Ward and Hired Goons with two MCs and two producers SMOG has something for everybody, but really nothing for nobody. Mouf, Kogz, Rafle and I have handcrafted 20 odd tracks including a ton of dope collabs with a distinct gloomy, swampy feel that will leave you content yet strangely unfulfilled. You probably have questions… you’ll have more once you’ve listened. Riddip.. Riddip.

    Zombie sleep deprivation psychosis seems to be settling in I think.

    You keep real busy with your inbox full of projects. Optamus, Matt Gresham, Maundz, Downsyde... How are they coming along and how do you manage the different sounds?

    Yeah I’m very lucky I get to work with many talented artists. The Opt and Downsyde projects I’ve just been helping with the mixing and to be honest the mixes have to come to me mostly at a very good standard. Some of the other projects I’m working on are with as you mentioned Matt Gresham, which is a very strangely themed album. It’s kind of dub step/folk which sounds ridiculous, but it actually really works. We want to get this out soon, but we need the right label/manager so if anyone reads this and is interested to help hit us up! Mortar and I also have a collab album which is pretty much complete too. It’s the first solo album of his in which he has relinquished the production role and I really think this will bring more to the party. Anyone who knows Mortar’s lyrics should understand the layers of meaning and advanced innuendo and I think we’ve taken it a notch or 2 up with this next one. There’s a new Clandestien album on the horizon which is pretty much mastered too. I’ve also started feeding beats to a few MC’s for future joint projects with guys like Maundz which I’m really pumped about, as well as Complete who is one of the great young MC’s coming out of Perth. A new Bitter B EP and album are pretty close too and Grevis will release an album at some stage in the next 12 months too. Also, L.S.D. is about to release his sophomore album “Off The Grid” which is mostly produced by me. He is easily one of the most slept on MC’s in Perth and there isn’t many who have a flow like him, particularly with the quality of content. Any one can do the flibbity jibbity rap’s, but if you’re not saying anything of substance you’re just another instrument in the beat. An annoying trap hi hat.

    Coming full circle from Downsyde fan to working with them on their latest album. How is it working with the group that changed the game for you?

    Obviously it’s crazy to have helped out on a project of theirs, but realistically I haven’t contributed that much to it. Just helping finish the mixes and a few tracks that required cuts I was happy to go nuts on, but I handed the files back to Daz shortly before I left for the states in December and since then a few samples have been replaced and extra layers added so it will be interesting to hear where it’s at now. The new album is a belter and I love how they’ve gone for a classic party boom bap style similar to the style they were renowned for in their early days, but definitely showing progression too. What originally drew me to Downsyde was how similar their style was to the US artists that had a strong MC/DJ dynamic in the 90s and early 2000’s. Groups like Dilated Peoples, J5, Beastie Boys, Gangstarr which used a lot of cut’s in chorus and even used production heavily featuring turntablism was something I’d not seen in Oz hip hop and if it weren’t for Downsyde I probably wouldn’t have given much hip hop in Australia a second listen. So I guess it’s good to see them still utilising cuts a lot on their tracks and all chipping in production wise on the new album. That’s what makes their albums so original and still cohesive for me.

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  • KERSER - 'Let Me Chill' (Official Video)

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    Video for Kerser's new drop 'Let Me Chill' has more to it than meets the eye. Peep below.

    Nebs kills Kerser's new video for 'Let Me Chill' on the clapping beat. The visuals were shot by Central Coast MC Tycotic,  taking the Campbelltown MC out of his environment as he unloads the dome in search for head space on the edge of a jetty. Symbolic as the scenes are, the strength of 'Let Me Chill' lays in the words of Kers.

    Rapping in his own lane, Kers raps introspectively on his demons and battling with prescription drugs and having to come face-to-face with his mental issues of anxiety that are common to so many of us in society. Take away the default demeanor of a lad from Sydney's inner-west and saluting the middle finger to every other MC, as is his staple, he addresses an issue most MCs would shy away from.

    Anxiety is Australia's most common mental illness, with 1 in every 4 people having suffered from it.While there are various support nets provided in Australia for anxiety and depression like Beyondblue prevention and support often begins with friends and family. Kerser  may have unwittingly lent his services for this awareness,  however his words echo the need for these issues affecting many Australians to be acknowledged. Good track from the sickest.

    Go 'head. Press play.

     
  • HORRORSHOW - One Day Was Well Overdue

    Working on the One Day project placed the Horrorshow duo in a collective. MC Nick Bryant-Smith aka Solo tells Rip Nicholson about the value of working in a group dynamic.

