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06. Esoteryx Crew 08. Dime Clothing 12. DVS 14. Brad Morfett 16. Taking it Back 26. Hanging Out at Carbon Festival 28. Rome Apparel 30. Chu 31. Kit Pop 32. Sid Pattni 33. Mat Rafle 34. Donald Krunk 35. The Art of Crate Digging Publisher: Colosoul Group Inc. CEO: Trica Ray Wordplay Editor: Kylie de Vos Photography Editor: Daniel Craig Creative Director: Lilian Yeow Contributing writers: David Coffey, Kylie de Vos, Ollie Read, Ciaran Jones, Tricia Ray Photographers: Daniel Craig, David McLoughlin Graphic Designers: Brook Wells, Meng Jones, Lilian Yeow Disclaimer: No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without the permission of the publisher. Wordplay Magazine is a publication of Colosoul Group Inc.
KRUMP With Esoteryx Crew
Itâ€™s a Wednesday night in a fairly non-descript (but known car park) in Perth. By eight, a group of seemingly random people of all ages and nationalities have gathered and are facing each other off. Bass heavy music plays into the night air, giving the perfect environment for a battle to occur. Whilst the stares and movements are aggressive, this is not inflicted directly on other people. In the heat of the moment, some shoving occurs, but this is no turf war, it isnâ€™t even West Side Story. The rapid fire staccato movements of the gathered are a representation from feelings deep within the soul. This is observable passion; this is fighting without fighting one another but instead oneself. This is Krump.
Born in the time frame where the Rodney King race riots exposed the still present racial tension for the American populace, there was need for something to fill the void present in many lives, especially the youth in South Central Los Angeles. Krump began life as an offshoot of Clowning. Started by Tommy the Clown, Clowning sought to combine Bboy moves with a more theatric flair, a way to draw something positive out of what could be a pretty dark place sometimes. The Krump movement began life via two of Tommy the
Clown’s protégées “Tight-Eyez” and “Big Mijo”, who in turn became mentors of their own finding youths who style and mentality matched their own. Early Krumping visibly has the face painting of Clowning and the same theatric focus, but today the two styles have their own unique identity, whilst still maintaining and passing on traditions as new generations are involved. Crossing cultures, timelines and oceans, from Los Angeles to West Perth, Western Australia, Krump continues to make its impact felt, even somewhere as remote as Perth. Repping Western Australia in any competition is local Krump crew, Esoteryx. Brain child of Ian de Mello aka Hoodlum, Esoteryx is the primary representation of C.O.P. Km (City of Perth Krump Movement), with Ian leading the charge with events like Clash of the States. Like many, Ian got into Krump when it began to penetrate the general consciousness. Krump is all about expression, light and dark and like emcees which different handles, the names yield different aspects of the practitioner.
‘Hoodlum is one of the characters I operate under. It represents story wise, the darker things I think of but don’t do. Krysis was another character I used to use but I like to say it is my style now because a Hoodlum creates crisis. I also go under the handle J.Kaos, but it is only really in use when I have to show my authority. It is patterned after a General/Lieutenant type that is leading a battalion into action’ Gabriel Dumanon forms the other part of the leadership of Esoteryx. When asked about the comparisons between states, Myndset takes a moment to respond ‘Perth is sort of the like the little brother state...but it’s also the tightest as there is no beef’. The use of the handle Myndset is no coincidence, when one sees Krump it is clear that it was deliberate act.
“With Krump it could be the next common dance, as it encapsulates everything.”
Mynd is ‘the Heavy, spiritual aspect. It’s mind over matter, as no in stopping me. SET (Seek Eliminate Talents) on the other hand is the weapon specialist, more technical, more seek and destroy’. One can see both elements at play in the limited quiet times during the frantic labbing sessions, one can see Gabriel naturally working with his protégés, in order to improve and sharpen their movements. ‘I want to build an army of Krumpers, but I want them to be humble as well. Ultimately, I view Krump as a tool to show a better way of living. For me, it was a way to built confidence as well as made me the person who I am. But I also try to have some perspective. Krump is important, but the other things like friendships and building life skills are important as well.’ The influence of Ian and Gabriel is present with the members of Esoteryx and indeed the mentoring that Krump encourages. Nelson ‘Untame’ Huynh puts it succinctly. ‘We all look up to Ian and Gabe for the knowledge, music and know-how with Krump. My Krump name Untame shows the animalistic side. It’s rowdy, and the rowdiness is to get the crowd
going and give them a chance to interact’. Any person who has been privileged enough to see a Krump session can attest to the truth in the words, as at any moment other Krumper can dive in, pushing the energy level upwards. Nelson goes on ‘Like Ian and Gab, my mentor was originally hails from Melbourne. I learnt my trade under Antagonize so he is Big Antagonize. As Lil Antagonize in comparison to Untame my style is more conceited and cocky, with some more taunting thrown in. There are a fair few Krump names like that, it’s almost like a clan name that gets passed down’. The ability of Krump to cross borders and generations is present with Danyan ‘Trajikk’ Te Paiho. Moving from New Zealand a little over two years ago, Krump was a way to settle in Perth, as anyone who has even just moved cities knows how hard it can be to adapt to a new location. ‘I found Esoteryx via Facebook. Krump was my movement back in New Zealand so it was a way to connect to my new home. I really, really hate to say it, but Krump is more developed here in Australia versus back home’ Danyan’s style is reflective of his life’s journey, ‘Trajikk aka Twin Break Through is a tricky beast. He is the eye of the storm, chilled and calm in the centre but dangerous outside that centered place’. Rounding out Esoteryx is Andrew Zilla Jordan, the ‘Killer Beast with the Zilla Steez’. Much like the classic Japan icon where the name comes from , Zilla’s movements in Krump are both energetic and reptilian in nature. Curiously one can also see the shades of Kabuki thrown in, the classic Japanese dance-drama which is a main stay in Japanese culture which only serve reinforces the Zilla name . Listening to his story reveals common themes that occur in Krump, people of completely different backgrounds meeting each other due to the shared love of Krump for its ability to let one express the full spectrum of emotion, without resorting to destroying people or property, ‘I actually started out at Bboying. I saw some clips online probably in the early 2000’s. I was hanging out at HQ, when I started asking around and a DJ put me into the direction of Ian and Gabriel’. Zilla sees the future of Krump optimistically ‘It’s hard to say where exactly it is going, as everyone brings something with their characters and it keeps branching out. With Krump it could be the next common dance, as it encapsulates everything’. On the current scene , Ian is on the other hand is pragmatic. ‘I’m happy that it’s hit the mainstream but a lot of Krump it looks the same. We get cats who get into the game who think they know everything, that they know the Krump movements inside out, but really Krump....is about getting to know and staying true to yourself, who you are. Not following trends. In Perth that’s what how we teach people, which helps them in many aspects of life too.” Words by David Coffey Photography by Daniel Craig Design by Lilian Yeow
I N T E R V I E W
Let’s start at the beginning, inspired Let’s start atwhat the beginning, you to startwhat a street wear label? inspired you to start a
Growing up in the skate-scene I always loved brands street wear label? like chocolate, toy machine, DGK, hook ups etc. Growing up in the skate scene I always Stopped through HAL one day, rocking a 10deep tee loved brands like Chocolate, Toy Machine, straight from the states!!!! I was only in the store for DGK, Hook Ups etc. Stopped through 10 minutes before someone walked in rocking that Highs and Lows one day, rocking a 10deep same tee!!!!! I grabbed my girl and proceeded to walk tee straight from the States! I was only in straight out of the store and peaced that tee for ever! the store for 10 minutes before someone Actually I think iv still got it stashed away somewhere. walked in rocking that same tee! I grabbed That day I started Dime. my girl and proceeded to walk straight out of the store and peaced that tee forever! How did you come up I’ve with the Actually I think still gotconcept it stashed away of Dime? somewhere. That day, I started Dime. The idea of a brand to be pushed through word of mouth, and by the rule of ‘’Quality over Quantity’’. How did you come up with the Never to sell out the brand and to keep it limited to of Dime? 24 pieces perconcept design/colour-way. The idea of a brand to be pushed through word of mouth, and by the rule of ‘’Quality over Quantity’’. Never to sell out the brand What is your creative process? to have keepa creative it limited to 24 pieces per To be honestand I don't process it really design/colour-way. just comes to me when I'm out doing what I do. I usually have random thoughts just come into my is your process? head, so I justWhat take notes on my creative phone and sketch honest, don’t have a creative ideas. Also a To lot isbe visual things II see so I always process it really carry a compact SLR with me. just comes to me when I’m out doing what I do. I usually have random thoughts just come into my head, so I just
W I T H
take notes ondo my phone sketch ideas. Where / how you makeand your products? Also lotproducts is visual at things I see soare I always carry All ofamy the moment hand-finished aincompact with from me. all parts of the world. I Perth, butSLR supplied am currently working on a cut-sew line, but that is still early in/thehow works.do you make your Where Started screen-printing early 2007 to gain some products? knowledge on pre-press and print techniques. I All of my products at the moment are handlearned to finished in Perth, but supplied from all parts develop my products to a high print quality, using of the world. I am currently working on a cutthe best methods. Now its down to cut & sew, and sew line, but that is still early in the works. fabrics. Started screen-printing early 2007 to gain some knowledge on pre-press and print What are some brands that you techniques. I learned to develop my admire? products Zoologie of quality, Melbourne arethe making to a high out print using bestsome methods. really its nicedown products all hand-made Melbourne Now to cut & sew, and in fabrics. with some really nice fabrics. For the Homies are always killing it, and brands like Supreme, Norse What are& some that Projects. Born Raised dobrands some pretty fly shityou at admire? the moment too... But things are always Zoologie of Melbourne making changing upout and theres always new are people some really products all Exciting hand-made bringing goodnice things to the table. thingsin Melbourne to come.. with some really nice fabrics. For the Homies are always killing it, and brands like Supreme, Norse Projects. Born & Raised do some pretty fly shit at the moment too. But things are always changing up and there’s always new people bringing good things to the table. Exciting things to come..
A S T O N
“I “I think think people a starting their ow brands thinking looks e easy.”
V A N
E L D I K
If you brand is of unique and to is itwant that to you wantwith to achieve Due What is What it that you achieve tomake the sure highyour number labels is a high quality garment, the only thing your label? with your label? compete you withback in the international, nation is your commitment to I want theIlabel be atlabel a point workwhere with I can & holding wanttothe to where be at Iacan point local/state markets, doit you think IDIME push the brand and get out there. have a small select cut & team sew line workteam withtoacreate small aselect to every create a cut stuck at this since 2006 and love what I and or other labels, have a chance at being season along withline a skate teamseason and board range. Alsoa skate & sew every along with do, I definitely don’t see myself giving up to work and collaborate with some of the brands team and board range. Also to that work and successful?
