Hailing from Hobart mdusu (pronounced muh-DOO-soo) or MD or Duse, is one of Tasmania’s premier hip hop artists. Since his first live performance as an MC in 2003, the MC/producer has built himself a reputation Australia-wide for quality recordings and raucous live shows, a feat which is all the more remarkable considering the isolation of his home town.
In just a few short years, he has performed alongside acts such as De La Soul, Jurassic 5, Jungle Brothers, Z-Trip, Swollen Members, The Herd, Drapht, Funkoars, Muph & Plutonic etc. and can even lay claim to having shared a stage with Wolfmother (before the Grammy). MD has also performed at every major music festival in Tasmania’s history (the Basin Concert, Gone South, the Southern Roots & Blues Festival, Soundscape & the Falls Festival), and has been a performer on over 10 albums as either a solo artist or band member since 1998.
MD is also an accomplished producer, having laced beats for almost every MC in Tasmania during his 10 plus-years as a beatmaker. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, mdusu has spent more than half his life playing various instruments in live ensembles, and has toured Australia & around the Pacific Islands as far as Hawaii, playing many different styles of music.
Electric Sky is the new EP from MD, featuring six instrumentals, no sample loops – made entirely from one-shot drums & synths. This ‘pay what you want‘ release is on some future-soul shit and is available now through Tape Death’s Bandcamp page. Check it out.
While in the midst of their sold-out national Australian tour, Bliss N Eso have announced that they will be taking their explosive live show across the United States throughout September. This follows on from their sold-out 21 date North American tour in late 2009 alongside Canadian hip-hop legends Swollen Members.
Their upcoming 25 date American tour sees them join forces with cult heroes Kottonmouth Kings, who approached Bliss N Eso with the concept after catching their scorching live show during their last US tour. Bliss N Eso’s presence outside the Australian market has steadily grown since the release of 2008’s Flying Colours LP.
The US tour kicks off in Dallas on August 28th and whirlwinds them through 25 cities in less than a month before finishing in Kansas City on September 25th.
USA Tour Dates with Kottonmouth Kings
28th Aug Dallas, TX
29th Aug Houston, TX
31st Aug Tulsa, OK
1st Sep Wichita, KS
2nd Sep Des Moines, IA
3rd Sep Sauget, IL
5th Sep Louisville, KY
7th Sep Ft Lauderdale, FL
8th Sep St Petersburg, FL
9th Sep Atlanta, GA
10th Sep Charlotte, NC
11th Sep Baltimore, MD
12th Sep Worcester, MA
13th Sep Philadelphia, PA
15th Sep New York, NY
16th Sep Pittsburgh, PA
17th Sep Pontiac, MI
18th Sep Chicago, IL
19th Sep Cleveland, OH
20th Sep Cincinati, OH
21st Sep Milwaukee, WI
22nd Sep Minneapolis, MN
23rd Sep Fargo, ND
24th Sep Sioux Falls, SD
25th Sep Kansas City, MO
A prolific wordsmith, Brad Strut has been fine tuning his craft and contributing to the growth and evolution of Australian Hip Hop since the early ‘90s. Engulfed in the breakdance craze that swept this country in the late 80′s, Brad became a staunch devotee of hip hop music and as his interest and skill level flourished, Brad could be heard on any sound system available to him. He released his first demo Rock On in 1993, regularly clocked air time on influential radio shows such as Steppin to the A.M. with Krissy and The Formula (PBS) and, intent on honing his lyrical dexterity, would be in attendance at any venue hosting a hip hop event.
His development continued with his first studio experience, under the guidance of DJ Ransom, recording a demo for the unreleased Faces of Debt EP alongside emceesw Mama’s Funk (Strait Up Records), Raph Boogie (Crookneck) and MC Que (Nuffsaid Records). In 1999, he hooked up with Trem to record the Australian rap gem Basic Fundamentals. Released on Trem’s classic second 12”, Amateurs (Unkut Recordings), the song featuring a level of wordplay previously unheard within the local ranks.
In 2001 Brad released his debut long player The Authentic LP, an album which, along with Bias B’s Beezwax and Culture Of Kings 1, marked a turning point in Australian hip hop. With its unforgettable cover of a vicious looking kangaroo caricature wielding a microphone, The Authentic attained phenomenal sales, moving 8000+ units with no industry hype in a time of minimal support for credible Australian hip hop. The album was heralded as groundbreaking, receiving acclaim from hip hop fans the globe over and the track A Good Thing even appeared on Jurassic 5 DJ Numark’s mix CD Hand’s On (Sequence Records 2004). The Authentic LP featured names such as Lazy Grey, Sean B and a freshly formed Melbourne crew Lyrical Commission, who had recently featured on, Culture of Kings Volume 1 with their track Lyrical Mongrels.
During this period Lyrical Commission, alongside Bias B, worked with the infamous Australian criminal identity Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read on the track Chop Chop for the soundtrack to the movie Trojan Warrior. This track also featured on the Obesity compilation under the name Machete. With intense hype surrounding the crew, Lyrical Commission released their debut LP The Stage is Set (Unkut Recordings) to a blood-thirsty market and an already intensely loyal fan base in 2002. It received the highest of accolades for the straight up, back to basics, no nonsense skill-fest it delivered both musically and lyrically. It created a street buzz unseen for a local underground hip hop act, exceeding sale predictions and becoming the first Australian hip hop release to attract significant interest on a worldwide scale.
The group toured the album extensively, all the while cementing their reputation as masters of individualised style and technique. There is no disputing that Brad is an accomplished live performer, and has shared the stage with the likes of Tha Liks, Hilltop Hoods, Eternia, Celph Titled, Apathy, Kool Keith, The Roots, Swollen Members, A-Trak, Aceyalone, Foreign Legion, People Under The Stairs to name a few, and has also played all major Australian festivals such as Livid and the Big Day Out.
After a year of touring, and recording with Celph Titled (Demigodz) for the title track All Out War on the Terntable Jediz All Out War EP (Unkut/Blue Corner 2004),LC got to work on their next release, Murderous Metaphors EP. Metaphors contained nothing but pure rap skill from beginning to end with tracks like F**k all the B.S., Indicted, and the Strut solo track Check the Strategy. With Lyrical Commission sound and style locked down, the time had come for the crew to branch out into new solo endeavours to appease the long time supporters and win new fans.
2006 was a pivotal year for Brad, as he reignited the fervour for his solo mission. Early in the year, he dropped Legendary: The Official Mixtape on his newly formed Peruvian Gemz imprint, a subsidiary of Unkut that would focus on his own projects and assist emerging artists. Intended as a teaser for his upcoming sophomore full length, the mixtape took on a life of its own and became one of the hottest underground releases of the year, featuring guest spots from Perth’s Clandestien, Rhys of Hospice Crew and notorious booze hound Billy Bunks. Later that year, Strut represented Australia at Hip Hop Kemp 2006 in the Czech Republic, a massive three-day hip hop festival (Europe’s largest and best) which hosted Non-Phixion, RA The Rugged Man, Planet Asia, Klashnekoff and the finest acts from across the continent. Here, Strut made international connections with crews such as Poland’s WWO, whose upcoming album he features on.
2007 saw the release of Brad’s sophomore LP, Legend: Official. Produced by Trem, it is the darkest, deepest manifesto to emerge from Antipodean hip hop. Featuring Lyrical Commission, Sean Price, Outerspace, Daniel Merriweather and Lee Sissing, the album is alternately sinister and soothing, melancholy and belligerent, and it shows Strut’s technique at its most developed. The real deal with all flows locked, Brad Strut delivers the full package, the “proper without the ganda”. His history is undeniable, and the future unlimited.
Fallout Shelter is the 2009 EP from Melbourne-bred, North London-based Brad Strut. In a radical departure from his acclaimed 2007 sophomore Legend: Official, the core member of Australia’s pioneering Lyrical Commission has crafted a stunning narrative that runs through six hard hitting tracks by Beat Butcha. Densely lyrical, personal and intense, this project fully exploits hip hop’s potential as a medium for storytelling. Ostensibly a post-apocalyptic diary, Fallout Shelter contains a wealth of insights into life, hip hop and everything. From the panicked opener Hello To Goodbye to the serene conclusion of Looking At You, Brad evokes the range of emotions facing the last man on earth: anger, denial, hope and a fatal acceptance. As with Strut’s previous work, his words seep in gradually, divulging deeper meanings with multiple listens. Likewise, Beat Butcha’snuanced production shows its true colours over time, providing enough flourish to accentuate Brad’s words without overwhelming them. From the heraldic outro to New Dawn to the synth bridge on Believe, Butcha shows how a good hip hop producer does more than chop and loop drums, but never overwhelms the emcee’s presence with unnecessary fanfare.
Rejuvenation is the 2009 full length remix project which finds Brad reaching out to the leading producers from Australia and the UK: M-Phazes, Trials of Funkoars, Simplex of Terra Firma, Chemo, Beat Butcha, Ciecmate of Hospice Crew, Tornts, Dazastah of Downsyde, Mortar of Clandestien, Dontez of KingsKonekted, Methodz, The Last Skeptik and Jehst. Each producer brings their own distinct ring to a Strut classic from Legend: Official or The Legendary Mixtape. From M-Phazes’s bombastic reimagining of live anthem Incite The Premises to Tornts’ vitriolic new verses on The Ritual to Jehst’s appropriately ominous take on Last Omen, these remixes all uniquely expand on Strut’s already impressive catalogue.
Hailing from Hobart – Australia’s southern-most capital city, mdusu (pronounced muh-DOO-soo) is one of Tasmania’s premier hip hop artists. Since his first live performance as an emcee in 2003, the MC/producer has built himself a reputation Australia-wide for quality recordings and raucous live shows, a feat which is all the more remarkable considering the isolation of his home town. In just a few short years, he has performed alongside acts such as De La Soul, Jurassic 5, Jungle Brothers, Z-Trip, Swollen Members,The Herd, Drapht, Funkoars, Muph & Plutonic etc. and can even lay claim to having shared a stage with Wolfmother (before the Grammy). Mdusu has also performed at every major music festival in Tasmania’s history (the Basin Concert, Gone South, the Southern Roots & Blues Festival, Soundscape & the Falls Festival), and has been a performer on over 10 albums as either a solo artist or band member since 1998.
As an emcee, mdusu earned his stripes through the freestyle & battle scenes, winning countless emcee battles across Tasmania, and performing solidly in battles across Melbourne. His lyrical skill has gained him respect amongst the leaders of the Australian hip hop scene, and has led to collaborations with many artists from around the world. mdusu is also an accomplished producer, having laced beats for almost every emcee in Tasmania during his 10 plus-years as a beatmaker. A skilled multi-instrumentalist, mdusu has spent more than half his life playing various instruments in live ensembles, and has toured Australia & around the Pacific Islands as far as Hawaii, playing many different styles of music.
In 2007, he produced two tracks for The Tongue’s debut, “Shock & Awe”, and supplied a verse to super-producer Chasm for his 2008 smash debut LP, “Beyond the Beat Tape”. The following year saw him drop verses on Dialectrix’s debut smash “Cycles of Survival”, and Astronomy Class’ second album “Pursuit of Happiness”, which was nominated for the “Best Urban/Hip Hop” Album of the 2009 ARIA awards. mdusu also produced a track for Obese Records’ signing Skryptcha on the DJ Flagrant-mixed mixtape “Who’s Got Next”.
In May 2008, mdusu and Tasmanian DJ Dameza released their groundbreaking sophomore LP, Can we get a soul clap? On May 10th (distributed by Obese Records). The album was picked up by Triple J, and helped mdusu&dameza become one ofTriple J’s Next Crop artists for 2008, an honour which is only bestowed upon 30 artists of all genres across Australia. The album was also made the Triple J Hip Hop Show “Album of the Week” (June 9th-15th).
In February 2009, mdusu embarked on his biggest challenge to date, to raise money for victims of the Victorian Bushfire: A 12-hour non-stop Freestyle Marathon. Not only did he manage this incredible and never-before tried feat, he raised over $1300 in the process, and set an unofficial world record (longest continuous freestyle rap) in the process.
After relocating to the Gold Coast for family reasons in July 2009, mdusu released his solo debut, “The Excess Baggage Mixtape” (available below) – which has over 500 downloads in just two weeks, and is currently putting together his debut solo producer album, which features some Australia’s best emcee’s, singers & DJs.
My new album is going to be the first solo effort I’ve ever done – all my previous stuff has been group stuff, so I’m excited as to take the leap of faith by myself, and see what happens. I’ve been working on it for about a year and a half now, and I’m just up to the stage of getting verses back from people and mixing the whole thing. Not sure if I’m going to approach any labels about it yet, but ideally I’ll be able to work out a licensing deal for release. Guests include: Muph, Solo, Louis Logic, Dialectrix, Jeswon of Thundamentals, Ozi Batla, Skryptcha, BVA, Scott Burns, Roshambo, The Tongue, Patto, Haunts of Choose Mics, Homebrew (NZ), Thorts, Class A, Syntax, Prime, Purpose, & Rigby, so it’s a real collaborative effort. It’s gonna be called Ex-Samples, and I’ll be handling all the production, so it’s a pretty massive undertaking.
2010 – The Excess Baggage Mixtape – all verses and arrangement
2009 – Astronomy Class – Pursuit Of Happiness – Verse on “War Of The Worlds”
2009 – Who Got Next Mixtape – Production on Skryptcha “For You”
2008 – Dialectrix – Cycles of Survival – Verse on “The Takeover”
2008 – mdusu&dameza – can we get a soul clap? – Verses & all production
2008 – Chasm – Beyond The Beat Tape – Verse on “Cop a Lesson”
2008 – Unleash The Nugget – The Illustrated Guide to… EP – Drums & percussion
2007 – The Tongue – Shock & Awe – Production on “That Word” & “The Blues”
2007 – Heads of State – Making The Best Of What We’ve Got – Verses & all production
2006 – mdusu&dameza – sounds from our town – verses & all production
Bliss N Eso have just released their new tour artwork for the trip over to the US. Justin Maller was the designer behind this piece. We all wish Bliss N Eso the best of luck with the US tour, and we hope that they are well received. Justin Maller has also done some other cool work for Pez, check it out below. To check out more of his work head to his web page here, or twitter here.
As we heard the other day Bliss n Eso would like to announce that they are taking time out of the recording of their fourth studio album to showcase their highly praised live show across the USA. Below you can find the dates.
The Sydney trio has been confirmed to play shows in 15 US cities alongside Canada’s biggest hip-hop act, Swollen Members.
After their hugely successful Flying Colours Live Tour the guys put a halt on playing shows to focus on getting the new album done. But an unrefusable offer coming directly from the iconic Canadian group will see the guys venture to the states on what will become the first extensive tour of the US ever by an aussie hip hop group.
Bliss n Eso will spend 4 weeks tearing up the States before returning to knuckle down in the studio and play a very limited number of festivals over New Years and the summer holidays.
20 OCT / Tue / San Luis Obispo, CA / USA / SLO Brewery
21 OCT / Wed / Santa Barbara, CA / USA / Velvet Jones
22 OCT / Thu / Los Angeles, CA / USA / Key Club
24 OCT / Sat / Tempe, AZ / USA / The Club House
25 OCT / Sun / Las Vegas, NV / USA / Wasted Space
27 OCT / Tue / Flagstaff, AZ / USA / Orpheum Theatre
30 OCT / Fri / Colorado Springs, CO / USA / Black Sheep
31 OCT / Sat / Denver, CO / USA / Marquis
02 NOV / Mon / Fort Collins, CO / USA / Aggie Theater
03 NOV / Tue / Boulder, CO / USA / Fox Theatre
04 NOV / Wed / Salt Lake City, UT / USA / Urban Lounge
It’s has been a massive year for Bliss N Eso, and it’s only getting bigger. Twitter peeps were given an exclusive link to a website announcing that Bliss N Eso will be touring the USA. The great news didn’t stop there. Bliss n Eso have halted recording duties on their new album to go on this tour.
The guys had been working on their fourth album in a secret recording studio in the Victorian bush (we have seen some Twitter pics of this secret studio) but when they received a call from Canada’s biggest hip-hop act, Swollen Members, asking if they’d support them on their US tour, the offer was too good to turn down.
The multi-ARIA Award-winning trio will join their Canadian mates for four weeks and play to 15 US cities, kicking off in San Luis Obispo on October 20 and wrapping up in Seattle on November 8. The lads have already released three albums at home but we’re sure their US outing will put them on the worldwide map. Bliss n Eso’s new album is slated for a mid 2010 release. You can read the official announcement here.
In other Bliss N Eso news, the lads have made it to the top 4 of OzArtist 2009. You can vote for the guys here.