The Brisbane turntablists and hip hop community are organizing a fundraiser for The Masta (The Master / Da Masta / Jason Belzer) (twitter tag #Funds4DaMasta) who is also suffering from cancer. Initially they are asking for people to donate items for the eBay auctions - details below.
the auction has started! all the profits will be sent to The Masta to help ease his battle with cancer - already an amazing response - from such high quality & often rare donations, to people spreading the word, and bidding on items. still a few items to put up, but the majority are there. thanks so much to everyone involved - it feels like the whole Australian hip hop community has come together to help with this. (I will add more to the tumblr site over next few days) auctions run for another 9-10days - there's a range of items (& some aren't hip hop, if that's not your thing). I think there's something for everyone. single items & packs - if you can't afford one item, maybe consider doing a 'joint bid' with another/few people. &/or help spread the word. all help is greatly appreciated!! http://search.ebay.com.au/?sass=aliak77&ht=-1 is the direct ebay link
I remember seeing The Master DJ at gigs and in competitions (eg DMC & ITF) in Brisbane in the 1990s and early 2000s. He always had the flair to entertain the audience with crowd pleasing moves. At the time there was a fair bit of rivalry between some of the turntablists - there were battles between DJ Angus / Bribe and The Master. Angus was a friend of mine so I always went for him of course, but I thought The Master was a good turntablist too - his skills often had the crowds cheering. I remember seeing them battle it out on the decks at Rics in the Valley and at the bar in Paddington (which I've just forgotten the name of, will update when I remember).
I have a copy of his "From Dole Cheques to Rolex" album also, which I'd discovered a couple of years after its release (as I'd left Brisbane officially in mid 2001, though traveled back there often throughout 2001 on weekend trips) - it's a great cd, once again, very entertaining. He's also one of the fastest Australian rappers that I've heard. His raps on this album are very funny, but in the same way a little sad in that there always seems to have been something going wrong in his life or a quirky situation in his lyrics. It's good he handled it with humour though. He used to have really long hair back then - a Samson-like character. Or an Australian version of a Philip K Dick book character, the Aussie battler.
Hunter used to speak about him very fondly on twitter - we had a few chats about his CD and DJing and Hunter would sing his praises. I found some of his tweets from 6th & 7th April 2011 - this was one occasion - I'd sent Jason a message on facebook to see if he'd like to do a video for turntabletag and had mentioned it to Hunter - he told some stories and talked about some music they were working on together. I know he wanted to help the Masta also, and mentioned that he spoke to him on the phone often. The Master lives in Melbourne now - MC Reason has posted on twitter too that he's gone over to Jason's place to help support him, and I've heard Bigfoot has been a great support also. It's just a heartbreaking situation, and we've already lost too many good people with Hunter's passing.
GIRRL, [girrlsound & digitalgirrl], is a new Brisbane based international organization/hub/forum for women working in or around or interested in the digital and sonic arts. Its aim is to provide discussion, feedback and reviews, present research findings, offer networking, project generation, exhibition space, testing and showcasing of work in progress, initiate collaborations, support for women curating, reviewing, making, theorizing and working in the digital and sonic arts.
Dancecult: journal - special issue on the DJ, was released on 16 June 2011. Dancecult is a peer reviewed e-journal specializing on EDMC (electronic dance music culture). This issue has articles on DJs at NYC's "The Saint" nightclub, the changing roles of the DJ in Vienna, the "maleness" of drum'n'bass in London, DJs and cyborgs, psytrance DJ Goa Gil, part one of the Nomads in Sound series, a couple of articles on turntablists and hip hop DJs, the techno scene in Stockholm, a look at the EBM/Industrial DJs, as well as book reviews. A bumper issue!
DANCECULT | Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture
Volume 3 * Number 1 * 2011
SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE DJ
with Guest Editors Anna Gavanas and Bernardo Alexander Attias
I was really excited to hear that Brisbane band Step It Up had a new EP, "Push", out in 2011 on Zyl Records, as I'd loved their earlier work on their self titled album released in 1996 and I'd seen them perform in Brisbane when I lived there in 2000/2001 or so. The new EP has different versions of the song "Push"‚Äîwhich includes a sample from their popular song "Flex" with mixes by Obese Bass Beast and Unison Sound System. There's also a new song called "Nudge" by Blunted Stylus (aka Geoff "Jigzaw" Blunted/ex Resin Dogs/Hydrofunk). The musical lineup has changed slightly over the years, but there's still a range of music styles and techniques explored on this release‚Äîfrom house, to jazz, to drum'n'bass, to bass-music and beats'n'squelch styles. All in all, it's a pleasure to listen to and I'm looking forward to hearing their future sounds, as well as the cache of songs yet to be released. Des Reid was kind enough to answer a few questions about the band and its future directions. Keep an ear to the ground for their live gigs in Brisbane and elsewhere‚Äîyou'll be in for a treat from these talented musicians!
>> for the "borrowed moog and juno mix", song #1 on Push‚Äîwhat's the story here? who'd you borrow the moog and juno from and can you keep them for a while?
> The Moog Prodigy belonged to Manny, our old keys player. I should have bought it when he sold it. The Juno 60 was DJ Damage's. They're both killer synths. I've since acquired a Juno 60 and JX-3p.
>> are there any favourite gigs, or memories of them that you'd like to share?
