Archive for June, 2009

Hip Hop – Australia VS New Zealand Round 2

Monday, June 29th, 2009 | News | 6 Comments
Hip Hop - Australia VS New Zealand Round 2

With New Zealand taking out the first round of this competition it’s time to see how this silly little game plays out for round two. Two more groups lifting the standard of the scene for their respective communities, and Australasia, and creating a new breed of funky hip hop crossovers…

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In the Red Corner with their crazy Brazilian style percussion, Adidas track-suit wearing horns section, fine vocalists, and a 13ish piece line-up… it’s amazing they even manage to get everyone along to tour, but they do, and it’s a fun, high energy night every time with the style and experience of this group from New Zealand

Batucada Sound Machine – Rivers of Rhyme

In the Blue corner, weighing in with bounce loads of uplifting energy, a beautifully matched collaboration of styles and voices, and one of the cooler video clips I’ve seen lately… it’s Australia

Astonomy Class feat. Vida Sunshyne and Kween G – Where you at?

If you remember in the last round I said:

“In reality there will be no champion between the countries, and the true question should be – why don’t these two countries have more collaborations between these awesome artists, to solidify the community of like minded artists with something more to offer?”

Quite a few people actually told me last time that they couldn’t vote because Olmecha Supreme and True Live were both so good that they couldn’t decide. Well good, but sometimes you have to choose… come on people life gets way harder than this, so who’s it going to be?

Australia or New Zealand?

To vote – click into this article and leave your vote in the comments section.

You can check out more of these artists at:

Batucada Sound Machine

Astronomy Class

Vida Sunshyne

Kween G

…bs

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Mihirangi

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 | News | No Comments
Mihirangi

Maya Angelou – Phenomenal Women
“…it’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s….

“mihi – to greet, pay tribute, acknowledge, thank
rangi – day, sky, heavens, heavenly realm, heaven, weather, tenor, drift, tune, air, melody”

What would you expect at a poetry evening at the State Museum of Victoria? Wine?  Sure. Couches?  Possibly but only one at the front. A loop pedal?  Oh hell no, wait!  Is this the right room? How about the introduction to “the maori princess of funk” who’s rocking a diamond shape tãmoko in the centre of her forehead? I shit you not, this is what they call a ‘poetry evening’ these days and I lapped it ALL up.

Through hypnotic live looping, Mihirangi opened this particular poetry night with diversity and roots based flavor, with an original song, “No War”. Infusing Te Reo Maori and English languages effortlessly throughout her performance, Mihirangi’s infectious joy oozes from her very being, and captured our hearts at the answer to “how did you come about all of this?” “Oh, because I couldn’t get the band motivated to tour so I left them behind.”

Mihirangi’s mix of beat boxing, vocal harmonies, percussion, acoustic guitar and flute combined with potent lyrics addressing indigenous and environmental issues have ensured her place as one of the most exciting, original and conscious solo performers of Australasia. Her one woman show has been mesmerizing audiences all over the world, and she has quickly become a favourite at world festivals performing with the likes of K’Naan, Public Enemy, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Lee Scratch Perry, Blue King Brown, The Resin Dogs, Salmonella Dub and Ladi6.  This girl has got so much raw talent and enthusiasm it is an honour to watch her perform.

Mihirangi - Live at Womad

Performances at “Power to The Peaceful” Festival in support of social justice, non-violence, and environmental sustainability in San Francisco, to an audience of 60,000 people and to an audience of globally active artists including The Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pierce Brosnan and Martin Sheen at their 30th Anniversary Benefit concert in LA.
Mihirangi’s credibility comes down to the fact she is so fucking honest.  With her music, her audience and herself and she sends a clear message to all that hear her…

“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata,     he tangata, he tangata”
(-Sir Apirana Ngata)

“What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people. It is people, it is people”

I have been a bit biased to show so much love to our sisters of soul; however I’ve found solace within her Kulcha Nation lyrics.
Maybe you will too.

“You ignore your own responsibility
towards the world and your community.
Because you think that your life
has no guarantee
So this is a message from me to you and you to me…
No more repeats of boring warring histories.
Man that’s old school, education’s to blame.
We’ve gotta teach our kids about truth, compassion and change.
Don’t forget to mention our leaders redemption,
jubilation of cultural nations
with ritual and spiritual celebration”

You can check out more of Mihirangi at:

www.myspace.com/kulchanation

www.mihirangi.com
Right on!

miss P.

