Hailing from the artistically bountiful Blue Mountains come Cooking with Caustic, a soul/hip hop/funk collective unlike any other.
Cooking with Caustic consists of core members Caustic (beats, keys and production), DJ Cost (turntables), Jarv Benaud (bass), Stephen Noble (saxophone), and Marc Brown (trombone).
Though they’ve been jamming for years; first meeting whilst working in hospitality together, From Mercury to Pluto is the group’s debut LP. The album pays homage to the classic sounds of 90’s hip hop, as well as focusing on big beat, groove, and turntablism.
“Rather than an album being about one vocalist, this is about a collection of voices that work together but provide the listener with variety too. We also have a focus on instrumentals, where turntables and musicianship can come to the fore.” –Caustic
Guest vocalists on the LP include Queen B, Blackjack Davey, Madame Wu (Madame Wu and Elise Graham), Mikoen (Daily Meds, Reverse Polarities), P.Smurf (Daily Meds, Reverse Polarities), Mute MC (Reverse Polarities, Mute X Roleo), Tenth Dan (Big Village), Charlotte Craib (Rumpunch), Broken Thought Theory, Ev Jones (Jones Jnr), and Loose Wayne.
“A lot of us are kind of science/music/cartoon nerds. Hence all the sci-fi samples and references.
Voice samples are mostly from old radio shows, there’s something awesome about those old accents.” – Caustic
The track ‘Journey from the Inside Out’ features Mute and Blackjack Davey, explores themes of birth and life’s journey in a sombre fashion, juxtaposed with its cartoon-like production. With its 50’s doo-wop backing vocal performed by the band, the heavily swung beat and double bass groove gives the song a lurchy feel.
‘About to Fly’ features Tenth Dan, Madame Wu, Ev Jones, and Queen B. Lyrically the track is about “doing the things you love, cos you only live once”. Though uplifting overall, the track’s minor key combined with the melancholy of the lyrics gives the ‘About to Fly’ further depth. “There’s a bird call throughout which was recorded from my garden. It’s a wattle bird, they make that call a lot in the morning, so it’s a real waking up in the mountains sound for me.” – Caustic
‘No One’ is an instrumental track speckled with vocal samples which include the words “no one”. The track got its origins from a pitched down guitar sample taken from a Two Toes track, and a Queen B vocal sample from a 2005 recording. The beat; constructed from MPC sequenced beats, is layered with live drums and percussion.
Possessing a cohesiveness and maturity rarely found in a debut album, Cooking with Caustic have come to define their own unique brand of music in the form of From Mercury to Pluto.
“Music’s a pretty compulsive creative outlet for us; we fill most of our time with it. The band’s a big creative family.” – Caustic
Watch the From Mercury to Pluto promo video:
Introducing The D.Y.E. A three man hip hop group from Melbourne’s north, hell bent on getting their music to the people.
Made up of DJ Marshall, MHz and Slam Master D, The D.Y.E already have two mix-tapes to their name. The debut EP entitled Sorry for the Stickers, references the infamous D.Y.E stickers, which any local could tell you, have been plastered all over Melbourne.
With their energetic party sound reminiscent of J5 or Beastie Boys; The D.Y.E pride themselves on being masters of the live show. The EP’s general vibe is custom-made for a festival crowd, with plenty of call-and-response and catchy hooks.
‘Lighters in the Sky’ is a track about the ongoing rejection aspiring artists encounter when trying to secure shows and opportunities. In this song, the trio maintain the idea of being able to play a huge show one day, seeing lighters in the sky is what keeps them driven. With a sample from Bedouin Soundclash, the track features vibrant vocals from Melbourne jazz/soul singer Mo.
‘No Matter the Weather’ is a syncopated, beat driven track featuring metal-core turned blues singer Emil on the hook. The lyrics reflect The D.Y.E’s rain or shine mentality to performing, determined to deliver no matter the weather.
‘Front to the Back’ is a traditional call and response crowd-pleaser with a strong emphasis on cutting samples. The track demonstrates the diversity of DJ Marshall’s samples arsenal; featuring pop culture references from Ferris Bueller and Shepard Fairey, to original recordings from 1970’s news-radio broadcasts.
