His music has tackled everything from neocolonialism to racism but Pataphysics – AKA outspoken soul hip-hop artist Patrick Marks – deems his debut album Subversive, a musical assault on Australia’s anti-terrorism laws, as a collection of his best work yet.
44 anti-terrorism laws were passed by the Australian Federal Government between 2001 and 2007 and Marks passionately opposes those he feels infringe on freedom of speech. “With Subversive, I wanted to shout out against these laws that breach civil liberties and human rights, and test boundaries as far as I could.”
With heavy subsonic beats and potent lyrics, it’s insurgent rap at its most compelling. In one of the tracks, Treason, Marks actually breaks the Australian Terrorist Legislation, an Australian first for a released song. And in One More Thing, his powerful lyrics demand accountability for those in power and vigilante justice when the system fails to do so. On this track, we hear Arundhati Roy’s words on resistance rhythmically aligned by Pasobionic (Tzu).
So determined was Marks to do his protest justice, he spent seven years perfecting Subversive, which he describes as “hip-hop with soul, at times with a post-bop edge”. It also features his trademark trumpet, creating a highly unique sound compared to other rappers on the scene.
Marks wrote, produced, recorded and mixed the entire album himself, with cameos by hip-hop royalty such as Rob Swift and Stic.Man (Dead Prez). “It’s rare to have artists of this calibre be interested in collaborating on an independent album. I feel very honoured.” Marks says New York legend Swift collaborated with him on Cause It, the track he nominates as his “standout” on the album. “The turntable mastery of Swift on this song is just awe inspiring.”