anymake day soon. sure your brand is unique and is a high I have watched grow with mesome and grow up wearing. collaborate with of the brands that I If you have watched grow with me and grow up quality garment, the only thing holding you back is Docommitment you think thatthe the fact your to push brand andthere get it out What dowearing. you think of the recent influx of there. I have stuck atlabels this sincenow 2006 and love what I is so many creating street-wear labels, both internationally, I definitely don't see myself giving up any day What do you think of the recent do,fairly similar products it takes nationally & locally? soon. influx of street-wear labels, away from the originality, which I like the fact that there are a lot of really good labels both nationally & Doisyou thethink essence of street wear? that the fact there is some starting but there internationally, are also a lot of brands that pop No it labels just shows that those brands not up not realizing how much work is involved in locally? many now creating fairlyare similar being original and need to change there starting the brand. takes that hard work I like theIt fact therepenitence are a lotand of really products it takes away from the originality, dedication, its a labels long road. good starting but there are also a lot approach to there brand development. is its themore essence of the street wear? I think along lines of local of brands that pop up not realizing how much which it just shows that those brands are not being creating similar products, not work is involved in starting the brand. It takes Nobrands original and there need toown change there approach creating imagery and nichetoin hard work penitence and dedication, its a long Why do you think there are a lot of people there development. think its more thebrand market. You needI to know youralong ownthe road. are starting their own labels? lines of local brands products, not design style and creating developsimilar it. I think some are starting there own brands thinking there own imagery and niece in the market. Why do you think there are a lot creating it looks easy and they can make a quick buck. There You need to know yourit’s ownadesign style Do you think good orand bad starting are also a of lot ofpeople really goodare artists and peopletheir who own develop it. thing that there are so many want to develop labelsthere ? own products to a higher different to choose from? standard due to the drop are of that with some brands I think some starting their own brands Do you thinklabels it’s a good or bad thing that Its great to have a large selection to going commercial, thinking or it selling looks out. easy and they can make a there are so many different labels to choose from for the consumer. There are quick buck. There are also a lot of really good from? so many brands now that not all stores can artists and people who want to develop there choose great to have acurrent large selection choose from for there range, to which opens own products to a higher standard due to the Itsstock There are so many brands now that the opportunity for more boutiques, drop with some brands going commercial, or theupconsumer. not all stores can and stockpop there online stores upcurrent shops.range, which selling out. opens up the opportunity for more boutiques, online stores and pop up shops. Due to the high number of labels to Interview by Kylie de Vos Design by Aston Van Eldik compete with in the international, Photography by Aston Van Eldik Design by Brook Wells
k some some are are starting g their own wn brandsit s thinking g it looks easy.”
national & local markets, do you think Dime and or other labels, have a chance at being successful?
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D “...when you’re telling the truth, people respond to the truth, and when you talk shit people can see it miles away and they don’t care.”
ip hop is an odd beast. For a genre which prides itself on the spoken word, a genre which tirelessly lays claim to ‘poetic prowess’ whilst rarely venturing past rudimentary literary technique, it is remarkable how often the bizarrely similar world of Spoken Word Poetry is overlooked. The art of storytelling is as inherent in hip hop as in poetry. The two mediums aren’t such strange bedfellows after all. An artist who is no stranger to the menage a trois of hip hop, poetry and filmmaking is David Vincent Smith (or DVS), a Perth native and Community Records collaborator who has been telling his stories around the traps for some time now. When asked what he does, he reasons “emcee, spoken word artist, filmmaker, and pretty much willing to do anything as a means of avoiding reality… Storyteller! That’s my name ‘storyteller’”. Initially inducted into hip hop through his older sister’s discarded Wu-Tang Forever disc and early beginnings as a B-Boy, DVS soon found the art of freestyling and with this an acknowledgment of the freedom of spoken word. “Poetry has always interested me in that you weren’t confined to 16 bars, or beat timing, or multis, you could just say what you wanted and how you wanted. Sometimes I just wanted to say something, or just stop talking and say one word, and it’s a lot harder to do it over a conventional boom bap beat.”
The mellow nostalgia of our conversation soon turns to scathing critique, when asked of the importance of lyricism in hip hop: “Well, if you’re a rapper, lyrics are what you’ve got. Obviously people can argue and say ‘stage performance’ – and that’s all well and true – but if I can’t see you, and all I’ve got are headphones, what matters to me is what you’re telling me, and why do I care? It’s all about having something to say, and having something to say comes from caring about something. So what’s the importance of lyricism within hip hop? Well it’s kind of everything. If you look at commercial hip hop, where not a lot is being said and realistically anyone could do that – they’re sort of just trained monkeys. And if the value of the lyrics isn’t important, then the value of the human being isn’t important.” In comparing the hip hop and spoken word realms, this raw intimacy remains of constant importance. “There’s different expectations and different audiences for spoken word versus hip hop. In spoken word you can pretty much do whatever the hell you want – I mean you can do that in hip hop but you can’t just perform 30 minutes with no beat. At a spoken word show two minutes of the show could be a person rolling on the floor screaming. Spoken word brings validity in terms of lyricism, in terms of how you’re free from the conventions and the flow of hip hop. You’re naked on stage with your words; you’re presenting your words and you can’t hide behind anything, so there is this intimacy in spoken word that is not necessarily always there in a hip hop show.”
The Slam Poetry contests (spoken word’s answer to competitive rap battles) have taught DVS a lot about writing, and himself in the process: “I entered when I was younger and tried my best rap lyrics which went over everyone’s heads. Then I wrote this really authentic, personal poem, about masculinity and my father… I won the State Poetry Slam. That taught me quickly that when you’re telling the truth, people respond to the truth, and when you talk shit people can see it miles away and they don’t care.” When asked of the universals in writing between film, hip hop and spoken word, DVS adds: “it is all storytelling, just different mediums. The best stories are the ones where you have a burning passion or desire to say something. It’s when you’re contriving something that it’s going to have the least amount of impact. So whether it’s film, hip hop or poetry I really struggle if it’s something where I can’t find a relationship with, or can’t find the heart of the project. I find poetry the easiest to get to the heart of it – there’s almost no boundaries so I can define where it goes.” Where many are challenged by writer’s block, DVS observes quite the contrary. “One of the obstacles in writing is my head – I have a noisy brain… [Imagine] walking into JB Hi-Fi and turning every TV on to a different channel – that’s happening in my head 24 hours a day. There’s so much different shit coming into my head, it’s just a matter of focus. So rewriting and editing are as important as writing itself. The craft of removing irrelevant words and getting to the source of what you’re trying to say.” So what’s next? An album due in spring - a ‘half hip hop, half spoken word production show case’. But, there’s more: “In August we’ve got the West Australian Poetry Festival, I’m doing a collaboration with The Anti-Poet for his show, running some workshops and I’m performing on the opening night. I’m also editing my latest film – a culmination of three years’ work; I’m studying in Hollywood under a directing tutor who taught some of the world’s best directors; then to New York to shoot some music videos. I’m writing a spoken word chap book with Splodge – we’ll get drunk one night and name it after the bottle of wine we drink; and a book with The Anti-Poet that we wrote ages ago. Keep going round to meet people and create art, as wanky as that sounds, that’s kind of where the joy is. Meeting people who have something to say and who really believe in it.” Since conducting this interview, DVS was nominated for Young Filmmaker of the Year at the 25th Annual WA Screen Awards. Keep an ear out, expect big things. Words by Ollie Read Photography by Daniel Cr aig Des ign by Meng Jones
BRAD MORFETT A Visual Essay “I felt there was a lack in the market of street wear brands that took Perth seriously, it was like fuck Perth, let’s move to Melbourne.” “Inspiration can come from a variety of different places.” “I think people take themselves too seriously with street wear, you’re just making t-shirts, it’s one of the cool things not to take is super serious and kind of makes you relatable too.” “I think creative can be hard to judge, like if you make something someone else’s made your always taking expression so it’s something hard to pin down.”