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Omar Musa

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009 | News | 2 Comments
Omar Musa

This week we caught up with Omar Musa and talked about three of my favourite things, hip hop, poetry, and of course… ladies

I first heard of you as the Australian Slam poet champ, now you have a new music video out. So which came first; poetry or music?

Definitely poetry. I have been writing poetry since I was a young child. My father was a poet in Malaysia, so he always encouraged me. I’m an only child and we didn’t have much money growing up, so writing and painting kept me busy. Once I was in my teens, I got into Wu Tang Clan, Ice Cube and Public Enemy, because I realised that hip-hop was modern poetry, but contemporary and accessible, unlike a lot of written poetry.

The video for Hemmingway was shot in London, have you made the move out of Australia or was this just for the video?

I lived in London most of last year working with grime artists such as Akala, which was amazing. I shot the video during that time with Tom Spiers, a genius of a director and gem of a guy. The video was painstaking work, mostly shot between the hours of 10pm and 4am. I’m back here in Australia now. It was a bit too hectic, cold and dreary over there. London pretty much swallowed me up and spat me out!

Omar Musa – Hemingway


How do you find it to be an Australian hip hopper? is this something that goes down well with audiences, or do you find is conjures up the wrong image of your music?

It’s weird. Overseas people either go bananas cos my style is something totally new to them, or they don’t quite “get” it. In the Australian poetry scene, I get the feeling that people think you are going to be less literate or intelligent because you are a rapper, which is annoying, but something I hope I’m helping to change.

What’s playing on your ipod at the moment dude?

Man, a lot of stuff. I still listen to a lot of Kanye West, Jay-Z and OutKast. But the albums I’m listening to the most at the moment are ‘Troubador’ by K’Naan, ‘Dummy’ by Portishead and ‘Boy in da Corner’ by Dizzeee Rascal. I really like stuff that pushes the boundaries a bit. There is so much lame, cheesy shit out there are the moment.

What gets you more love interest… being a rapper, or being a poet?… and do they attract different audiences?

Haha. I guess being a rapper, because women seem to be attracted to the allure of a bad boy musician. Little do they know I’m a mad bookworm who spends most of my spare time in second hand bookshops and galleries haha. And yeah, poetry and hip-hop attract really different audiences. I love both equally, though sometimes poetry can be a bit wanky and hip-hop a bit too aggressive.

What’s up next for Omar Musa?

A bunch of shows, writers’ festivals and most importantly, I’ll be recording my full length album in Seattle, USA, with Geoff Stanfield. I want people to realise that I’m Australian hip-hop’s most powerful, important and intelligent new voice.  I’m trying to do everything in my power to make that happen. Keep supporting independent music!

Also, I just released a free download mixtape, so if people are interested they can get to it here

Peace,

Omar

And you can check out more from Omar Musa at:

www.myspace.com/omarmusa

…bs

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Def Poetry – Australia represent

Monday, June 8th, 2009 | News | 1 Comment
Def Poetry - Australia represent

For a while now I’ve been asking the Very Good audience to help me out with a question… Where the poets at?

There is a growing hip hop community in Australia and New Zealand, and yet I don’t see a whole lot of poets on the scene. Well it turns out i’m just a busy kid who hasn’t opened his eyes to the right direction, and unfortunately the audience have been as unproductive as I have on this one.

So Thursday night I take one of the most art filled journeys I have ever experienced in one evening, kicking it off with a poetry break at Melbourne’s state library on Swanston St. Ok, so this evening was really amazing for me given that I was taken along to basically exactly what I want see the community getting behind. If I were to go through my head space on the evening, or describe exactly what I thought of each poet and performer on this evening, this article would be as long as my driveway, so lets have some of them speak for themselves, firstly with the man of the evening for me, Si

Si - Victoria’s Slam Poetry champion

So this next group just took me by surprise, because I haven’t ever actually seen and aboriginal rap crew, and so the first I have being one that had a positive message, and what seemed to be 3 extremely gentle, focused, strong Australian men, with a clear message of positivity, putting in work all around Australia… and I was just like… what the F&*^ – have I had my eyes closed or what?

Tjimba & The Yung Warriors feat Outlawz – For The People

So as if this wasn’t enough for one evening, there was another, and another, and another who took my eye on the evening, however the ‘Melbourne State Library’ website has been down for a few days now, so i’ll have to catch you up on an artist whom I think was called Miriahanga when it kicks back into action.

If your into Slam Poets, you can also check out Omar Musa who took out the Australian champs last year.

