The Next Movement on the Street Corner with Davekat
01 October 2016 by Sancho Murphy
Interview by Bianca Annamie.
The Street Corner Music Tour kicked off nationally on Thursday 29th September in Melbourne, so we had a quick chat to one of the minds behind local hosts The Next Movement before it hits Lobrow Gallery & Bar on Sunday 2nd October at 8pm.
From lounge-room DJing to event managing, Dave has paid witness to the changing face of modern-day Australian Hip-Hop and beat making. As a strong advocate of the thriving Canberra music scene, we discuss the growing audiences, the inevitable growth of low-frequency hip-hop, the pioneers of Australian hip-hop, and what he believes defines a good beat maker – the ear for the right sample.
Describing the Street Corner Music Tour as unique and providing something for every hip-hop fan, the event starts off with an intimate screening of “All Ears” followed by a Q&A with Los Angeles local and Detroit native, DJ House Shoes, finally wrapping up with a live session from House Shoes – tying together all elements of the Low Frequency movement.
Dave, tells us a bit about yourself (how you started out/your drivers/goals) and The Next Movement?
Heyo folks my name is Dave, I work independently and as part of an event management team at The Next Movement (TNM). I also DJ under the alias’ DaveKat aka Ill Gato with Capslock Collective and several other extremely talented and dedicated emcees. Starting out I began DJ’ing in my lounge room using a pair of my flatmates' turntables (shots to DJ Krumb) and the rest is history.
Starting from a standalone event in 2012 the TNM team was formed, after some early guidance for us it was time to get back to basics with Canberra Hip Hop. TNM was about getting organised and providing as much help to upcoming Hip Hop artists as we could. We put on a series of events in order to bring the music back to the capital, with the goal of injecting some hip hop sensibilities into our town. With more opportunities for cats straight out of the bedroom, and those who may have been hibernating. As TNM has grown over the years, we have become known for providing platforms for Canberra based Hip Hop acts at some of our greatest creative arts hubs and live music venues.
How has Hip-Hop impacted your life?
In every way, from friendships to family to work to everything in-between. Hip Hop has always been a part of my life and culture but has positively influenced and impacted the way I live taken me to places I would never imagine. Hip Hop impacts the way I conduct my actions and the way I look at the people and world both good and bad.
So you’re bringing out DJ House Shoes for the Street Corner Music Tour; what spurred that on and what can we expect from the gig?
Working in the Canberra music industry, being both an event manager and DJ opens up a world of networking and opportunities. I was lucky enough to be in contact with Grindin' Entertainment when news of the House Shoes - Street Corner Music Tour was developing. It only felt right that I put forth TNM's bid to host the event.
What to expect, I think this event has a little something for every Hip Hop fan. The event will be a little different and unique with an intimate screening of the ‘All Ears’ documentary, focusing on the LA Beat scene. I think we will see similarities between the LA scene and the current Canberra Hip Hop network and community. The evening features an up closer and personal Q&A with DJ House Shoes then its time to kick back and watch the influential DJ House Shoes work his magic on the turntables and show us all the end product.
The documentary “All Ears” which is screening during the Canberra leg of the tour focuses on the Los Angeles Beat Scene. How do you think music differs from the LA scene to the Australian scene?
"Aussie Hip Hop wouldn’t exist without it’s American parentage, and much of American Hip Hop is obviously nothing short of spectacular. But while it (the Australian Hip Hop scene) may have been born of its own influence and environment, the Australian variety has since gone through its troubled adolescence, struggled to find its independent voice, and has proved itself more than capable of surviving on its own. It has become its own cultural force, one that is uniquely Australian, and an important part of our music scene today” - Tone Deaf
Do you think there is a strong enough market and community for Low Frequency Hip Hop excel in Australia? Why?
Hmm this is tough question, maybe not right now. Whilst in my opinion Low Frequency production and music has been massively embraced by a grass roots Australian Hip Hop scene, perhaps the Hip Hop scene as a whole is too young and not large enough and on a slightly different path at the moment. If you are asking me about a market, that is a whole market approach to supporting Low Frequency I think, whilst Australian Hip Hop has become what it is today, when I think about acts over recent history like Hermitude and Flume blowing up and topping the Australian charts, it is a different poppier production sound born from different beginnings. I think as Australian Hip Hop music continues to grow and the Hip Hop communities and markets continue to grow and develop, in my opinion will we see more of this music excelling in a stronger more sound market.