“I do all the designing [and] marketing. It’s purely me on paper but that’s not to say there are 100 people who go out of their way every day to help me.” “It’s a collective effort but I’m lucky enough to get all the credit.” “It’s all about context.”
“Exclusivity is something that will always be valuable but I don’t think there’s a place in today’s climate unless you’re a huge brand.” “I think Perth has matured to a point where people are going to want to do [their own labels].” Interview by Kylie de Vos Photography by Daniel Craig Design by Lilian Yeow
“It’s a collective effort but I’m lucky enough to get all the credit.”
TAKING IT BACK Photographer : Daniel Craig Fashion Director/Producer: Miz Marty McFly Assistant Director/Editor: Kylie De Vos Models: Ol Wright & Wallah Huia
Special Thanks to Len Bones & Dumbbaby at ‘The Ol’ Pirate Den’
Wallah wears: reversible Zip Thru Vest courtesy of StreetX. ‘LA’ Tee & Rebel 8 Cap, courtesy of Skulls & Hearts. Ol wears: Sly Guild Camo Shirt courtesy of StreetX
Ol wears: Atticus Crew Neck Sweat & Dickies Chinos courtesy of Skulls & Hearts. ROME Apparel Printed Cap courtesy of Common Ground. Wallah wears: Deadline Hooded Sweat courtesy of StreetX. ROME Apparel Logo Beanie courtesy of Common Ground.
Ol wears: Denim Button Up Shirt & Sly Guild Knitted Crew courtesy of StreetX. Dickies Chinos courtesy of Skulls & Hearts. ROME Apparel Printed Cap courtesy of Common Ground. Wallah wears: ROME Apparel Logo Beanie & ROME Apparel Crew Neck Sweat courtesy of Common Ground.
A F I decided to go to the Carbon Festival in Melbourne during March last year at the last minute. I noticed there was a list of very cool guest speakers from around the world who would giving notes on street culture worldwide, as well as talking about what got them to where they are now. As a business owner sometimes you need some inspiration and who else better to be inspired by.
Double Studio. What a cool dude, that’s all I can say.
I had the opportunity to meet Martha Cooper, a graffiti art photographer from the early 70’s. She is about 70 years old now but has some of the most brilliant pics of graffiti art photography. She spoke about finding graffiti in the streets and at first not really connecting with it, although she found it interesting; it wasn’t until she had the opportunity to meet the kids who were doing it. Martha had no idea about the meaning or concept and for a while the kids used to think that she and Henry Chalfant- another graffiti art photography and documentary maker who was around at the same time - were undercover cops trying to secretly take pics of them, until they finally met them one day. After seeing some of their photos, the kids took them in whole heartedly into their underground world. I was blown away by some of the footage they showed. If Martha or Henry didn’t take that footage we would have no idea of the scene as we know it today.
If anyone knows about hard work it’s this guy. He started out at 13 years old and like anyone who is passionate enough about what it is they want to achieve in life, they know the hard yards you have to play to accomplish your goals. Ronnie climbed up that ladder until he made it to where he wanted to be. He had a good eye for style when it came to sneaker design and it wasn’t long before his talent was snatched up. He has a lot of respect for the brands he’s worked with since he’s grown up and worked alongside them. I have a lot of respect for him, since he persevered to achieve his goals and now wants to encourage and see others do the same.
Stussy was THE label to wear in 90’s so when I spotted Shawn Stussy I was like “shit.” I talked to him to doing some crazy photo booth shoot and had a couple of beers too. That guy was rocking around the clock when Lords of Dog Town was all happening. Now, Shawn is shaping and designing surf boards and running S/
I was trying to locate the Ronnie Fieg, the sneaker design champ, and finally found him. The guy is a legend with up to 300 collaborations working with brands such as ASICS, New Balance and Nike, the list is endless. I couldn’t believe how down to earth and easy to chat to he was.
“I think it’s important to involve today’s youth in business in general because they are very unaware of what it takes to get from point A to point B and because of social media most think it’s a breeze because all they see is the finished product. It’s things like this, Carbon, where the process is spoken about and that’s really important. When I was younger I didn’t have anybody to really explain how things were supposed to be done. I had to run on my own, but festivals like this one are
AT CARBON FESTIVAL “As a business owner sometimes you need some inspiration and who better to be inspired by.”
information based and they are the type of things I am interested in. I think it’s very important for the youth to continue to grow and get involved because this industry is really based on the younger generation to keep things going. That’s what I’m interested in the most, to speak to the kids and even people my own age to be inspired to get involved and to want to do things on their own and achieve their goals.” When I asked Ronnie about how he felt about his social responsibility, he just told me that Kith his street wear brand is made in America. Although he’s not against brands being made elsewhere, he doesn’t have an input to say where they get their sneakers made. He believes everyone needs support whether in China or America. Carbon Festival bought together the who’s who of street culture in one space in Australia for a weekend, giving opportunity for young people to be able to meet them and listen to some of the most inspiring speakers. With others such as Simon ‘Woody’ Wood from Sneaker Freaker Magazine, graffiti artist Dabs and Myla and Mark Drew and Asian-American food personality Eddie Huang, why would I want to be hanging anywhere else. Thanks to Andrew Montell, the founder of Acclaim Magazine, for putting together this freaking rad event. See you next year. Cheers. Words by Tricia Ray Design by Brook Wells Images courtesy of Tricia Ray
ROME Tell me a bit about yourselves
Rhys Evans: Co-founder of Rome Apparel, I've done a lot of travelling. I have a huge interest in street wear, I've seen it all around the world so I want[ed] take some it back to Perth and start something here for us.
