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Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:28

Edward Scissortongue: Out Of His Shell

With his early memories of hip hop wrapped around the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie and Wu-Tang’s ‘Enter The 36 Chambers’, the UK’s Edward Scissortongue was always destined for a career holding a microphone.

Your bio states that the original ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie was the inspiration behind your love of hip hop; explain yourself, mister...
The first ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie (1990) was the first SUPER BIG craze to sweep over from the USA to the UK during my childhood. All I gave a fuck about before that was football and sweets. Along with it came a soundtrack riddled with all-star hip hop names featuring the likes of Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer — all the chart toppers at the time.

Spinning that 12" picture disc on my Mum and Dad's belt-drive turntable and learning the dance moves from all the music videos really introduced me to the culture. I fell in love with it and would like to take this opportunity to thank Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello. And Splinter too. Without your help I would be a death metal singer probably.

And who’s your favourite shell-backed mate?
Raphael all day.

‘Enter The 36 Chambers’ as your very first CD is pretty big... did you wear the laser beam out in the CD stereo playing that over and over as a kid?
That CD scared me, but drew me in at the same time. I was ten years old. My parents objected too. They didn't want their son listening to a CD that said multiple swear words in every bar, so I had to listen to it on the sly, or with headphones on. It truly is one of the finest rap records ever. It is EVIL.

Your early years of musical appreciation — who did you have on your Discman?
Pre-TMNT, I was listening to the stuff my parents were playing; classic ‘60s stuff like Mamas & The Papas, The Beatles or The Who/ The Doors/ T-Rex from my Dad. I had no real choice in the matter. My sister loved Take That. I didn't...

When I started buying music myself I was listening to Funkdoobiest, Naughty By Nature, Cypress Hill, Snoop, Slick Rick; any giant US hip hop that the local record store (Jay's Records RIP) had in stock. That was the only store in my hometown that stocked the imported US stuff. So long as it had a badass picture on the cover of some dudes throwing money and swinging TEC-9's then I would buy it.

Was there a watershed moment when you knew hip hop was your career path and spitting into a mic your calling card?
Yes. When I started spitting at house parties and people showed me love. It was like, these people are handing me spliffs and girls are looking at me all like 'heyyyy'. I knew then that rapping was the perfect accompaniment to my desire to be the centre of attention at all times!!

What is the perfect idea of fun for Edward Scissortongue?
Something that involves sunshine, moderate amounts of booze consumption and Arsenal smashing another team off a football pitch by four clear goals. If Arsenal lose then nothing is fun for at least 48 hours after the final whistle.

Your bio mentions your music represents the “battle with the pictures” behind your eyeballs... can you expand on that please?
The 'battle with the pictures' is a reference to my desire to delve deeply into the way my brain operates. I decided that music was the best way to explore my thoughts creatively and that is why I continue to push myself as an artist.

I am interested in delving into the endless layer-upon-layer-upon-layer-upon-layer of abstract thought that only my brain is capable of creating. Long gone are the days of me sitting and penning a verse about riding bikes or hating my job; the brain in my skull has a whole shit tonne of things to communicate below the surface of the inane lives we all lead in our own unique and sometimes spectacular fashion. If I want to learn about politics I will not listen to hip hop, I will read a book.

If I want to learn how to fix a car engine, I will not look for answers in a rap song, I will buy a manual. Hip hop for me is about exploring life without limits. I get told what to do in my life way too much already and refuse to let these limitations affect my music making.

Edward Scissortongue joins the Smoke My Tour at the New Globe Theatre this Friday, November 8.

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:04

The Matchstick: Top Five Kebab Extras

Scene’s intrepid editor, Gareth Bryant aka The Matchstick will make his festival DJing debut when he plays Island Vibe next month.
[Ed’s note: doesn’t matter that it’s 11am Sunday!!]

To prepare for the occasion, Matchstick shares his once not-so secret recipe for the perfect kebab.

1. Cheese. Don’t go skimping on the dairy now, even if it does give you an upset tum-tum. The cheese is the glue that holds any kebab together. They teach you that in kebab extras 101.