    SOLO interviewed @ 12pm, 26th February, 2015
    For Rip2shredz Press & OHHS

    Words by Rip Nicholson

    solo_singlepressshot"Certainly [it’s] a really different process to working with [just] Adit [Gauchan, producer]. When I write a song I get to retain control over the lyrics and messages in the song,” explains Nick Bryant-Smith.

    “Seven strong opinions and seven guys who are capable of producing a vision of how it should be... there were plenty of back and forths. And what we had to fall back on during those really tough moments was there were seven of us and luckily we can have a vote and not have a tied situation. So there were one or two things that did come down to a vote in the end. Umm, but, you know, for every situation like that there were ten things that came together in a real natural way. But, very interesting working with three, sometimes four, other rappers on a track. It was a really different experience for us, having made three albums thus far as Horrorshow.”

    Their last LP, King Amongst Many was Horrorshow’s last sincere hip hop output. Bryant-Smith explains that while the One Day collective was a break away from the routine of he and Gauchan’s Horrorshow, it was not due to a creative bump in the road; for the Fort High supergroup of Spit Syndicate’s Nick Lupi and Jimmy Nice, Raph Dixon and Kai Tan of Jackie Onassis, MC/DJ Joyride and Horrorshow, it’s been a project a long time coming. Mainline was released last August.

    “One Day was well overdue. It’s something we’ve been talking about doing for a long time but it’s just been hard trying to find a gap in everyone’s schedule. But eventually we found this period of time where we could get together and make some songs together. We got together at the end of the Horrorshow tour last year in Byron Bay. The boys came up to Byron and we set up a studio and got it crackin’.”

    This served the duo well, as they’re gearing up to take their full acoustic band on the road for the first time. “Yes, [it’s] the first time we’ve taken an acoustic format on the road,” says Bryant-Smith. “We’ve never really had the chance to give it the attention that it deserves which is really exciting after so many years of touring and playing shows with myself and Adit doing the MC/DJ format.”

    The first time Horrorshow went unplugged was at The Basement in 2011 and, more recently, The Spiegeltent for Brisbane Festival. Bryant-Smith explains how going acoustic reshapes their music. “It’s exciting and refreshing to be able to completely change that up on this tour. Plus there’s a whole new set of challenges with it. It’s really rewarding when you hear the songs live and they sound completely different, they’ve had a whole new life breathed into them.

    “We always like to do the acoustic stuff because it’s just good fun, really. And it’s all about giving people something unique... something that’s special.”

    Horrorshow Acoustic Tour 2015

     
  • BRIGGS & ILL BILL - 'Eye For An Eye' (Official Video)

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    The gentlemen from Golden Era have just released the video for 'Eye For An Eye' by Shep Town's BRIGGS featuring the one and only ILL BILL. So you know they're about to drop some bodies on it.

    Going tooth for a tooth and going all out in the new video, Briggasaurus breaks bars with the legendary Brooklyn New York's Ill Bill of La Costra Nostra.  In a fitting backdrop of an abandoned schoolyard, both MCs drop sincere knowledge on heads going all-in right to the bone. Real talk, no ducking. Big Briggs gets his justice.

    Setting the bar for all Australian-US hip-hop relations for 2015, Briggs done done it again.

    Press play below.

     
  • The Funkoars Announce National Tour

    The Funkoars

     

    THE FUNKOARS ANNOUNCE NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN TOUR!

     

    THE FUNKOARS are pleased to announce their forthcoming National ‘BELOW AVERAGE’ headline tour this coming May/June, proudly presented by Tone Deaf, Golden Era Records, Cassette Entertainment and Premier Artists.

    Tickets for all shows on the ‘BELOW AVERAGE’ TOUR go on sale Tuesday March 24th @ Midday AEDT and are available HERE

    In 2015 Australia's favourite hanger-oners THE FUNKOARS have announced their ominous return from the smoke and mirrors, bringing hard 80s street justice back into fashion in the form of their forthcoming fifth full length album “In Case of Emergency”.

    The first offering from the forthcoming album is the brand new single “Below Average”, an above average song where the 'Oars remind themselves and the listener that it’s not only ok to be a failure at everything you attempt, but it's encouraged.

    “Below Average” will be available Thursday March 26th - you can listen to the single HERE

    In support of this new teaser single the squad take the road back into their cold, sweaty palms this coming May/June, and will be bringing a taste of the new record to life on stages across the country.  With live shows known for their sweaty, MOOSTY and most of all deafening energy, testing out some brand new material and some older classics, these in your face shows are not to be missed.