S: The last four months [but] especially the last three months, it's kicked off. We got into a store over in Queensland [and] couple of stores here.
Shannon Carter: Pretty much the same thing but I haven't travelled so much. I wanted clothes [and] you know what you want but they’re never there.
R: We thought for a company it’s a bit harder to get [t-shirts] off the ground so we did hats. 5 panels are really big at the moment, so that's something we really wanted to do. It was hard to source out a hat manufacturer but in December we found one in New Zealand.
And there is a third guy, Luke? R: Yeah he's in China at the moment.
S: He'll be at Everest today, he sends his apologies. R: Yeah he's a bit jealous, that it’s our first interview and he’s not here.
So tell me how did you come up with the concept of Rome?
R: Shannon [and I] tried to get [a brand] going about three years ago, but it didn't go anywhere. We were travelling, [Shannon] was stuck at home and there was six of us doing it and it was too many people. A year later we talked about starting [another label and] we came up with a few names. Luke, who wasn't original a part of it but has a business background, jumped on the bandwagon [and] it went from there. We just came up with Rome one day and everyone liked the sound of it. It was nice and simple, four letters. It wasn't until I got back from Europe in October [last year] that we really started designing, we got a couple of manufacturers under our belt, then January this year we started getting our stock back [and] made our website.
What is your creative process?
S: For our t-shirts we draw up a heap of rough designs. Luke is a jeweller so he's artistic [so] we give him a rough sketch then he plays with it and comes back and we pick out a couple [designs].
Where and how do you make your products? S: [We] outsource our hats / beanies, all the intricate sewing, to New Zealand.
R: New Zealand is one of our main manufactures. Our t-shirts get done in Perth. We did have a look at buying bulk at an international printer but we weighed up the options and we rather have the quality.
What are some brands that you admire?
R: We've been buying street wear for years and when I go travelling [I] always looking in stores. The biggest I love and it’s probably the biggest in the industry is Supreme. Supreme are the bench mark. Other companies like Diamond Supply and HUF [I’ve] always collected their stuff [and] they're probably our biggest inspirations. Their stuff is simple but bold, which is what we like. Of the Perth ones, Butter Goods, we draw inspiration from them and we wear their clothes.
What is it that you want to achieve with your label? S: I want to retire. I work FIFO so it's pretty shit [but] it pays the bills. It would be nice to sit around in a nice office, just designing, making money, and being able to pay the bills off Rome. Even just to get into a shop and then make enough to have our own shop would be awesome.
So the end goal would be to have your own store?
R: Yeah I think so, when we started I don't think we knew what we wanted. It started as a hobby but it’s really grown and now it's starting to go somewhere you want to achieve more out of it and, to get small results is big results for us. Even this interview is cool for us, we never thought we'd come this far and it has been a short amount of time.
“They want to see a t-shirt that they want, and they want something that hasn’t been done before.”
What do you think of the recent influx of street wear labels, both internationally, nationally & locally?
S: It's a good thing especially for Perth. [It’ll be] a lot harder for us now but we’ll pull through. R: Street wear is getting massive. [A] couple years ago there was only the major brands that everyone's has heard of, but no one thought they could do it themselves. In the past few years, I've seen it grow hugely. In Perth there's been maybe 10 street wear labels that I know of and it's hard for competition but it’s good for us. It makes you better because it’s not just competition, it makes the industry bigger at the same time.
Why do you think there are a lot of people are starting their own labels? R: Shannon said it before, they want to see a t-shirt that they want, and they want something that hasn't been done before.
S: I think they want something fresh and especially with all the street wear brands they are all fairly similar, but different in their own ways, so something that you want and that other people want too.
Due to the high number of labels to compete
with in the international, nation & local/state markets, do you think Rome and or other labels, have a chance at being successful? S: If we keep pushing it, yes.
R: If we do something different to the rest. At the moment it's hard to do anything to different because if we do something too different, we might ruin it. If we open up our audience to do something different, but at this stage we don't have that audience.
As styles change will your brand evolve?
S: It's hard to say but we will evolve. Everything evolves, but whether we get away from 5 panels [I] don't know. We’ll definitely stay with headwear, we might go top hats, they might come back in [laughs]. R: I think we'll stay with what we started with, stick with our roots and when something cool does pop up we might do it, until we're big enough to start our own trends. S: Then we can start our own band wagon [laughs]. Interview by Kylie de Vos Images courtesy of Rome Apparel
Interview with CHU What do you want your producer name to mean?
I’m not really sure what I want it to mean. But I guess I want people to see ‘Chu.’ As a producer who incorporates and draws influence from hip-hop, soul, jazz and EDM. I guess I have a pretty strong pop influence as well. Gotta love that new school pop sound.
Moment you wanted to become a producer?
I’m not entirely sure of the moment I decided that producing tunes was what I wanted to do. But I do remember the days when my buddies and I used to hang out on a Friday night and make beats cutting up records and then rap over them with an SM58 set up in our pantry. I guess that was the period of my life that sort of changed my attitude towards music production. Never really looked back since.
What is your favorite piece of equipment?
So many to choose from but I think I’d have to go with my Akai APC40. Kind of a boring choice, but its just such a versatile piece of gear. For DJ use or for effects, mixing purposes or just getting freaky with different clip ideas in Ableton. Such a fun piece of gear that can be used in so many different ways. It still surprises me all the time.
That’s actually a hard question because Perth has an incredible scene. Lots of epic and forward thinking producers. I don’t think I could narrow it too one. I’d have to go with 3. They would be Ta-Ku, Sable and my good buddies Donald Krunk. Because they are all massive inspirations too me. (and I possibly use some/ alot of their tunes as reference tracks =0 haha)
Which up and comer should we be looking at?