2. Pineapple. Yeah, yeah... you never put pineapple with anything that’s hot. Stuff that. I have it with pasta, pizza and kebabs. It’s the sweetness that makes it a must-have.

3. I’ll have mine minus the lettuce and tomato. Who needs all that extra water, dude? It’s just tasteless filler, man. Ramp up the onion levels if you really need the vegetable quota higher.

4. Satay sauce. Yep, I add an extra sauce element to my meat finger delight. Sour cream and bbq are the requisite first two choices — always. The satay adds that extra ‘pop’ your mouth will water itself over.

5. Black olives. The salty taste highlights the rest of the kebab in a way that even the most enlightened sherpa can’t explain. I know I can’t.

The Matchstick joins a horde of acts and DJs performing at Island Vibe Festival, North Stradbroke Island, October 25-27. islandvibe.com.au

Do you want a better way to avoid the mud, leaking tents, mosquitoes, the sizzling sun, dust storms, that random stoned guy or unbearably opinionated hipsters when tackling Splendour In The Grass?

Well, you can do a whole lot worst than hiring a Hippie Camper from Apollo. Unfortunately, you still need to sit (literally) through the car queue — unless Apollo have designed a flying campervan by this time next year, and if so, we’ve already shouted “shotgun” .

This year, Scene was entrusted with Betty, a two-berth campervan stocked with a super comfy mattress, curtains for those more discreet moments (yes, it is a two-berth), a couple of pimpin’ deckchairs (cup holder included!!), sleeping bags, blankets, more cutlery and kitchen utensils  than some West End restaurants, water basin, frudge (we had a Kiwi snapping the photos, guys), an awning (more on that later) and enough battery life to power a small city (but not a car stereo or interior light when left on over night — thanks Garry! And super thanks to the Splendour crew who brought the battery back to life on Monday morning) for a weekend.

Picking up the Camper from the northside, the super friendly staff at Apollo had us on the road in no time and we were headed south at a nice click. Aside from a little sideways movement from crosswinds, Betty drove like a dream for this first-time van operator. Though by the end of the weekend, the biceps had grown measurably. But that’s a nice side-effect, innit.

Once we had encountered the slog that was the delays entering Splendour — and guys, c’mon, why so much whining? Seriously, what’d you expect with 15,000 people descending on the place, the majority on Friday? #SimpleMathKids — our trusty Betty skillfully navigated the mud with aplomb. Except for the time when we needed 20 festival newbies and 1 disgruntled South African to latch onto the back of the Camper for the appropriate weight to dislodge the wheels from the North Byron gunk. Thanks guys.
Across all three nights I slept like a log — the first time I’d encountered such a feat at Splendour, this my 11th campaign (yes, I’m old) — with six/ seven hours of solid shut-eye leaving me refreshed for the following days activities/ antics. Well played, Betty.

Another solid element to the Camper was the inclusion of an awning — this provided no shortage of relief from the sun, particularly in the morning while enjoying the fruits of the beforementioned shut-eye. It was also a handy addition when the rains did finally arrive late Sunday. While others resorted to jet skis to handle the conditions, I was left entertaining my mates in the dry, but minus that interior light!

So after a four-day epic adventure to Splendour In The Grass and copious amounts of dancing and more mud than a national tractor-pull championship, the Hippie Camper pulled her weight, allowing The Matchstick and friends a superb weekend away that doesn’t have to be replicated at Splendour, but does provide the best camping moments you could hope to encounter!

For more information about Hippie Campers and Apollo head to hippiecamper.com/holiday
 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013 16:13

Kooii: Live Review

On Saturday night, the Hi-Fi was abuzz as local reggae royalty Kooii held headline billing.

But before they stormed the stage, there was a veritable who’s who of Brisbane’s reggae and roots scene on show. DJ Rudekat owned the ones and twos early on, toasting a fast filling Hi-Fi before Georgia Potter and Ladi Abundance both provided earthy sets that showcased how strong the local scene has become. Chocolate Strings owned the title for main support act, and boy did Ofa and the band bring the skanky funk home to roost, the dancefloor resembling a heaving, sweaty beast long before Kooii were scheduled to start.

Ducking out for a quick slice of pizza, only to encounter a potent cloud of sweet smelling herbs, Kooii were already playing by the time I returned, a brass overload only improving the night’s offering. Kooii were tight, yet loose, able to meander at times before returning to a more structured setting to ignite a crowd that oozed love toward the stage, especially when it was announced that Mr Lachlan Mitchell — aka Laneous — was celebrating his 30th birthday. With the stage lights dimming and Kooii making their way offstage, it seemed we may be robbed of an encore. But with Dubmarine’s Kazman swallowing the mic as he urged Kooii to return to the stage, the lads did and it was like we’d been transported back to Bourbon Street — this was reggae mashed with jazz; funk soiled by rock; this was roots music with plenty of swag. And the crowd lapped up every moment.

Visit Scenestr to see all the action from Saturday night.

Monday, 01 July 2013 13:52

Kerbside Collection: Live Review

There was more than a chill in the air last Friday night, but Arctic-like conditions or not, it was time to head across the river to the Beetle Bar. A small but appreciative crowd was mingling inside as the cool, refined jazz sounds of Stormy Weather — fronted by Ladi Abdundance — were sprinkled about the Brisbane venue like fairy dust clouds; it certainly felt like time for a martini by set’s end.

Blunted Stylus then treated the dancefloor to an inspired mix of rare groove and soul 45s that had more than a couple pairs of feet roaming the room. It was great to see Blunted behind the decks, the former Resin Dog still able to bring the party and educate at the same time. Running  a little behind time didn’t dampen the mood of those punters waiting for Kerbside Collection.

1003-KERBSIDEJason Bell and his ensemble had my ears dancing from the moment the first strains of their cooler than cool brand of west coast funk jazz began emanating from the speakers. Mixing up bass players throughout the set, Kerbside Collection had the rafters rattling with a collection of warm, analougue fuelled instrumental numbers that often veered off into what seemed like crazed jams, but always returned to the structured neatness of jazz noodlings. This was a band with a sound somehow straddling the laws of time, with one foot entrenched in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the other running wild across the decades to bring the past into the present. Rain, hail or shine, next time Kerbside Collection play, you’d offend the funk gods if you fail to show up.

Photos: Lachlan Douglas

TO SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT VISIT SCENESTR

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:11

Live Review: Seth Sentry

Holy shit! I haven’t seen The Hi-Fi as animated as it was Saturday night (May 25) since, well... I can’t recall.

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And I’ve seen a fair number of shows at the West End venue. With both levels so crammed sardine juice was leaking from the walls, Seth Sentry had 1200-odd devout followers in the palm of his hand. And aside from a little shyness at the start (surely play-acting, Seth?), the Melbourne rapper — whose 2013 has included trips to South By Southwest, a live appearance on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and an endless run of charting singles — delivered a performance that offered more than a glimpse at what Seth can expect to be doing across the next couple of years.

Seth-Sentry-30

With a gorgeous crowd singalong of ‘The Waitress Song’ and near-chaotic scenes of rabid rans dancing during the hits ‘Dear Science’, ‘My Scene’ and ‘Float Away’ this was a performance that packed international punch, showmanship unlike any other Australian rapper I’ve witnessed for some time and a genuine warmth from Seth towards the fans, his face mirroring utter shock/ childlike wonder at the wall of faces showering him with love.

It must seem like an eon ago that we chatted backstage at Sprung Festival last year, mate — enjoy the ride that awaits you.

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Photos: Stephen Sloggett

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 14:49

Afrika Bambaataa: Live Review

Afrika Bambaataa, The Hi-Fi May 17

Friday night and the breakers were out as the Hi-Fi witnessed a good ole fashioned, old school block party. With DJ Butcher and Tom Thum (Crate Creeps) presiding over the stage, the late comers (yeah, we had to get dressed up first) had to fight their way towards the front, with a healthy crowd populating the dancefloor.

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Onstage, the Elements Collective were ripping it up — with more eye-popping moments than Jim Carrey’s ‘The Mask’ to feast upon, Flix and her crew did Brisbane, and no doubt the rest of the nation, proud with an amazing display of athleticisim, creative flair and out-of-this-world moves (I did witness Tom Thum do a one-handed forward flip, right?).