Or head along to one of these poetry nights in Melbourne at:

www.slv.vic.gov.au

…bs

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Pataphysics unearths support for Indian Students

Saturday, June 6th, 2009 | News, VG News | 4 Comments
Pataphysics unearths support for Indian Students

……………… Music, It’s just like politics for the cool young people yeh? well it can be, and the response to Pataphysics new track ‘Cloaked Guerilla’  is very cool people, very cool.

It’s early and there’s a movie on Cocaine trafficking i’m keen to finish watching so rather then re-write the events of the past week, below is the press release that we sent out to media which sums it all up quite nice and tidily, as well as the brand new video clip for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’… enjoy.

Young Australians vote against Indian student attacks

With Indian student attacks bringing Australian racism into question in both Australian and International media this week, Australia’s youth and young adults have used one of the few vehicles of expression in the mainstream media available to them, to vote against the negative perception of Australia that is being created on the world stage… and the vehicle is music.

Melbourne based musician Patrick Marks, a.k.a. Pataphysics, has spoken out in an attempt to give young Australian adults a voice in a political arena in which their voice is rarely heard, and with his new release ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ hitting #1 on Triple J’s ‘unearthed’ chart this week, Australian youth and young adults voices are supporting a message of understanding.

Pataphysics - ‘Cloaked Guerilla’

When quizzed as to the meaning of a ‘Cloaked Guerilla’, Pataphysics, who is presently writing his thesis on ‘Indigenous Resistance’ through RMIT University explains “I guess you could say people who are marginalized or a part of a minority, who aren’t treated fairly, and who stand up and resist being subjected to the will of oppressing forces”. “The concept of a ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ applies neatly to the current outcries from the Australian Indian community’s anger with attackers, what is also important in this scenario though, is that these attackers motivations whatever they may be, are distinguished from young Australian adults cultural norms, and the world media carrying images of a racist Australia is not helping to address and solve the real issue.”

With various prominent world media outlets painting a bleak picture of the safety for international visitors to Australia, Australian young adults; as both peers of the accused attackers, and leaders of tomorrow, are only too aware that they are the generation that will face the consequences of the damaged international relations that this nature of publicity will inevitably result in.

Liam Salem, a 20 year old Melbourne man drawn into discourse after seeing Pataphysics music video clip for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ expressed deep concern with the media coverage he had seen exclaiming “We are not a racist generation, and don’t want the world media to let the actions of the racially ignorant, and criminally violent minority, speak for the majority of a generation of harmonious, young adults who welcome travelers of the world to our beautiful country”.

Pataphysics draws from personal experience as well as academic and activist pursuits, as a first generation Australian who’s parents migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka, very shortly after the ‘White Australia policy’ was abolished in the 1970’s. “Given that these policies were only abolished one generation ago, of course many of the attitudes passed down will still exist today to some degree, however these are in no way the dominant view of young Australia, or Australia as a nation, and the world media needs to convey the current situation accurately: as serious in nature, but not as a fair representation of Australian society and it’s cultural norms”.

With wide ranging participation in Australian political networks, currently including a masters in social sciences, and active involvement in grass roots political group ‘Free West Papua’, Pataphysics uses music to communicate his message in a political arena where discussion from young adults is generally limited. “By using a language that is widely enjoyed by youth and young adults around Australia & the world (hip hop), I am able to get their attention for long enough to convey a simple thought, or ask a simple question, that will stay with them long after the performance is over, and ultimately involve them in discussions in which they’re opinions are typically neglected or unheard”. With ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ soaring to #1 on Australia’s prominent ‘young’ radio station ‘Triple J’ with such speed, it appears that the support for marginalized communities in Australia’s young adults is far more apparent than the world media is suggesting.

Pataphysics ended by saying “I cannot speak for my country (Australia), nor for the attackers in question. All that I can do is encourage those who have an opinion which goes unnoticed to contribute through the channels available to them, and with the support that we have been shown for ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ this week, it is even clearer to me now that I have a continued responsibility to strengthen communication channels for the disengaged youth in our community, who wish for the world to know that Australia is a beautiful, diverse, multi-cultural nation, where racism isn’t tolerated, and never will be”.

You can see (could have seen) Pataphysics perform ‘Cloaked Guerilla’ and more in an evening where Australian’s can have the opportunity to hear West Papuan refugee’s stories, and speak about the current situation in West Papua. but now it’s too late ya chump

“FREE WEST PAPUA”
An evening of film, music & info at:
Northcote Uniting Church
251 High St Northcote
Melbourne
Thursday June 4th

…bs

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