Everyone in Australia should be looking out for my buddy Sable. Young fella from Perth who is just ridiculously talented. Not to mention a great guy too. He released a track called ‘Limit Break’ a few weeks ago that’s been getting smashed all over the web and his overall mix on the track is just …. Wow. Bonkers. There’s this catchy whistle that runs through the track that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since I heard it. So vibey and uplifting!! Check the dude out. Great Composer, Producer and DJ.
What is the best beat you worked on?
Uh …. The beat I most enjoyed working on was probably a Tyrese remix which the 1st track on my Debut EP Titled ‘Holidae Holidae’. Its just catchy. Super 90’s RnB influence with heavy bass. I’d have to say I don’t think I’ve ever grooved out to one of my own tunes as much as I did to that remix.
Who is your favorite producer of all time?
Tough one. But I’d have to go with Dilla. Just timeless. He’s like the Michael Jackson of instrumental beats. So much vibe and emotion in all of his music. His beats make me forget what’s happening around me. I kind of fade away a little bit. Even my Mum gets down to Jay-Dee. Haha.
Who is your favorite local producer?
What is the best beat you heard?
This is probably the hardest question you could ever ask a beat-maker / Producer / Music fan. I guess I’d have to go with a Dilla track. Probably ‘Bye.’ From the end of Donuts. It’s just. Mmmmm. So much love and emotion. It’s a strong track. Makes me smile and sway however I’m feeling. There’s real love in that track. If you haven’t heard it. Make sure you hear it soon. I know that will be one I’ll listen to for the rest of my days. Interview by David Coffey Design by Brook Wells Photography by Daniel Craig
“Everyone in Australia sho be looking ou my buddy Sab
n ould ut for ble.”
Interview with KIT POP
What do you want your producer name to mean? Nothing other than a name I guess. I never really put much thought into it to begin with, just saw it on a lollipop toy and thought it had a nice ring to it and one syllable words made it easy.
Moment you wanted to become a producer?
No real moment but my brother was a pivotal person in training my ears and giving me tastes in more abstract and experimental electronic music, kind of kept me away from crap music from a young age. So I guess from that influence and seeing more and more live shows made me want to create music for myself
What is your favourite piece of equipment?
My Korg MS2000 because it was the first keyboard I bought as a kid and is still a go to sound piece of hardware if I need it.
What location provides you inspiration?
Outdoors is always good to clear the head, being stuck in a studio can sometimes give you cabin fever so clearing the mind is always good by getting outside. But within the house my downstairs simple set up lets me listen to a lot of records and relax.
Who is your favourite producer of all time?
Richard D. James because of his output back in the day and the boundaries he pushed. He never really cared about much else other than his craft.
Who is your favourite local producer?
Ta-ku, The man has always continued to impress me since we met years ago. His sound has always progressed and has now made a name for himself over many genres. It’s been pretty awesome watching him grow over the years and building with him. Naik should also get a mention, his technical ability and ear for music is phenomenal.
Which up and comer should we be looking at? Recently Sable has been grabbing my ears with his future sounds and also Leon Osborn has been constantly putting up quality material.
What is the best beat you worked on?
Some of my more recent remixes for Wave Racer and Cosmo’s Midnight have been fun. I enjoy making music for rap artists when asked, The latest beat on Q’s LP is something I’m excited about and hopefully the MOB drop as well. Working a on a track years ago with Kid Daytona and Rakaa (Dilated Peoples) was a good introduction to actually working with peers.
What was the best beat you heard?
Mythsysizer by J Dilla, I could listen to that looped all day, the drums are simple and punchy and that piano sample is perfect. I’ve yet to figure out where that’s from so if anyone knows hit me on twitter @kitpop. Thankyou. Interview by David Coffey Design by Brook Wells Photography by Daniel Craig
Interview with Sid Pattni What do you want your producer name to mean? Unfortunately I haven’t got a cool producer name like a lot of other people. I just went with my name because I figured that way it would be easier for my mum to keep track of what I’m up to.
Moment you wanted to become a producer? I kind of got in to the whole production thing by accident. I played drums for ten years and then studied piano at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts for another few years. I spent a lot of time practicing piano and started mucking around with production purely as a hobby outside of piano playing. One year on and I somehow find myself signed to the same management as Kimbra, working on a great label and producing tracks for people I would have only dreamed of working with in my lifetime. It’s scary how things work out sometimes. What is your favourite piece of equipment? Not really huge on equipment. I figure good music will shine through whether you have a $10,000 compressor or the stock one you get with your music software. The equipment just helps facilitate or enhance an idea.
What location provides you inspiration? My iTunes library.
Who is your favourite producer of all time?
That’s one of those questions that’s too hard to answer because it’s ever changing. I heard this producer on Soundcloud last night that only had like 5 followers and all his beats blew me away. Last night I’d say he was my favourite producer of all time. Tomorrow it will probably be Dilla again. Ha!
Who is your favourite local producer?
I just recently got on to Sable’s stuff and was really vibing on it. The dude has a great sound. Which up and comer should we be looking at? Tyler Touché. The kid is still in high school but is churning out a sound that is so mature and beyond his years, it’s scary.
What is the best beat you worked on?
I don’t really have one beat that stands out above the rest. Generally, if I like listening to a beat as much as I enjoy making it then I’m content. It’s a rare thing.
What was the best beat you heard?
Knxwledge’s track ‘Hai’, purely because of its timing in my life. When I first heard his stuff I was taken aback by how unique it was. His sound was unlike anything I’d heard before and it became the sole reason I got in to production. All I did in my first six months of production was transcribe Knxwledge beats. I owe that beat and that man a lot. Interview by David Coffey Design by Brook Wells Photography by Daniel Craig
“I li soaking weath the
ike just g up the her and vibes.”
Interview with Matt Rafle What do you want your producer name to mean?
Rafle was my old nickname name when I was younger. It was something that I just stuck with and I continued to use when making beats.
Moment you wanted to become a producer?
When I first got into music at a young age, my mother got me an acoustic guitar so I was playing that and learning the guitar. I was kind of making my own music and was always fascinated with it. It was only when I moved to Melbourne in 2004/2005 is when I started to mess around with beats using ‘Reason ‘. My housemate at the time was making his own stuff and I was kind of put onto it that way, using non-sample based music using sounds and a midi keyboard. After moving back to Perth in 2008, my brother and I started to build a little studio setup. That’s when I started sampling as well as buying records to craft sample based beats. 2011 was when I actually started putting out beats.
What is your favourite piece of equipment Hands down, has to be Maschine. Just workflow wise I find it great to work with and I’ve been using it since 09.
What location provides you inspiration? Apart from the studio of course it would have to be the beach. I like just soaking up the weather and the vibes.
Who is your favourite producer of all time? Hip hop wise it has to be Stoupe, formally of Jedi Mind Tricks, I’m a big fan of his work. He’s branched out when he left Jedi Mind Tricks, doing various projects such as Dutch. Dr Dre runs a close second, he has a different sound to Stoupe but I love it just the same.
Who is your favourite local producer? For Perth, it would have to be Dazastah of Downsyde. If we are talking Australia wide it has to be M-phazes as he has been killing it for some time. Also, Wik’ s production on Zero by Maundz was great, that album was one of my favourites of last year.
Which up and comer should we be looking at?
Lately I’ve been feeling Must’s beats, I’m liking his sound. Also my actual younger brother Mad Muther Beats is someone to look out for. I’m mad inspired by his stuff and that’s not being biased (laughs).
What is the best beat you worked on?
It’s hard to separate the beats I have worked on, as they all have they’re place. I am enjoying a lot of the stuff I’ve made recently that I have sent off to emcees. But the beat I did for Everyday from Adelaide was special though, seeing my name printed on a 9 inch vinyl for the production credits was awesome. That’s the first beat I’ve got onto vinyl so that’s dope , hopfeully I got a lot more to come.
What was the best beat you heard?
Another tricky question. All the Jedi Mind Tricks stuff under Stoupe has been solid, a lot Premier’s stuff has always been classic, I’m a big fan of a lot of Dr Dre’s beats also. Too hard to pick just one. Interview by David Coffey Design by Brook Wells Photography by Daniel Craig
“... there are not many places as beautiful as here. From the suburbs to the coastline, inspiration is everywhere if you can understand where to find it.”
An Interview with Donald Krunk What do you want your producer name to mean?
For us it started off as a drunken conversation that turned into a funny alias that we were both happy with, mainly for the way that trap made us feel when we heard it/made it. So I guess we want Donald Krunk to replicate the same feelings of enjoyment but also keeping it g’d up!
Moment you wanted to become a producer?
Luke: It has always been an interest ever since I was playing in bands at a young age. The passion became a reality when I joined forces with Ol. The chemistry in our live sets and in the studio always keep things new and enjoyable for me.
Ol: I think the word producer is misused. The moment I wanted to be a beat maker came from rapping, I was sick of searching or waiting for good beats to rap over, so I started learning to make them myself, then I realised I can’t rap over the beats I make until they are like a year old.. [Laughs] just can’t vibe on them till I’ve forgotten about them as a beat maker and come back to them as a rapper.
What is your favourite piece of equipment? L: The turntable! I don’t think I would be where I am without that piece of equipment. We use it in almost everything we do – from scratching & mixing in our sets to sampling
records in the lab. If a club doesn’t provide a turntable I will always bring my own. Nothing feels more natural than using it. O: My favourite piece of equipment was my MPC 3000, but I ended up selling it, because it was too impractical running it with my computer side of things. When I’m loaded I will re-purchase one with the right firmware for computer use.
What location provides you inspiration? L: I take inspiration from wherever I can. I have been pretty lucky to live here in Perth my whole life, and there are not many places as beautiful as here. From the suburbs to the coastline, inspiration is everywhere if you can understand where to find it. O: Um there is none really in particular for me; I think my inspiration comes more from moments than locations. I usually make beats late at night for some reason, or it will come with like a wave of emotion or something sparked the need to go and get that beat out.
Who is your favourite producer of all time?
L: I have never really locked myself down in one genre of listening, and I find that there are so many sounds and techniques from different producers and different genres that inspire me to make music and to further my knowledge all the time. I have a large list of favourites but one producer that never lets me down is J Dilla (RIP). He would have to be the best that ever did it. O: I find that a seriously hard question to answer, I would immediately want to say J Dilla, based on the amount of beats of his that I have listened to that touched my heart and made my hairs on my neck stand up, but there are many other producers I love that have that ability in their own way. Carmack is someone current who I respect a lot; he has his place that he takes you to each time you listen. Many producers seek
this, but it seems the majority of his beats have that almost immediately.
Who is your favourite local producer?
L: There is a lot of talent in Perth just waiting to burst. Obviously the biggest at the moment is Ta-Ku and he has worked his ass off to get where he is and that is super inspiring. We are pretty lucky to be so connected in Perth with dudes who are all doing their thang, but for now I will answer with Zeke (Labsix) based on what I have heard from his current WIPs – that dude is filled to the brim with talent in producing and of course his scratching. O: Reggie would have to be one of my favourites, not because he is Ta-Ku or even because I like all of his beats, cause I don’t haha I love a lot of his beats, but more than anything he is a good person and has been an inspiration to me since I started making beats. While I was in high school I was going to parties and getting drunk, smoking weed, sleeping with ratchets “trying to be high school cool”, but Reggie would always pass up the parties. I never understood why? But then I realised he was always at home making beats, always! He had the clarity and perspective to find something he loves truly and pursue it above all else. I will always remember and admire him for that. Respect Reginaldo!
Which up and comer should we be looking at?
