Hip hop, house and techno music had many champions during its seminal days in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, but none stuck with filmmaker Simon Walshe like DJ Bribe (aka DJ Angus).
“He was a different kind of DJ,” Walshe explains. “He was a hip hop turntablist first of all, and was known as DJ Bribe, and he was basically ahead of his time in terms of his skills and ability on the decks around '89, 1990, '91. And he took those skills from his hip hop culture into the dance music culture as well. So he combined those skills, and in doing that he just created an electrifying mix.”
Walshe hopes to capture that incredible talent in the upcoming documentary, 'Flow', which chronicles the life and career of Angus Galloway, who sadly passed away in February 2008, aged 38.
“Twenty years later, I still think about those days, and that's what inspired me to tell the story,” Walshe says. “Angus was really leading the way in terms of music, DJ innovation at that time. I mean, he was playing house and techno music, and then scratching old-school hip hop samples over the top of it, and just, you know, blowing people away. He just added another dimension to the music, [where] other DJs didn't have that ability.”
The half-hour film will have Angus' story as its centrepiece, and incorporate interviews with friends and fellow artists, archival show footage, photos, and plenty of the music that shaped the era.
“It's also about recognising an incredible time culturally in Australia, musically and fashion-wise,” Walshe says. “There's a ton of music to get in there, which is what I'm really looking forward to as well. We're looking at stuff from the early days of hip hop from New York, like Sugarhill Gang, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, right through until like the heady days of techno into house music, John Digweed and all those big songs that came out. There'll be photos, and there's video footage, and it's funny because the quality is obviously dated, and there's people's fashions — caps and brightly coloured clothing — so that'll look really cool too.”
Although Angus' untimely death was a tragic end to his story, Walshe prefers that the emphasis be on a life well-lived.
“The story is a celebration of a life. And Angus lived a hundred lives, so he lived it to the fullest. Sadly enough, and you'll find that in a lot of cases in the entertainment industry, it's only when someone has gone that you realise how much influence they had on the scene and on the culture.”
That influence is obvious, with the project already gaining plenty of interest from fans in every corner of the country, which Walshe says has come from both the expected demographic of 40-somethings and a new wave of Gen-Yers.
“There's people who are genuinely interested and excited about the story being told, because they think he deserves it. It has picked up a lot of interest and I've been getting phone calls and emails and people messaging me on Facebook telling me that this is a fantastic idea and they're really excited about it. A lot of people want to help out, which is sort of a testament to Angus' character — you know, he knew so many people and he was such a genuine guy.”
Walshe hopes Angus' enduring legacy will boost the production's soon-to-be-launched crowd-funding scheme on website Pozible.
“That [begins on] June 3 and it'll run for 60 days. So that site hasn't gone live yet but if people get onto the Facebook page they can keep up to date with it, and we'll be launching that campaign. We've set a modest target of $8000, and that means we're covering our costs without burning up our credit cards. So that will mean that we can actually really get going, and pick a camera and start shooting interviews, which is what it's all about.”
The film is set for a mid-2014 release date, and Walshe hopes that the piece will screen at film festivals as a platform for gaining a wider audience.
“I think initially the story will have a lot of appeal at film festivals, because it's going to be colourful, it's going to have a lot of good music, and it's going to be very entertaining. This is a story that people can identify with all around the UK and Europe and the US, because it was a global phenomenon, that house and techno music, hip hop music that was hitting the airwaves all around the world in the late '80s and the early '90s. This is a story for everyone.”
Pozible crowd-funding for 'Flow' will open June 3.