Who do you think pioneers beat making in Australia?
In my opinion the definition of beat making can be extremely broad these days and crosses multiple Hip Hop styles and musical genres. In the early days when I think of pioneering Australian Hip Hop beat makers and producers I straight away think of Plutonic Lab, Prowla, Katalyst, Dazastah Trials, Hilltop Hoods and likes of Hermitude (early) Must Volkoff. These Australian Hip Hop pioneers in my opinion laid the ground work for what Australian Hip Hop was, where it was heading and a glimpse into the future it held.
How has the Canberra Hip-Hop scene developed over the years?
I can’t claim involvement in this scene since its inception and multiple evolutions, but when I think of its history immediately notable early acts spring to mind who paved the way acts such as Four Storey Empire, Jemist, Koolism, Ciecmate and Newsense (Broken Tooth Records), acts like Anton and D’Opus and Roshambo, DJ’s like Buick and Ill-K holding things down. When I hear about the early Canberra scene I hear and read about a scene that is not what it is today, stories of emcees rapping over breaks beats, ghettotech and drum and bass. I speak with DJ’s who remise or don’t about early Hip Hop nights at Heaven and the old Battle nights at Mombassa. From what we hear the Hip Hop scene in Canberra was very strong, but indeed smaller.
In my years as a punter there was Toast and how could you think of Canberra Hip Hop and not think of Transit Bar. Transit Bar as a venue and their force have been a staple in the Canberra music scene. They embrace a variety of local genres and consistently exhibit the creme de la creme of local, national and international artists. Our city, its music and live music scenes have needed this force.
It hasn’t necessarily been pretty or such a smooth ride over the years from what I remember, with early images of audience violence and graffiti in venues, a reflection of Canberra then and snapshot of the cities history. Canberra has been lucky, there has been individuals who have worked their whole careers in the Canberra Hip Hop scene and music industry. They developed and built the image Canberra Hip Hop has today, building that trust with the venues we all call home. I think the Hip Hop scene is alive and thriving in Canberra. Especially when we take a look at the quality Hip Hop coming out of our city and the recognition our artists, our city and our scene are getting on a national scale.
Have you seen the audience change?
In my time I have attended many events for entertainment, performing as a DJ or as an an event organiser. During this time the audiences have evolved and changed as Australian Hip Hop music has developed over the years. Both locally and nationally Australian Hip Hop has had different faces and different images finding greater mainstream success. With the likes of Hilltop Hoods and Bliss N Eso breaking through to the earlier market and helping putting Australian Hip Hop on a wider the radar. More recently acts such as Drapht, 360 and All Day following suit and contributing to changing the modern face of an Australian Hip Hop audience. I feel some changes can also be attributed to a growing audience following of Hip Hop, audiences supporting artists music and an audiences personalisation of modern music through the adaptation of social media. A changing audience keeps live music what it is. They are the ones going to live shows and getting behind what they believe in and love.
Hip-Hop continues to develop, expanding over an increasing range of styles and methods, particularly when comparing the output from producers like Flying Lotus, The Alchemist, Mike Will Made It or Kendrick Lamar; what do you think defines a true beat maker from the rest?
I think anyone who has the ability to produce music or has what it takes to be a beat maker and express themselves and their lives musically has a gift. But in my opinion some of the things that truly define a beak maker is Individuality and the ability to influence an entire direction of musical genres; people who can create and do things with sound that have not been done before or recreate something beautifully. I think true beat makers must live in a word of music, wake up sleep and go to sleep thinking of music ... How can I tweak that thing? Chop that thing? What’s next? What’s after that? But first and foremost, what I think defines a good beat maker is the ear for the right sample…
Does The Next Movement have anything big planned/on the horizon for 2017?
Watch this space.
Photograph of Davekat by Dayne Edward.
LOBROW GALLERY & BAR
Level 2, 181 City Walk, Canberra
DJ HOUSE SHOES - STREET CORNER MUSIC TOUR w/ fauxreal
Sunday 2nd October ~ 8.00pm to 12.00am
Tickets: $15.00 through Moshtix
Facebook Event for more details.
Website - http://djhouseshoes.com/site/
Twiter - https://twitter.com/streetcornerscm
Mixcrate - http://www.mixcrate.com/houseshoes
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/houseshoes
Facebook - https://web.facebook.com/djhouseshoes