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I did expect more from the night, being that we had the Godfather of Hip Hop in our presence; his hypeman had the crowd rocking from early on, while Afrika’s cuts remain as pure as ever, and his track selection on-point and educational. But he seemed content to remain hidden in the shadows at the back of the stage, allowing the b-boys and b-girls to own the night. And maybe that’s what it’s all about, the full celebration of the hip hop culture — not just the DJ.

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Last Wednesday night as the diggers settled in for an early evening ahead of dawn services across the nation, British folk-rock act (they really need to drop the folk aspect of the label, but more about that a little later) Turin Brakes broke a decade long absence from our sunburnt continent with a glorious 90-minute set that straddled the really old, not so old and some damn shiny new material.

‘Average Man’, ‘Clear Blue Air’ and ‘Pain Killer (Summer Rain)’ featured from their seminal album, ‘Ether Song’, and sounded as fresh as they did circa 2003. ‘Fishing For A Dream’ featured a nice, acoustic re-rub.

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While a midset mash-up of Pink Floyd had a spirited front section nodding away enthusiastically. Offering their sincere apologies for their ten-year absence from our shores throughout, the duo of Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian, who were joined onstage by Rob Allum and Eddy Myer for a much punchy sound, unveiled two new songs. And judging by the fangs these two rock numbers had, album number seven will be well worth waiting for — second half of the year, guys. Come again real soon.

TURINBREAKS2
Photos: Munya Chawora

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 19:36

Nick One: Gangsta 101

Part of the local hip hop scene since the early 2000s with The Serenity, West End’s Nick One evokes the gangsta lifestyle so prevalent within the genre. Now he’s preparing to support The Godfather Of Hip Hop.

Paint a picture for the readers; who exactly is Nick One?
Nick One is that dude who rocks up to your party with a car full of bitches and unplugs the DJ’s shit and smashes you with the illest hits.

You produced Verbill’s latest EP, which won the Best EP at the recent Ozhiphop Awards. You must be chuffed with that result?
It was good to see our hard work recognised. Now I just gotta kick back, relax, and wait for the cheques to roll in.

What other production work do you have in the pipeline?
I got a sick gangsta track comin’ out from a Bronx rapper called Bigfoot, and I'm gonna make my own rap album, plus an instrumental EP. Prolly make some Hostile Takeover tracks soon.

Your approach to production; do you bring that classic hip hop sound to the table? 
Yeah, I just try to find some rare shit and chop it up with some fat drums behind it. I wanna learn how to make trap and dubstep next. Holla at me DJ Butcher.

Give us a few lines about West End and what it means to the local artistic community?
West End is a sick little community with all these different people doing shit; playing flutes and shit. Kebabs errrywhurr.
You’re on the bill to support Afrika Bambaataa — what was your first response when you heard about this news?
Definitely stoked to be playing at this gig. The first thing I did was send my tracksuit to the dry cleaners.

What are you planning for your DJ set?
I'm going to start that shit with a Bambaataa track and play through my favourite tracks from the history of hip hop, with New Years Steve tearing it up on the cut. I think Miss Karleena is gonna spit some bars too.

Personally, what does it mean to have the opportunity to perform on the same stage as The Godfather Of Hip Hop?
I have always wanted to play on the same bill as DJ Katch, so that's dope.

Nick One's hip hop roots — the early years? What really drew you into the culture?
“Straight outta Compton, a crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube, from a gang called Niggaz Wit Attitude.”

Hostile Takeover is a project you're working with Dubmarine’s DKazman — are the fruits of your labour ready to be devoured? 
Yeah man, it's all improvised shit at the moment, but we've accidentally made a few film clips so we would like to record something soon.

For the uninitiated, what does Hostile Takeover sound like? You enjoy setting ‘shit on fire’, right?
Hostile Takeover is that bass heavy trap and dubstep shit with DKazman wildin’ out on top. We got a carload of dancers, and at least two of those girls are crazy for lighting fires on stage, which is confusing ‘cause our beats are so hot that the soundsystem is already smokin’.