    Sealing the deal of danger and joining the gents behind the 1's & 2's is none other than the almighty Dj Total Eclipse of the Xecutioners/Living Legend status, and to round out the evenings experience phenomenal Perth MC Mathas will be joining the squad, alongside Melbourne up and comer Eloji as national supports.

    IN CASE OF EMERGENCY - What will you do!?

     The Funkoars - Below Average Tour, Australian Hip Hop, Ozhiphop, Oz Hip Hop, Aussie Hip Hop, Australian Tour, Aussie Hip Hop Gig

    You can catch THE FUNKOARS at the following venues:

     

    FRIDAY MAY 8TH – The TBC Club, Fortitude Valley

    SATURDAY MAY 9TH - Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta

    WEDNESDAY MAY 13TH - Transit Bar, Canberra

    THURSDAY MAY 14TH - Workers Club, Melbourne

    FRIDAY MAY 15TH - Workers Club, Melbourne

    SATURDAY MAY 16TH - Republic bar, Hobart

    FRIDAY MAY 22ND - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle

    SATURDAY MAY 23RD – Basement, Sydney

    FRIDAY MAY 29TH - Prince of Wales, Bunbury

    SATURDAY MAY 30TH - Amplifier bar, Perth

    FRIDAY JUNE 12TH - The Gov, Adelaide (All Ages)

     

    Tickets for all shows go on sale Tuesday March 24th @ Midday AEDT and are available HERE

     
  • Pegz - Hypothermia

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    Pegz - Hypothermia

     

    Pegz is back like a strippers chlamydia! - His line, not ours. The owner and artist of Obese Records, Pegz is back again with a brand new track and video clip called 'Hypothermia' which is to say a stripped back production of Plutonic Labs on the pads leaving the focus hard on Pegz as he grips the mic and spits his signature flow spitting the sinister Charles Dickens of literature  - again, his line. Not ours. But it is. It's pure fire in case you forgot who still runs the show. One of the true school legends of Burn City, Pegz with real heat on this one.

     

    Check out the new clip and lyrics below.

     

    'HYPOTHERMIA' LYRICS:

    Black plague in the hills of white suburbia
    writing burners that give rappers hypothermia
    hypodermic whore bag psychic murderer
    every lines a whole care the size of Guernica
    hide ya burqa haters wanna slice ya vertebrae
    buy you drinks and rack up lines on furniture
    Capital P I worship satans image
    I’m a crazy motherfucker like David Icke
    I love nature, wildlife, hate the city
    Tube down the yarra river with a case of tinnies
    Lifes short sleep when I’m dead and I’m gone
    When I die someone play the festival song
    Fuck That! We party like federal cops
    And wake up on a lady boys chest in Patong
    We don’t stop Burn City got the best graffiti
    The best MCs direct the Fred Fellini
    Check the meaning girls like Nefertiti
    Pulling endo’s on a Desmosedici

    Ambidextrous the left hand jab is treacherous
    Gotta keep a hip flask full of anti-venom
    Academics coming off mad pretentious
    Get schooled like going through adolescence
    Manifesting Facebook likes and Youtube
    Hipsters looking like the guys from Blue Juice
    Blue Juice looking like the Vice News Crew
    Smoking blocks of hash in the Isuzu
    South East we don’t ride a fixie
    Smoke beadies and dress like Lionel Richie
    Tired of gimmicks give it to me nice and gritty
    Plutonic Lab on the beat it’s a crime in the city
    Spitting the sinister Charles Dicken of literature
    Ya putting me to sleep like hitting the indica
    Lyrically lift ya game like Mr Olympia
    Why? Pegz back like a strippers chlamydia

     

    New track 'Hypothermia' coincides with the announcement of the long awaited and highly anticipated live show after a 3 year hiatus. This show is going to be huge with all brand new music along with some classics. He will be joined by Eloquor & DJ Sonu with support sfrom DJ JSun, Saki & Entropy. This is the show the fans have been waiting and crying out for and finally their going to get it.

    Get your tix here.

    PegzLaundryBar

     
  • New Video: 'Highs And Lows' by Coin Banks

    11038798_735115043252862_6714987041938183461_nCoin Banks' new joint 'Highs and Lows' is  the latest single from his two-part EP Heads And Tails, featuring Anders and Ruby Horns and produced by Shingo Suzuki.  In a chaotic world seemingly full of bad news lately, this departure is well needed and Banks' new video is just the escape.

