Aussie dancehall rules…
Chris, welcome dude to DMC towers. The Buzz Chart people are all over the remixes of RogerSeventyTwo, Punk Ninja and Magik Johnson – talk us through the tune.
‘Good Thing’ I finished production for recently, it’s my next single out on March 30th and features Amali Ward on the vocal. Three very different but all killer remixes from RogerSeventyTwo, Magik Johnson and Punk Ninja. I dropped the RogerSeventyTwo mix on the weekend up in Brisbane and it was received super well on the dance floor which was good to see!”
Australia know and love you for your Chasm and Astronomy Class monikers, one of your country’s finest hip hop headz. Before this though you were in the post-rock group Ukiyo-e playing guitar and drums. Who were the early artists that you were listening to growing up that were influences?”
“I listened to a lot of different music growing up but as a teenager it was mainly guitar and rock music. I listened to some hip hop too. I listened to people like Cypress Hill, NWA and Wu Tang. At the same time I was listening to a lot of indie rock and also DC punk like Minor Threat and Fugazi. Then as I got older I started getting more into black music and got deep into jazz, reggae and soul.”
Was it the experimenting with software that made you finally see the light and head dance music way?
“Ha ha! I just love chopping up samples and I love being in the studio and creating music. I was in need of a change as I’d been making so much hip hop, so I was just experimenting with more uptempo bpms and making some more dance oriented tunes, just having fun with it. I love disco and funk and I got stuck on chopping those samples and making some party music. Dr Don Don was born out of that.”
Some of your all time tracks include the likes of Miles Davis and Brian Eno, it sounds like you got into music really early, were you brought up in a musical household?
“Not particularly musical no. My grandfather was a jazz and classical saxophonist, thats about it.”
What is the big top 10 you are currently spinning?
Roger72 – Take Me Higher
Azealia Banks – 212
P-Money & Dan Aux – Kinda Lovin’
Dr Don Don – Good Thing (Rogerseventytwo Remix)
A-Trak – Ray Ban Vision
Louis La Roche – Gimme Gimme
Original Don (Crookers Remix)
Dr Don Don – Everybody (unreleased)
DCUP & Pablo Calamari – Boogie Down
South Rakkas Crew – Go Hard Or Go Home
There are a lot of incredible DJs and producers coming out of Australia at last, you once said that “I really haven’t bothered trying to get any of my stuff out overseas as it seems so difficult to break through.” Why do you think people are finally taking notice of your home country?
“Actually I was referring to the Australian accent in rap and how it is hard to get passed that when pushing hip hop from here overseas. But besides that I think there is just good music being made here and that combined with the internet and ease of releasing things over the net to the world these days has made it easier for Australian music to be noticed.”
You exploded onto the hip hop scene in 2004 with your self titles EP boasting an array of Australian MCs that went on to become synonymous with hip hop down under. Who are the major playaz in the scene eight years on you are giving props to?
“There is a lot of talented people involved now and some really dope producers. I am feeling people like Taku, M-Phazes, Trials and DJ Morgs beat-wise. MC’s – Dialectrix, Mantra, Spit Syndicate, The Tongue.”
The EP drew from a heavy influence from the Caribbean, especially dub, dancehall and reggae. It’s fair to say you were sticking your neck out with the release, it was a new flavour of production at the time…
“Yeah there wasn’t too much with that feel back then, I always loved UK rap because it had that heavy Jamaican influence, so I was trying to do something similar and I had a lot more reggae than funk in my collection so that was what I went to when I started sampling.”
Along with Ozi Batla and Sir Robbo, you formed Astronomy Class – what do you prefer – a busy studio or working alone?
“I like to do both, it is a good vibe being in the studio collaborating with someone and having ideas thrown in to the mix by someone else that you wouldn’t necessarily have thought of, but also I enjoy just being alone and getting in the zone and not relying on anyone else to get things done.”
Which artist would you love to collaborate with in the studio from the world of music?
What is the best and worst thing about liking in Sydney for a musician?
“The live music scene is seriously lacking compared to somewhere like Melbourne but there are a lot of really talented and good people in Sydney to work with and be involved with so that’s a positive.”
What has been the most memorable live show to date?
“Dr Don Don DJ set at Falls Festival this year was amazing and also Astronomy Class playing in Cambodia this year was also a huge highlight!”
We hear that attendances have been hit and miss at some of Australia’s big festivals due to basically, there being too many. Is that the main reason?
“I think that’s probably true, they never seem to stop right!? It’s a year round thing now.”
We come back to yours after the show, what is your eclectic Back To Mine 10 you spin us to carry on the groove…
“Well after a show back at my place its gonna be chillin, some hip hop firstly – Smoke DZA- He has risen , Currensy – Hold on , ASAP Rocky – Purple Swag , Jet Life – paper habits, some reggae – Augustus Pablo – keep on dubbing, Lee Perry – Corn fish dub , then maybe Hermitude – Golden , Burial – archangel, Alice Coltrane – the sun , Grant Green – my one and only love.
What’s a perfect Sunday for you…
“Some reggae, some sun, good food, wine and my family.”
What is your greatness weakness?
“My obsessive compulsiveness.”
“When I was a child I wanted to be a…
“…member of Motley Crue!”
Not a lot of people know this, but I am very good at…
You readily admit you have a short attention span – what’s coming next from ya studio wise…?
“I am working towards finalising the Dr Don Don album, not too far off now, working on the final tracks for it at the moment. I am also working on production for a new artist from Sydney, Candy Borquaye. The next Chasm album has just been wrapped up too and will be out in April.”