Monthly Archives: August 2017

  • Bitter Belief Announces Beastmode LP Brisbane Launch!

    Bitter Belief Beastmode Lp Brisbane

    Bitter Belief Announces Beastmode LP Brisbane Launch!

    Bitter and Shaker are touring their new album ‘Beastmode’ nationally. Bare witness to the destruction!

    With the release of Brisbane tickets comes the release of the supports and they are not ones to miss.

    Tickets - www.shakedownrecords.com.au

    Featuring none other then local trio Exit Strategy.

    Syntax Junkies

    Chase

    Helen Earth

    The Milk Factory, 48 Montague Rd, West End QLD 4101.

    Local Supports Helen Earth, Syntax Junkies, Exit Strategy & Chase.

    Tickets - www.shakedownrecords.com.au

     
  • Must Volkoff Talks Aquanaut and Touring!

    Must Volkoff - Aquanaut

    Must Volkoff speaks with OZHIPHOPSHOP

    Ozhiphopshop caught up with Must as he was on tour for his recent  album release Aquanaut out now.

    Lani Milbus
    Yo whaddup Musty, how are ya mate? Cheers for taking the time out to have a chat. You’d be a busy man, I swear you make beats in your sleep? haha

    Must Volkoff

    Ha no worries bro, cheers for hitting us up.

    L
    So where did it start musically for yourself? Like as a kid, where did inspiration/interest come from, when did you start playing music, and making beats?

    MV

    I’m lucky my folks told me to pick an instrument when i was about 5.  I chose the clarinet then took up the saxophone as well when I grew a bit more.  I had some good teachers in primary school that taught me some blues scales and how to improvise trading bars back and forth with them in my lessons.  I kept it up through most of high school until I lost interest in the school bands and wanted to do my own thing.  I started playing drums in a band and making beats when I was about 16 or 17.

    L

    Awesome man, the musicianship in your records is blaringly evident, especially with your drums. Obviously over the years you have upgraded your studio setup “saving up for apparatus”, what was the original setup you started on? And if you had to convert back to that for beats, what would be the one instrument/unit/plugin/gadget etc you would wanna take from your current setup?

    MV

    The very first beats i made were actually using the audio tracks in video software, I think it was an old version of Adobe Premiere, just cos that’s all i had and knew how to use it.  Then we got Fruity Loops and Mata and I made hundreds of beats together on that and recorded a few tunes onto cassette.  We switched to Pro Tools in ’02 and I got the MPC 2500 about 10 years ago now.  Switching back to old Adobe Premier haha, i’d have to keep the MPC.  You can do it all in the box and just two track beats at the end of the day and be done with it.  Sometimes that sounds best.  If i could keep an instrument it would be the Fender Rhodes for sure.

    L

    Word man, excellent selections!
    Pang Productions is an incredible label. How did it start? You guys have always been a beacon of light for anyone wanting to do music D.I.Y. What’s your advice for young cats who wanna run their own label? And what was the main factors in you wanting to do it off your own back? (Obviously that’s a very broad and multi-faceted question)

    MV

    Thanks bro!  We never really set out to run a label.  A lot of people have told me they want to start one and it always seems like a bit of a pipe dream to be honest.  I think wanting to start a label for the sake of it’s probably not gonna work.  The label kind of grows out of necessity after you’ve made the music and you need a way to release and promote it while remaining self reliant and not getting ripped off.  We just wanted to learn the whole process ourselves.  Even as a kid i never liked to ask for help much, i preferred to figure things out for myself.  People started to take notice early on even when the quality was low, I think because they felt where we were coming from.  So we could see there was a lane for us and we’ve just kept at it.  We’ve grown our audience real gradually and organically.  So just have the right motivation i suppose.  Try and offer something unique.  Take pride in your work and pay attention to detail, the little differences make all the difference.  There’s a flood of artists these days it’s all about standing out.

    L

    Awesome advice mate, you definitely have your own unique sound, and your attention to detail is second to none.

    So, do you have any emcees/DJ’s/singers you absolutely love to hear on your beats? And if it hasn’t happened yet, who would you like to hear on them? I personally love Sonnyjim, Flu, Mata & Must, Dialect, Dyl Thomas, One Sixth and Mantra. Mongo is now one of my favourites too .

    MV

    Yeah I’ve got a handful of nice tunes in the works with Mongo, we’re gonna do something with those soon.  Recording Nelson Dialect is always a pleasure, we tend to keep the first take unless he fumbles which is rare, so it’s always a buzz when I know I’m hearing the song happen live.  I like working with new people, trying to come up with something to suit their style.  I’ve also had an album in the works with Eduaz for a while now, a dope MC from Chile living in Melbourne.  I’m planning on producing a bunch more rap in Spanish when we go over there soon to release it and do some shows.  The scene there seems real fresh.

    L
    Nice man! Eduaz is extremely dope, I saw a drop with Maundz a while back and that was ill! Looking like you got some big tunes on the way bro! Sheeesh!