    The Perth MC is well known on Triple J's Unearthed and is steadily gaining momentum across the country. Having finished touring with Cypress Hill and currently busy backing up Seth Sentry on his Run national tour, Coin Banks is gearing to mount up once more for 360's Retopia tour.

    The video of 'Highs And Lows' has been done in comical fashion featuring Anders as a wannabe rapper catching Bank's vapours. Worth a watch. Press play.

     
  • Fundamental Elements Interview - All in the Name.

    Front Cover redone

    Rap acts are named carefully in full respect of it reflecting every aspect of its product. With Fundamental Elements it’s a case of doing what it says on the packet. For Brisbane-based emcees Pleura and Species, evoking elements from New York’s hip-hop ‘Boom-Bap” era is of paramount importance and highly prevalent in their recordings. Rip Nicholson speaks with the guys about their affection of DJ Premier. In response to this, Species made it clear “Premo is easily our favourite. His style is consistently on point and so well crafted that it’s a major influence on our production & musicality in general.” And their next product The Prerequisite EP,  (available here) gouges a third notch for the ten-plus year vets and solidifies FE’s signature styled on the elements of boom-bap.

    What began on Brisbane’s Northside  ten-plus years back for Pleura and Species was built up from the bricks and mortar of Brisbane’s independent scene. With a stronghold on the north side, Fundamental Elements are a formative act for Clockwork Records that begun in the early noughties with Velvet Couch Clothing, staunch supporters over their careers. Their debut EP Living Secrets dropped in 2010, putting to work their vision to recreate the classic boom bap soundscape that was carried into 2013’s The Homecoming EP which gave ‘The Homecoming’ single solid rotation on Triple J’s Hip Hop Show (with Hau) and 4ZZZ. This upped their live game and over the years FE have featured on bills with international headliners, Eastborn (UK) and Immortal Technique (US) and alongside a slew of domestic hip-hop acts. Five years from their first release and FE’s vision is growing to a fanbase recently stretched as far as Russia’s online hip-hop traffic.

    Fresh and compressed, The Prerequisite had been sent over a secured Drop Box prior to this interview. Once unzipped, it was played in the cone of silence. As it turned out, The Prerequisite is full of heavy-treaded beats in desert-coloured Timbs. Like winners in a post-game conference, Pleura and Species were open on everything from the EP’s production, deciphering the samples beat up in the process, certain lyrics decoded and even geeking out over drum machine models used in the process. Here, everything they say comes real.  This is Fundamental Elements delivering as promised in the name.

    Side Note:
    (At the time of this interview going to print Fundamental Elements had been added to the support slot for the Brisbane leg of New York-based act Mobb Deep’s 2015 Australian tour.)

    PLEURA & SPECIES interviewed - Monday 23rd February, 2015
    For Ozhiphopshop.com / Rip2Shredz Print

    RIP - Heard The Prerequisite, the new EP. Every joint is neck-snapping and reminiscent of a childhood in the early '90s listening to the best years of hip-hop. Really enjoyed it. When can we click to buy this new FE-hiphop?

    PLEURA - Cheers man. Yeah, we have always really dug that '90s style, breakbeat hip-hop. That boom bap ish, ya know?

    The intro is a trip through a lush sampology of a boom bap period and sets the atmosphere for the EP. Clearly you boys hate cops and love sampling. Was this a conscious effort to go balls out from the intro and set an early pace for the rest of the CD?

    P - Yea definitely man, we hooked up with local producer Soley Sole for that one - an OG on the MPC 2000XL & Akai S950 for that '90s boom bap type shit and he killed it straight up. I think it does exactly what we set out to do which was grab the listeners attention and set the mood with the right samples.

    The Prerequisite title track jumps off right where the intro left off. Rich samples in melody very Premo-styled. How does the basic sound start from the point where you say, ‘that’s the beat’ and it finds you snatching for the pad and pen while it loops?

    P - I think that energy is always a bit different, but with this one I think as soon as we heard that beat from Leaf, we knew it really set the tone for rest of the EP. It was literally the Prerequisite for the rest of the EP – we did have a lot of other tracks already in the works but after we heard that beat everything just bounced off that really.

    And I say DJ Premier specifically, over say Pete Rock, J-Dilla styles, you guys, even on older releases seem to gravitate towards that Gang Starr, almost Jazzmatazz dusty New York ‘92 soundscape complete with the short vocal grabs for hooks, as opposed to looping drum breaks that were huge in production then. What is it about that style you and Species have always preferred?

    SPECIES - I think it’s simply just the style we have naturally gravitated towards. We love all of those producers but you’re right, Premo is easily our favourite. His style is consistently on point and so well crafted that it’s a major influence on our production & musicality in general.

    You’ve worked with a slew of beatsmiths to cook up previous records. This time the credits go to you and Leaf Dog. Why did you cut down on outside help, and how did he contribute in the kitchen?

    P - I think it was just that I had an arsenal of beats there ready this time. I’ve been spending a lot of time on production the last few years really trying to find my groove so to speak. This EP has definitely helped to shape that for sure, so I have a fair bit there to choose from.

    Species and I basically went through hundreds of beats from myself, Species, Leaf and producers from all over the place and had enough fresh produce in our own pantry plus what we grabbed from Leaf and Soley. After listening to literally hundreds of beats we settled on one of Leafs to be the main focus for the EP. We bounced back and forth with him until we had what we needed and the rest was left up to our homie Sneaky-T to make it sound the way it does now.

    S - We made a conscious effort on this release to not settle for any beats that were sub-par. Fortunately Pleura’s production has really stepped up recently and we had a big range to choose from, but we’re also saving some of the gems for the LP so there’s still hope for some Species production.

    ‘Y’all Been Warned’ - about the most head-nodding shizz out right now! Who is to credit for such dopeness on the beats?

    P - Thanks bro, I’ll have to put my hand up for that one. That beat and track is actually a re-make in a sense. The beat was a pretty old one I had sitting there, that we used to for a live version of our track Yáll Been Warned (Wu-Tang instrumental) on The Fun Not Fame Mixtape Vol2. I re did the drums and bass and fattened it up a tad and we tweaked the verses and added a hook and bam! Music.

    S - Yeah man, that’s a banger, it was never going to be on the release initially, but once P was finished with the beat, we started playing around with cut ideas & after Johnny Love murdered it there really wasn't much of a choice…

    It makes for a lyrical fire. Both MCs bolted right out the gate. That slamming beat had to have really made the energy in your lyrical approach go up a level or two? I can feel it from both of you.

    P - 100% man, that beat definitely brings out the best in both of our styles and helps keeps everything hyped.

    S – Yeh it’s just a good track to rap bout rap, can’t go wrong with that…

    On the same record you rapped;

    If you play the sport, wear the uniform, if you conform to the norm, y’all been warned.”

    Are you frustrated with some of the hyped and overrated acts queue-jumping in the local scene? Or, is this a lesson of the game, to put your work into the scene before overreaching with major deals.. and failing?

    P - Definitely, but we just do our own thing and don’t really play into all the wank of it all. We’ve been doing this for more than 10 years now and I’ve seen a lot of crews come and go. These days as the scene is gaining popularity, there seems to be lot of dudes who don’t seem to pay the respect (or even know how they should be) when it comes to hip-hop music and the cultures that surround it. They come out just wanting to sound like something that the last guy made popular and then have a cry when they get 5 likes on their Soundcloud page. I believe in making the music sound the best you possibly can with your own twist to keep it fresh. If you claim to be making hip-hop music then you need to understand it, respect it & live it!

    On ‘Independence’ (from The Homecoming, 2013) Species, I think, rapped;

    Unknown tracks, man album ain’t out yet / Still rocking a crowd of five people and a sound tech.” - How’s that debt of respect that you’re paying back to the scene? In other words, how important is being an independent artist?

    S - For us, being independent means a lot. Artistic freedom aside, we’re not in this for the money or fame & by sticking with an independent approach, I think it keeps us grounded and allows to focus on what we love most – making rap music. We take our time, do our own thing, and hopefully that comes through in the music.

    Cool

    For all of us, that’s gotta be like paying back Australia’s foreign debt, for all that we get out of hip-hop. Does it ever end, the giving back to the scene?

    S - I’m not sure it ever could, there will always be a scene wanting more... For us, we’ve been grinding away for years now and just doing our thing with releases & gigs in between the normal distractions of jobs, life & all that… We may not be the biggest name around but as long as we put out a solid product that we are 100% happy with, I’m a happy man. Any heads feelin' our shit is a bonus.

    What’s one great piece of advice you have for young MCs and beat makers honing their craft who are looking for the most respectable and responsive route into the ‘scene’ or industry?

    P - Find your own groove, don’t bite any bodies style, study other emcee’s, producers, history and apply that to your own life and music. Learn how to sample records, study breaks and always keep your shit relevant.

