Monkeymarc is a man of many talents. The Melbourne-based hip hop producer has had a diverse musical career, spanning punk to dubstep. From producing tunes for political hip hop group Combat Wombat to carving an eclectic solo path, and bringing hip hop music to remote Aboriginal communities, there’s little this artist hasn’t already ticked off his bucketlist.
What’s fresh out of the Monkeymarc laboratory at the moment?
There’s lots of new material fresh out of the Solar Lab. I have just finished my new collaborative full length album with UK artist Soom T. We recorded it in Leipzig, Germany, late last year at the end of my European tour. It’s a different sounding album, kind of tough, political sci-fi sounding hip hop with a splash of dub mentality. I have also just produced a song with UK reggae artist YT, which is a big ode to the Occupy movement. It’s a bit of a classic heavy roots reggae anthem.
What was it like to collaborate with Soom T?
It was amazing. She's a great person to hang out with. Very intelligent and passionate and full of amazing ideas. The whole meeting was really by chance. I was on tour with some crew from Al Haca and Jahtari and one of the guys from Jahtari by the name of Dressla was like ‘hey, I think you should meet this girl, Soom T’. So we finished the tour and I ended up in Leipzig. We organised to meet up with Soom for a cup of tea and ended up recording a few tunes that day. Then I had to go to London for the release of my tune with Roots Manuva on his new album, ‘4everevolution’. Then she asked me to come back. So I cancelled my return ticket to Australia and ended up staying. We where only going to do a tune for a single and ended up making a full length album.
And you have plans to tour Europe with Soom T... when will that be happening?
We will release the album in a few months on Renegade Masters and then we are looking like doing a full European tour in Aug/ Sept. We are still booking it but it’s all looking good. We will probably tour UK, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland and hopefully Croatia.
Your solo work; when can we expect the next Monkeymarc studio album?
Well it’s maybe a little while off yet as I have been really busy with other projects with Roots Manuva, YT, Soom T, Jahtari, Joelistics, Mantra etc. I’m going to release a more dub heavy hip hop EP with Jahtari in a few months, so that’ll probably be the next solo Monkey Marc thing.
Anything to report from the Combat Wombat camp... are you guys still active?
Yep, we’re still fully active. We also toured Europe last year. It was an amazing and successful tour. We didn't realise we had so many fans over there. We released a split EP on a Belgian punk label last year too. We are currently in the studio recording our next album… it’s sounding fresh.
You’ve been working on the ‘Transfer Of Knowledge’ workshops in remote Australian Aboriginal communities for over ten years now; how rewarding is it personally to be involved with the program?
It’s incredibly rewarding on a personal level. I am extremely privileged in what I get to see and experience across my travels with my Aboriginal workshops and projects. The projects themselves are proving to be successful in maintaining knowledge and stories in communities where some of those stories have been in danger of being lost. They have also helped in bridging the gap between the old world of the elders and the modern world of the youth ... It’s an amazing thing to blend tradition, language, story and culture and bring it into a modern world to relate to the younger Aboriginal generations.
Monkeymarc plays Roots And Bass at the Hi-Fi Saturday June 16.