    You obviously work with a high calibre of artists, and provide many with a recording space, and by my observation, you have the uncanny ability to extract a high level (if not best) from everyone you work with. Clearly you have the Midas touch, but how do you approach getting that from the artists you work with? For example say someone is recording a joint for one of your production albums at the Pang lab, and isn’t getting the results you’re after, how do you go about getting the outcome you want, and what are the more common problems you frequently correct in the booth?

    MV

    I can’t take too much credit.  I try to have patience.  It’s hard to keep the vibe when it’s taking a lot of takes.  I’m often telling mc’s to chill and focus on what they’re saying so they get that calm conviction happening rather than just getting too hype and starting to yell, rushing and running out of breath.  Relax and let the tune do the work.  Also ‘you’re doing too many backups, just do a few in the right spots to add some dynamics’.  Rappers seem to think the work’s done when they’ve got the verse sorted and just make a mess of the backups and ad-libs.  Then I gotta spend hours editing.  I do scrap a bit of music.  A couple of tunes featuring close mates on White Russian and Aquanaut were the 3rd or 4th attempt.  If i’ve just got the one tune from someone i’ll work on it and maybe remix it altogether until i’m satisfied or go mental and have to leave it alone.

    L

    You definitely can hear the calmness and conviction of the guys on your records bro. Take the advice from Must everybody - "you needa relax and let the tune do the work," great insights man

    Who’s your top 5 emcees in AUS?

    MV

    Man that’s a tough one.  I can’t pick a favourite anything.  I’ll say

    Flu

    Lazy Grey

    One Sixth

    Ciecmate

    Nelson Dialect

    L

    Dope choices bro, I'd have to agree with you on that!

    What up-and-coming beat makers have taken your fancy? And what sorts of producers do (did) you take inspiration from? 

    MV

    There’s loads of great producers around.  Adam Koots is the best.  Mr Litty is a young G doing dope things.  Joe Syzlak killed Context’s EP earlier this year.  Oath is real nice.  I’ve taken insipration from loads of Funk, Soul, Reggae and Dub producers.  All kinds of jazz and psychedelic music.  All the typical Hip Hop producers like Muggs, Premo, Pete Rock, Rza, Erick Sermon, J Dilla, Dr Dre, Kev Brown, Jehst, Task Force, Harry Love, Third Person Lurkin, Lewis Parker, and some wonky future beat stuff too.  Anything that catches my interest really.  I don’t even have to like it to find something interesting about the way it’s mixed or arranged or whatever.
    Must Volkoff - Aquanaut Cover

    L

    I wrote a review for the Context EP earlier this year, those beats are crazy, the other dudes are top notch too, sounds like you have an ear for authentic, pure musicality with those choices!

    What’s on the horizon next for Pang? I know there is a word of a Must x Dialect album in the works, anything else to be excited about? White Russian is a certified classic, Aquanaut you outdid yourself again in impressive fashion. Evolution is obviously important to yourself, how do you handle the pressure of trying to follow up (and outdo) such well received and polished albums?
    MV

    Yeah the Must x Dialect release is on the way.  I just need to get some time to finish things off.  Koots is crunching out beats for a new crew release that’s coming together nicely. I’m gonna try and take a break soon and get back into beat making mode to work on some shorter releases with a few UK artists.   I also want to work on more live instrumental stuff.  You mentioned evolution, like anything i need time to be focused on making beats daily to get that happening.  Otherwise i feel too rushed to experiment.  As for handling the pressure i’m not sure if i’ll be doing another full length production album with features again any time soon.  I think having the commitment to follow through when you wanna chuck it in is what makes the difference in the end.  I’m lucky to have people around that will put up with me being stressed and self absorbed.

    L

    Must Volkoff x UK artists is always a chicken dinner for me man, look forward to that, and hearing the Koots produced crew! Definitely understandable, one can only assume the hours and strands of hair out of the scalp it took to create those incredible albums haha.

    The name rings a bell. Tell us how Mata & Must came about, (names/history) and talk us through your mind state in transforming into Must Volkoff (Honeymoon On Mars Ep was the first project released under that title yeah?)
    MV

    Mata and i became friends the first day of High School, just cos we shared the same taste in music and sense of humour.  He was the front man for our band in our teens.  Mata was how his real name sounded backwards and I came up with Must real quick to go with it.  They just sounded good together and I liked the ambiguous meanings.  We started making beats together and writing raps in the last year of high school right before we heard any other local stuff.  Rigorous were the other crew round our way one year older and one step ahead.  I came up with Must Volkoff when i was making White Russian, just because Must wasn’t unique for searching on the web.  Volkoff is actually my middle name, I’m half Russian so using that was part of the whole theme.

    L

    Awesome man! That brang a huge smile to the face. Its excellent to see more and more artists in Australia embracing their heritage, and the theme for that album is incredible. Excellent you mention the ambigious meaning between yourselves, it follows into my next question, I guess thats why you titled it Paradox Of Minds.

    Paradox Of Minds is easily in my top 5 of all time Australian Hip-Hop albums. This (to me) set a standard of lyricism and beats, which was completely pure and unsaturated, and was the voice of the independent, struggling D.I.Y artists in oz. I’m sure many would agree with me on this albums merits. I have spoken with Mata, and he said to ask you haha. What do we need to do as an oz hip-hop community to get it pressed on wax? Like I will organise it. I will get petitions happening. I’ll hang on the streets and pester heads coming out the local independent stores. Fuck I’ll start a go-fund-me. They say never say never, but what’s the chance of us making it happen haha?

    MV

    Haha thanks bro i appreciate that!  I like to do things properly though.  I did my best at mixing and mastering that album myself at the time.  It wouldn’t be easy to go back and find those sessions to get it mastered for vinyl without wanting to adjust things and open a can of worms when i’m focused on progressing into the future.  It’s fresh that some heads want it so much but i’m just not motivated to work on releasing old music at this point.

    L

    (Sulks for a second) Fair enough mate, I completely get that, hopefully one day!

    Joe Snow and yourself have just been recently doing workshops in Yuendumu, how was that experience, and what did it entail? Much respect man, I personally think it’s really important to engage with the youth and particularly our indigenous communities. What gave you the spark to do it? I understand you had a few people help financially to make it happen?

    MV

    Yeah big thanks to the people who contributed to the Kickstarter.  It was a crazy experience.  We were lucky to be invited up there.  I’m keen to do more youth work, so far I’ve just taken it on when it’s been offered.  We were there for ten days.  We basically took small groups of kids out bush to different spots they knew and wrote and recorded with them in the back of the 4WD.  We made a pretty raw little posse track.  Shooting video the whole time.  There’s a verse on there in Warlpiri language!  The beauty of the landscape and people up there definitely exceeded my expectations.  I’m gonna cut the film clip together in the next few weeks so keep an eye out.

    L

    Amazing man, truly inspiring, and no doubt just as beneficial for yourself as the people you met and worked with.

    Your about to set sail on your Aquanaut tour, and looks like each state has got some pretty special shows! What can you expect from a Must Volkoff set? Both production albums you didn’t spit on, so how does that translate to a live performance for yourself?

    MV

    I’ll spin some stuff i’ve produced to warm it up for a bit but I’m lucky to have a bunch of dope MC’s turn up at each show and perform the tunes we’ve made together.  It’s more about them really I’m just running the beats and live cuts, firing lasers and catching backups when people run out of breath or blank out.  I might spit a verse too.  I’m happy to have my name on the top of the bill though.

    L

    Dope bro, looking forward to seeing you live man!
    Thanks for having a chat brother, your time is greatly appreciated! Much respect and accolades! Finally, what is your final message to young artists, beat makers, emcees, DJ’s, young men and women? What’s something you believe is important? Haha, a chance for some Musty wisdom!

    MV

    Thank you bro!  Just be yourself, love yourself and all that.  It sounds corny but for some people that’s the hardest thing.  Have something to say and offer something unique otherwise what’s the point.  People will just listen to the original.  People want to hear your voice/personality/style cos it’s unique.  Not you trying to sound like someone else. Confidence and commitment is everything.  Peace!

    L

    Much respect my man, 150% agree with people need to learn to love themselves. Like you said sometimes it can be the hardest thing to do, thanks for sharing your insights Musty!

     
  • Bitter Belief Announces Beastmode National Tour!

    Bitter Belief Beastmode Tour 2017

    THE ALBUM THAT GOES FROM ZERO TO BEAST MODE AS SOON AS THE BEAT DROPS.

    This West coast's Bitter Belief, who, from the age of only 14, opened his rhyme book penning lyrics to bring to life the cuts and bruises of his own cousin’s rough experiences found his motivation and through wordplay has never put the biro to rest, has just announced his national tour. Bringing along with him is super producer Rob Shaker and one part of the Syllabolix fam whose handy work behind the boards and across his catalogue of credits helped craft a horde of Australian hip-hop’s most notable talents. Working out of the studios where every nut, bolt and panel is tailored to suit the signature Swan sound, Bitter B and Rob Shaker embark on the first national tour from Shake Down Records.

    FROM THIS MC/DJ DUO, THEIR “APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION IS SET ON AUTOMATIC” - A RELENTLESS ASSAULT FROM TRACK ONE TO THE CLOSING STATEMENT.

    Packed with a massive showcase of local supports this tour is set to leave the fans wanting more as the powerhouse that is Shake Down Records comes to town.

    From the long-serving Swan veterans across Australia’s arid hip-hop climate, the return of Bitter Belief and Rob Shaker’s dominance has the nation battening down hatches for what is set to be a massive tour.

     

    Bitter Belief Beastmode Tour Dates

    *NATIONAL TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT*

    Friday September 15 [PERTH ALL AGES] – HQ Leederville 

    Saturday September 16 [PERTH 18+] – The Carine supported by 

    Saturday October 7 [MELBOURNE 18+] – Grumpy’s supported by 

    Saturday October 21 [ADELAIDE ALL AGES] – Northern Sound 

    Friday November 10 [BRISBANE 18+] – The Milk Factory

    All presales are only available through the Shakedown Records store (Link in the comments) except Adelaide which is at through Moshtix.

     

     

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