> The "Vibes on A Summer Day" festivals were always great. They were before festivals became commercial and unaffordable. Bondi Pavilion was a great venue. It's always nice to see a thousand people jumping up and down to your music in the sun from the stage.
>> for your live set: "Their new show has wide variety from instrumental hip-hop through Asian and Arabic influences to banging house". can you talk about some of these influences? particularly, the Asian and Arabic ones
> I have been learning some Arabic music and playing with some great oud players. We have an unreleased track called "√èntefada" and a new one called "Free Gaza". I've always been interested in Indian music since seeing the Mahavishnu Orchestra, although I haven't studied it thoroughly and authentically. One of our best new tunes is an Indian groove tune called "Only One I know". That's partly because it's the only raga I know properly! Rohan plays in proper Indian ensembles in recitals at the Hindu temple in Virginia up here in Brisbane.
>> who are the band members of Step It Up?
> We've had some fantastic players in the past who have left town like Craig Hanicek, Darren MacPherson and Gavin Manikus on sax, Godoy and Steve Falk on percussion and DJ Frenzie. Terepai recorded the drums on "Flex" for us too.
The current line up is :
Steve is a great drummer and is in great demand in Brisbane. He tours with James Morrison too.
Neil Wickham is our great new sax player. He has a brilliant fusion type sound. The sax can't be too mellow in this type of music or it loses the edge and blands it out a bit.
Rohan Somasekaran is on keys. He is an awesome piano player and leads his own straight-ahead jazz outfit too. We're adding more synth to the live sound too.
I [Des Reid] play bass mostly live, but also a bit of guitar and guitar synth. I want to start contributing to the percussion too, but only in a support role‚ÄîI'm only a simple player.
DJ Damage does the cuts on the EP. He's also in Terntable Jediz and The Optimen. He's one of the best turntablists I've ever seen.
Roger Gonzalez is our percussionist. He is a conga and cahon specialist, and a fantastic groove player. Marcelo, who played on the "Push" EP moved to Canberra unfortunately. We have loads of percussion recorded by him in the vaults though. Also heaps by his brother, Luis Schiavi‚Äîa killer timbales player.
Overall we have a giant backlog of tracks which we will be finishing and releasing soon. Although we haven't been playing out as often over the last few years, we never stopped writing and recording. We're sitting on a few albums really. The new label‚ÄîZyl Records will be our outlet now that we're organized.
>> do you improvise during the live sets too?
> There is a lot of improvising live. We follow the jazz tradition of arranged head‚Äîimprovisation‚Äîhead. We try to keep some tightly arranged sections too. One big feature of our sets is the breakdowns. We don't just have horn or keys solos‚Äîwe have big sections where the drums, percussion and DJ are improvising together, feeding off each other. According to Cuban tradition, when two or more percussive players are resonating, that's when the spirits come. We're a bit tribal really.
DIGICULT is an online/offline Italian platform, created to spread digital art and culture worldwide. It focuses on the impact of new technologies and modern sciences on art, design, culture and contemporary society. DIGICULT is based on participation of more than 40 professionals, representing a wide Italian Network of critics, curators and journalists in the field.
Did you know less than 13% of the contributors to the world's biggest educational resource are women? The Women4Wikipedia campaign was launched when a Canberra mother got wind of this and decided to do something about it. Rosie (with son Brenton Fletcher) recently launched Collective Action a database providing a quick way for grassroots campaigns to get off the ground. It seemed like the perfect place to kick off her own her own campaign (plus she'd had a glass of wine!). Women4Wikipedia was born!
Res Artis is a worldwide network of residential art programs.
"We are an association of over 300 centers, organisations, and individuals in over 50 countries. Each of our members is dedicated to offering artists, curators, and all manner of creative people the essential time and place away from the pressures and habits of every-day life, an experience framed within a unique geographic and cultural context."
the Flood Money Auction is a fundraiser that is bringing together the Australian hip hop community to support those who have suffered after the devastating floods in QLD. The biggest and best have all donated some amazingly rare and valuable items to be sold with all proceeds going towards the Premiers Flood Appeal. visit http://floodmoney.org for more details and to see the items up for auction. as at 13th feb, @PeakStreet mentioned "$4,500 rustled up for this #FloodMoneyAuction already & counting!" great work everyone
Finally it‚Äôs happening, the 5th edition is now live!
From the 1st of December till the 5th, this five day videoart extravaganza will screen around 150 experimental, underground and obscure videos from more than 125 independent artists from all over the world.
The Australian hip hop community is holding a fundraiser on ebay for Hunter SBX - organized by Len One & Bias B with records & cds donated from various hip hop DJs, MCs and groups. Please help raise money and get the word out. This is one of the reasons why I love the hip hop community - the guys really look out for each other.
The Australia Council's Digital Culture initiative supports artistic projects exploring new concepts of liveness, connectivity and participation made possible with digital media.
Artists in the digital era are expanding possibilities for our engagement with the arts and culture through emerging technologies. In digital spaces artists transform live experience and participation for audiences and users. Through new ways of collaborating across technology, artists are building and sharing creative knowledge and culture across broader networks.
We encourage proposals for innovative digital culture projects with:
* artists and audiences co-creating new forms of live experience
* experimentation across platforms and to engage diverse communities with creative practice