You’ve been on the scene for a decade plus, since your days with The Serenity; Brisbane hip hop compared to the early 2000s... what’s the Nick One point of view?
To be honest I think the shit used to be a lot cooler. A lot of angry dudes yelling at a sausage sizzle ain't really my idea of a good time. Hip hop is supposed to be fun, not about glassing people.  We bringing back that block party steez.

The rest of 2013 for Nick One; do you have much simmering on the hotplates?
2013 is the year of the Hostile Takeover. If you are having a party this year, expect us to come and wreck your shit. And drink your wine.
There are so many sub-genres of genres that have already been fractured — what's the new sound, style, flavour that's going to get kids going apeshit on dancefloors?
Twerk is my favourite shit right now, and DKazman talking to the aliens on those fucked up trap beats.

Nick One supports Afrika Bambaataa at the Hi-Fi Friday May 17.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 15:03

Maundz: Rascalist Behaviour

Part of Melbourne’s irrefutable hip hop collective Crate Cartel, Maundz is the outspoken rascal of Melbourne's rap-scene. Now he’s headed north this weekend’s independent hip hop feast, Stand Up.

The outspoken rascal of Melbourne's hip hop scene... what sort of rascalist behaviour has Maundz been up to lately?
Same thing different day as always yo! Top secret rascal bizzo.

Footy season is underway; how's your team tracking? September action in the tea leaves?
I actually go for Brisbane (I’m an old Fitzroy boy) so that's gotta win me some brownie points yeah?? Early days yet. The day after Stand Up I'm gonna hit the Gabba with the crew and watch us demolish the Dees, I can't wait! Let's go Lions!

You're in Japan at the moment - holidaying, work - bit of both?
Holidaying. I haven't slept in two days; gone hard in Tokyo the last few nights, and now definitely feeling the repercussions.

Is Maundz an early riser? Or do you prefer sleeping through the majority of the daylight hours?
Early riser unfortunately. Those bills and studio sessions don't pay themselves out here. I need a good sleep this arvo though for real!

Tell us a little bit about the Melbourne collective Crate Cartel?
We got Geko, Discourse, WIK, Fluent Form, Raven and myself. We've all been doing this lil hip hop thing for eons now. We do it ‘cos we love it and that's that.

CC is the team? How important to your development as an artist has Crate Cartel been?
It's been huge. The amount of work that these dudes put in to honing their craft is fucking amazing man. It's driven me to push hard and roll with the rest of the pack for sure. We're out here doing our own lil thing and trying to get the word out the best way we know how, and that's by making straight up hip hop.

You're headed to north to perform at the Stand Up event — it's a huge gathering of underground, independent hip hop. Going to be a huge night, right?
I really can't wait man, we always have a blast in Queensland. Brissie heads are my peoples! Definitely one of the nicest line-ups I've had the pleasure of getting up with. Dwiz, Gil Goon and the rest of the crew have done a number on the scene!

The interstate rivalry between the different crews; is it still part of the culture of the scene?
Love is love! If cats are salty on each other because of location they need to get their shit together and focus on the important stuff. But hey, ain't nothin wrong with city pride though, right? You gotta fly your flag.

Everyone seems to be the ‘next big thing’. Are you happy trawling away on the independent beat, letting others grab the spotlight?
I've been trawling for years now man, and that's what I'll keep doing. If things ever get bigger, dope, if not, no sweat. I can only be me. Respect from the hip hop heads is more important to me than shiny accolades anyways.

Pre-show. Is Maundz a ball of nerves, sitting in the corner focused; or the centre of attention, hyped and ready to explode?
I'm a pretty focused dude I guess. But give me a few beers and I'm ready to go balls out and wreck shop!

The next Maundz release; where are you at with another studio effort?
Just breezin’ through new beats at the moment. Working on a few little other projects with Geko and my younger brothers Afro funk band. Music music music! It don't quit.

You gotta choose between The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad — who's back you got: Rick or Walt?
Sorry world, but I think I'm still the only dude that hasn't seen either show. Randy Marsh or Moe Syzlack, now that's a fuckin noodle scratcher!

Maundz joins Lazy Grey, Kings Konekted, Tommy Illfigga, Ciecmate & Maggot Mouf and host of locals when Stand Up lands at the Hi-Fi this Saturday, April 27. The action kicks off at 2pm.

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