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Mental Combat 895

Author: Blaze
Friday, 8 February 2008
Geez. It has been four years since Chasm released his self-titled EP. Damn! Way too long, though we were blessed with his work with Astronomy Class, so I can’t really complain. I mustn’t forget the awesome split 7” single in 2005, with Mantra & Ozi Batla, and he’s also produced tracks for Urthboy, the Tongue, the Herd and for Melbourne’s Diafrix. All have returned the favour and appear on this stunning 16- track album that already strikes me as being one of the contenders for best album of 2008. Sure, we’re only six weeks into the year, but I’m confident that this will be still getting some play in late December. It’s a superb release that will most definitely be getting his production skills heralded throughout the community. There isn’t a naff track to be found on here and luckily he’s managed to get them laced with quality emcees. It certainly shows that he’s adept with incorporating the old analogue sounds with the crunchy samples, and it’s the usual winning combination for great beats of his own. First up is the posse track: ‘Superpowers’ with Ozi Batla, the Tongue, Jeswon and Dialectrix all ripping their work clothes off to reveal some lyrical spandex over a fierce horn laden beat while the Binge Thinkers deejay 2Buck rips through some X-Men referencing vocals; then Jeswon returns with his Blue Mountains crew mate Tuka from Thundamentals for the moron exposing Chumps. Those Melbourne based Aussie-Africans Diafrix rip through a Jamaican patois inflected chant-a-thon on Let the Beat Go while Sloth pulls his horn out for some tasty background accompaniment.

The Astronomy Class line-up returns on Cop A Lesson, with Sir Robbo on co-prod, Ozi Batla on the mic and even with Gina Mitchell on chorus - while newcomer Mdusu drops some extra lyrics. Natty Sistren Sound chanteuse Vida Sunshyne, who we last heard on Mister Savona’s Melbourne Meets Kingston, brings forth some advice with Ozi on the Niceness, while Sydney soul chick Juanita Tippens trades verses with Hau of Koolism on the classy Dreamcatcher. Down Under Beats Crew member Dialectrix manages to get on four tracks, with the 2Buck scratched up chorused Walking Around Oblivious and the Pegz guested Yes it Is, with only two of them. Standout amongst many would be Rise of the New with Jewson, Tuka and some chatting from UK born/Melbourne based reggae vocalist, Chasm. Chasm’s Awakenings Crew mate Ivens joins Muph as they tread softly over the mellow and lyrically sensitive Vicious Circle, then Urthboy rips over No Matter What Man while some strings & delicate keys ride behind his voice, leaving Mantra to return with the dub-hinted Nobody’s Enemy. It’s a virtual smorgasbord of goodness that will have you returning back to the table again and again to stuff your ears full to the brim of essential lyrical vitamins and musical minerals. 100% nourishing. Enjoyed every minute of it.

Like some of you out there, I’ve been watching the local version of So You Think You Can Dance and it’s cool to see so many b-boys representing, but what’s up with the edited footage- 95% of the screen time has just been taken up by power moves, flips and hollow backs - where’s the actual dancing bits- No toprocking, no footwork,  anything that actually displays a sense of rhythm seems to get screen time. Circus moves for the public to go “ooh and aah” seem to be the order of the day. But surely people must be watching and wondering where the dancing is. One dude was even berated for not dancing to the beat, something that a lot of younger b-boys seem to fall victim to many times. It’s all good to be a gymnast, but dancing is all about following a rhythm, but I’ve been unable to tell if any of them have that rhythm because the footage has been chopped up to remove any such indication. Some of the other dance styles get unedited screen time, but all the b-boy stuff only seems to be of the backflip/windmill/air flare variety. It’s annoying, but then I’m a sucker for uprocking & footwork over power moves any day. Maybe, just maybe - we’ll see some worthy examples on the new series of Channel 7’s Australia’s Got Talent. Word on the street is that the Skill@Will crew have made it onto the show, but let’s hope they aren’t the only one to have a go.

Sadly I just received word that DJ Bribe (Angus) of Brisbane sadly passed away during the early hours of Thursday 7 February, 2008. He was only 38. Angus was a champ not just in the DMC kind of way - but in personality and commitment. He was well regarded in not just the hip hop community in Brissy, but also within the dance scene, and only in the last few years had he returned with a fire in his belly, ready to take on the world again. He was one of Australia’s first scratch mad obsessives who had an unhealthy obsession with anything turntable-related. It’s very strange to visit his page, but the tributes will slowly pour in from around the world of news of his way to early departure. Respect.