    S - Find your creative side & be yourself!

    On ‘6 Feet Deep’, you guys profess a passion for this love of hip-hop being life-long. How connected is Fundamental Elements to the fusion of classic Boom-bap beats to Brisbane rap? Could there ever be FE hip hop with a different soundscape?

    P - I think FE has really only just started to hone in on its sound with this EP. As for a different soundscape I think this sound will really mould the FE album, but who knows what’s in store for solo projects coming in the future also.

    S - This sound is what FE is about – heavily sampled beats, done the old way. I’m sure future releases will bring some different sounds & themes but this is the sorta sound you can expect. We do dabble in side projects though, so you may hear some solo shit in the future which is on another level.

    I spoke with Nuggy Gee recently, and asked him about his collabs, and whether there was friendly competition between verses. He emphatically said no to competing when he joined you for ‘The Sickness’ record. Hard to imagine a booth full of hungry MCs wouldn’t try to snap each other’s heads off over a beat or two?

    P - I don’t think anyone actually whipped their cocks on the ruler in the studio, but I think when you jump on a track with dudes from around the traps you respect, then it really helps to push everyone to get the best out of themselves.

    I imagine cartoon-style pack of salivating wolves all snapping at each other, vying for attention. Maybe that’s reserved more for a VC commission posse cut?

    P - Haha, the VC posse cuts are very similar in that respect, you definitely get the best out of the crew when you put them all next to each other to flex. But there would never be any beef or anything like that the come from it.

    FE has always been too cool for collabs. Very few on previous releases. How did you make the connection with Nuggy Gee for the FE closer, and with Insideus, also?

    S - Ice cold son! That track just came about as a lot of collabs do –drunken shit talk with the fellas about linking up on a track one day haha. We finally decided to work on a track, Pleura laced up the beat which turned out fuckin dope, everyone was feeling it and so we came up with the concept and the track came out great. Just like Y’all Been Warned, once Sneak-T was done with it we thought it was too killer to not feature on the EP.

    FE hip-hop is steadily building a catalogue of records. Do you ever sit back and take a broad overview of your work or indeed examine the growth and change of styles in each?

    P - To be honest, I tend move on pretty quickly once a project is finished. I always want to be working on something new and better than the last thing.

    S - I do look back every now & then. We’ve got a slew of unreleased projects which, together with the official releases, you can see massive changes & progression over the years as we have honed our skills & shaped our sound. It’s good to check back on, but sometimes a bit cringe worthy haha.

    _Q6D0172

    When’s the next date to sort a designate driver for a messy night out for a live FE show?

    P - We’re sorting out the final details now for a dual launch show at The Milk Factory @ West End on 18/04/15 to also celebrate the release of the Fun Not Fame mixtape vol 3. DJ Backlash on the 1s & 2s for the night, Upryt, Nuggy Gee, Master Wolf, Prophet Rayza, Verbill & Fundamental Elements launching The Prerequisite.

    I always like to ask rappers this one, when I can. You guys have never been afraid to provoke thought on deeper issues on global politics, even expressing views on local politics. Some fans will love the sound of a rap record without taking in the lyrics. Does it matter to you if a fan loves your music but doesn’t pick up on the message?

    P - That’s a tough one! I think if someone is feeling my music I’m going to be happy either way, but if you’re not picking up what I’m putting down then you’re missing a big part of the music.

    S - Of course I’m always happy if someone just like’s it for the musical side, but I’m a rapper and I love examining other MC’s rhyme styles, techniques & words. So yeah, understanding not only the message but also the technicalities is a big one for me.

    Anything else the Fundamental Elements need to get off their chest? Say something nice to the kids out there, Pleura! Tell ‘em to stay in school and learn more about this thing of ours, hip-hop!

    P - Word! Fuck school, study breaks, study hip-hop & do your own thing and don’t stop until you perfect it.

    S - Buy some sh*t from our store, brother gotta eat!

    DOWNLOAD AVAILABLE NOW AT OZHIPHOPSHOP

    GET YOUR VINYL, CD USB CARD & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD NOW
    WWW.FEHIPHOP.COM

    DOWNLOAD THE NEW VC & CLOCKWORK RECORDS: FUN NOT FAME VOL 3 MIXTAPE FROM WWW.VCCLOTHING.COM

    PEEP THE NEW CLIP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAzdXo81zgs

    LIKE US ON FACEBOOK- www.facebook.com/fehiphop

     

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