L: As I mentioned before, there are so many people producing in Perth and everyone seems to be really finding their own sounds, which is a great thing for the music scene here and I am always striving to keep my ears tuned to what is happening here. I would have to go with a friend of ours who goes by the alias ‘Loston’… he only dropped his first tracks a week or so ago, but that Skylines tune goes hard in the paint. O: I’d say there are quite a few names actually, but I think I’ll let them make their own noise.
What is the best beat you worked on?
L: We have a lot of colabs coming up with some awesome artists from around the globe and unfortunately cannot give too much away at this time. But so far they have blown my mind in what can be done with hip hop/trap/bass music and they would have to be some of the best music I have worked on yet. O: I find that kind of hard to answer also. I couldn’t say I’ve worked on a best beat. Some have been fun, some have been a bitch, some have been more successfully received than others. I liked making Esta Loca because it was the first beat we made and we had no expectations in our mind, was just something that we were just playing with. I like that tune more and more the older it gets too haha
What was the best beat you’ve heard?
O: That’s really really hard to answer, I’ve listened to X amount of beats in my life, there could be no definitive best, for me they relate to my moods, but I could tell you that Pete Rock, Hi Tek and J Dilla would have some beats in my list of bests of all time. L: I would answer the same as Ol. I have heard X amount of beats in my life, and I often find that on a daily basis I fall in love with a new song. J Dilla ‘Won’t Do’ or anything of Donuts is a favourite of mine and is on repeat a lot in my house. There are also dudes like Vanilla and Evil Needle that never let me down. As for trap beats, everything starts to sound the same after a while, so it is always a breath of fresh air to hear something simplistic and I tend to go to those sounds/producers when I need some inspiration. Hucci, XXYYXX, Jam City etc. Interview by David Coffey Photography by Daniel Craig Design by Meng Jones
THE ART OF CRATE DIGGIN With Oath & Silence
It is common knowledge that hip hop culture originated from the block parties that DJ Kool Herc used to throw, in which he mixed vinyl samples together while shouting his own rhymes to the crowd. While rapping, break dancing and graffiti can all trace their origins back to a time before hip hop, the production element of our culture is what brought everything together to make the biggest movement in music history. Hip hop is a culture founded on tradition, as every new artist tries to make something new, using the teachings of those who came before them. This is probably why ‘crate digging’, the act of going to a record store and looking for vinyl records to sample, is still a huge part of modern hip hop culture. Oath is a Perth DJ and fanatic crate digger, with a record collection that is “pushing nineteen crates” with each crate usually containing roughly eighty vinyl records. Oath uses old music to create hip hop instrumentals. “I buy and produce music using old soul and jazz records. I have a passion for listening to old music. You can’t really obtain that in a digital world, it’s very limitedbecause not everything has made it off vinyl onto the digital. It’s just the records and their smell, everything about it, I have to have records.” “I’m pretty specific with what I use. I’m drum heavy, I like to have the drums in your face. I buy a lot of jazz, a lot of fusion. Most of the records I own are obscure ‘70s records, library records, which is music for film and television. I just sit there, make a coffee, maybe even watch some TV on mute, look at the pictures and just let the records play until I hear stuff. I write it down, the name of the record and what part I heard and just go from there.” At one point, Oath had twice as many crates as he has now, but he gave some away to Mat Rafle, another local producer. Oath said that the crate digging community in Perth is still relatively small but those within it are willing to share their
vinyl with other producers.
“I don’t know too many people in Western Australia that do go out and crate dig often. I have to say peace to Assembly Line. I haven’t known them long but when we do talk, it’s about records and we share different records. You just have to know people that do it.” Another member of this community is DJ Silence, who has worked with a number of Perth’s best emcees using his sample heavy instrumentals. Some of his standout records include Crosswinds by Billy Cobham, Adventures in Paradise by Minnie Riperton, Self-Titled by Cymande, Maby Rare Earth, and Heads by Osibisa. “I got into digging once I started getting into making beats. I had a real appreciation for the beat makers that I listened to and the way that they could take samples and use them in their own way to create a new piece of music.This also led me to appreciating older music I had never heard before, not only for sampling but for my listening pleasure as well.” Like Oath, Silence finds that records engage all of his senses, not just his hearing. He loves the “sound, the smell and the feeling when you drop that needle in anticipation of finding a dope sample!” When asked about where a collector would go about obtaining their records, Oath claims that he gets his vinyl from “everywhere”. “At six in the morning on Sundays I go down to the car boot sales. Record stores have their days when they’ll restock. I’ll be hanging around like a vinyl fiend, standing out the front wondering when they’ll load the shelf again. I went to Adelaide for a massive record fair, this guy, Oz Vinyljunkie who had a hundred crates, you’d just look in them and say ‘woah, I need a mortgage or some shit to buy this stuff!’” Similarly, Silence looks in a wide variety of places for his vinyl.
NG “I try to go digging as often as I can, or when I have money. Places I like to go are Noise Pollution on James St, Dada Records, a few other stores, record fairs and the odd Op Shop.” While sampling still has its fierce loyalists, there has definitely been a shift towards using more live instruments in hip hop songs. One of the greatest hip hop producers of all time, RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, has said that sampling allows some producers to get by without an understanding of musical theory. DJ Silence, however, argues that sampling is still relevant to modern hip hop. He also thinks it will remain a vital part of the culture. “I think it’s important in modern hip hop because it is one of the foundations of the genre. Some may say it’s not important, but it all comes down to theindividual and how they want to make their music. I think it will continue and never end. Once you start you never stop, and I think it will stay a big part of hip hop and beat making for years to come!”
“The act of going to a record store and looking for vinyl records to sample is still a huge part of modern hip hop culture.”
The world we live in is becoming more and more digitised every day and with MP3s being available to anybody with access to the Internet, it would be fair to think that vinyl has become an outdated piece of technology that will eventually fade into obscurity. In addition, with more and more producers having access to live instruments and drum machines, many argue that the use of sampling in hip hop has become a dying art. However, with the passion and enjoyment expressed by producers such as Oath & Silence, hopefully this won’t be the case. Words by Ciaran Johns Design by Brook Wells Photography by David McLoughlin