“The D.Y.E are here to entertain. There are 10 year olds out there that have a tighter flow than me, but they ain’t got the presence or style to back it up.” – The D.Y.E
This is one half of Mr. Ruckman‘s concept record. With his second EP “Later” dropping later in the year to comprise the full record. Every song topic focuses on a specific verb, be it abstract, ironic or just straight literal. Such limitations could be considered a creative-hinderance to an artist, but Mr. Ruckman proves the contrary with refreshingly canny results. The concept comes from a place of monotony, with Mr. Ruckman feeling as though his passion is stagnant and his life going through the motions. This project is his strive for change and something greater. Mr. Ruckman‘s music speaks for itself and Sooner is another fine fingerprint in his durable discography. The future can only tell what will come of the Later.
“Mr. Ruckman (evolved from the former Kade MC) is a syllable-twisting, rhyme-scheme junkie in the process of a rise to prominence” – SPA
Purchase the Sooner EP from iTunes here.
Follow Mr. Ruckman on facebook.
Enigmatic Geko AKA Phil Gektor makes up one sixth of formidable Melbourne label Crate Cartel. His new album, titled Real Heads Don’t Listen, is out May 30 2014.
Entirely self-produced, Geko has poured his contrarian genius into the album, ensuring every detail has purpose. Consistent with his previous work, Real Heads Don’t Listen further explores Geko’s underground ethos and his satirical take on mainstream society and commercialisation.
“I don’t listen to what’s being played on the radio or what’s current, so it’s probably a bit of a time capsule.” – Geko
Using samples as his muse, Geko’s production and lyrical themes evolve organically. The album’s overall gritty, trippy feel resembles its creator’s cynical obscurity.
“I employ a lot of dirt and grit in the mix which goes against a lot of people who try to make their music sound nice professional and expensive.” – Geko
In the track ’Get Fucked’, Geko voices his unwillingness to submit to society’s expectations. The song has an apt punk aesthetic, and is driven by its urgent tempo.
With its ‘80’s style production, ‘Disobedient’ is about adventures whilst driving intoxicated, and been pretty self-satisfied about doing it.
Featuring heavily chopped psychedelic samples ’PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN’ is the tale of a man being arrested and taken to a psych ward, shortly fleeing the country on an airplane.
Though dark, and sometimes confronting, Geko’s music is a brilliant account of a solitary man who is at odds with the narrow format of mainstream life. In ways, his music is a selfless offering to those of a similar disposition.
Geko Facebook Crate Cartel Website
To celebrate the release of Geko AKA Phil Gektor‘s new album Real Heads Don’t Listen, Gek has put out free The Hippies EP.
Listen to the third track on the EP here:
Kogz, one of Perth’s younger emcee’s to emerge recently, has been working on his debut project for the good part of a year now.
After entering a competition for ‘up and coming’ rappers organised by SBX member Mr. Grevis, Kogz won a weeks worth of studio time with Rob Shaker. The opportunity allowed Kogz to adapt his idea for a project from mixtape to full LP. Supporting Grevis a couple of times, the young emcee caught the attention of a few local stalwarts of the Perth scene.
Guest verses and collaborators on the album include Mr. Grevis, Bitter Belief, Complete, Sever, Soma and Still J. With production mainly from Rob Shaker, but also featuring beats from Matt Rafle, Soma and Creed Birch.
Follow Kogz on Facebook
Purchase link coming soon.
After what has been a strategically and seductively long lead up to its release, Thundamentals are back once again with third album So We Can Remember. Members Jeswon, Tuka and DJ Morgz have every reason to be confident about the album’s reception on the 2nd of May this year. The trio have already enjoyed the success of their first single ‘Smiles Don’t Lie’ ranking at #32 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2013, and second single ‘Something I Said’ featuring Thom Crawford ahead of the album’s release. Both tracks were added straight to triple j, charting well across iTunes, ARIA and Spotify.
Putting a new spin on their much-loved sound, So We Can Remember sees the Thundas embrace modern production elements and song structure to brilliant effect. Rappers in their prime; emcees Tuka and Jeswon are absolute professionals at their craft. The two impress with their trademark mischievous exchange. All beats are produced by DJ Morgz, who has skilfully constructed something wondrous to behold in every track.
Guest’s featured on So We Can Remember include Solo (Elefant Traks), Mataya, Ev Jones, Thom Crawford, Steve Clisby and Laneous.
The So We Can Remember National Tour has begun, so make sure you don’t miss out on tickets for a show near you!
Speaking of this Friday; if you’re in the area head down to Obese Records Prahran between 4pm & 5pm to meet Jes, Tuka and Morgz. You could have your copy of SO WE CAN REMEMBER signed by the guys!
Haven’t ordered one yet? Get yours from: