Undertow – Mind Believing (May 10)

Undertow is no stranger to the stage – under the alias DTech MC, he’s rocked the mic at drum&bass and breaks events week-in, week-out for years, touring nationally, fronting Triple J Unearthed winning live dnb/grime/electronica act Kobra Kai and emceeing alongside nearly every A-list drum&bass international that has arrived in Australia.

There is something about hip hop, though, that makes Undertow keep coming back to it. The opportunity to combine lyrical complexity, a deep engagement with real life – topics like Australian youth culture, love, mental illness and friends who have passed away – with the energy, the showmanship and panache that has marked him out as a pro and a guaranteed crowd-mover whatever the genre. It’s an opportunity not just to get heads to buck wild – although that’s an essential part of it – but also to blow minds with ideas, imagery and verbal dexterity. To put his mind on the chopping block for all to judge.

The Mind Believing LP has been brewing in the back of Undertow’s mind for a long time. Back in 96, east coast hip hop totally consumed his life: Mobb Deep, Nas, DITC, Wu-Tang… since then, a kaleidoscope of styles – from the lyrical genius of UK emcees Jehst and Chester P, the mystical intensity of Jedi Mind Tricks and the back-to-basics uncompromising stance of Army of the Pharaohs, to other influences like reggae, UK garage, grime, ragga, jazz and soul singers, even hardcore punk – has been filtered through Undertow’s creative mind, the raw materials that he blends and refines using his own personal lyrical instincts; like Raekwon the Chef, “cookin up some marvellous shit to get ya mouth waterin’”. Undertow’s love of hip hop has been a long and deep affair; other more glitzy styles may have had a certain sparkle, but now it’s time to get serious, and make an honest woman of hip hop.

Getting Undertow’s debut LP, Mind Believing, to cover the full spectrum of hip hop while keeping the lyrical structure on point, has been his number one priority. Finally finding a producer (Dazed from Melbourne) with whom he clicked, both in musical terms and as a close friend, gave him the foundation, the corner stone on which to build: from gully street to love songs, lyrical meditations to straight-up boom-bap shit. With a release in early ’10, he aims to imprint his name on the ever-growing Australian hip hop scene. With a guest beat from Dazed’s crew member Flawlezz, and vocals from Fame, Swarmy, Rinse from Bingethinkers, Ayeone, Boundry Pushers, Logical (UK) and SPEx, singer-emcee and Undertow’s fellow Kobra Kai vocalist, the LP crosses the whole gamut of human emotion, with the through-line of the positivity by which Undertow lives every day. From the under-tow he has emerged…

A sample from Minds Believing due in a couple of months.
The bulk of the production is handled by Dazed as well as a track by Flawlezz, and two from Rob Hectik.

After gracing the stage supporting local and international acts throughout Australia for a number of years, Melbourne/Canberra/Sydney hip-hop act Dazed & Flawlezz released their first EP in November 08. Set amongst a backdrop of eerie loops and melancholy vibes, Dazed & Flawlezz reflect on the state of the world that we live in and the ongoing dream for a better place mixed with a sense of hope that is quite prominent. Recorded by 76 at Stronghorn Studios, the EP features production from Mizari, Dazed, Flawlezz, cuts by Mad Cow and comes with bonus instrumentals.

Dazed and Flawlezz EP available for free download here: