The unique synergy created between artists was a defining character in the creativity and success of hip hop during the 1990s. Hip hop crews were bound together by their ideas in the moment and this interaction, at times tense, marked an incredible era in the genre’s history. Dialectrix, along with Mercury Prize winner Plutonic Lab and prolific Sydney DJ 2buck have taken this historical approach to produce Audio Projectile, the second album from one of Australia’s most talented wordsmiths.
The album is the work of collaboration in the truest sense. Aiming to capture the vivid sounds of the classics, Audio Projectile is their enjoyment of the past, distilled with their own unique take on the present and future.
aahh: Audio Projectile is the follow-up to the hugely successful Cycles Of Survival, did you feel much pressure in delivering an album that is just as successful as the first?
D-Trix: I didn’t really feel pressure to better that album too much when I was making Audio Projectile as I made Cycles Of Survival intentionally more simplistic than anything I had ever written. I knew when I wrote Cycles that I was going to be introduced to a much larger audience, because it was being backed by a label. I consciously toned down how technical I was going to approach the song writing as a whole, cause I was scared shitless that the album would flop if I didn’t.
People have hated on my inability to be understood content wise since I started rapping and I was worried that if I did an entire album of what I was used to, people would hate it and it would just suck as an intro to a more “commercial” domain.
I’ve always been able to rap fast and write complex rhyme structures. I had never really been able to keep people’s attention or hold a topic for an entire song with three different perspectives of a concept and not lose the listener, because the tech shit is just too much for some people. Even mad heads can get sick of that rapidy rap style. It was my biggest challenge at that time to bridge my style with something that people could understand and relate too. Once I proved to myself that I could pull that off, I felt like a lot of the hard part was over. I knew I could come back with new stuff that was of a higher quality lyrically and keep people’s attention.
aahh: There’s been a lot of debate about the energy created between artists when joining forces, but there seems to be something special there in teaming up with long time producer Plutonic Lab?
D-Trix: For the first time in a very long time I felt like I was in a band again, working with Pluto. The internet has fucked the way I feel about beats in general, it’s all sent to you on a silver platter, the vibes been pre-set long before you get to it. The whole net beat catalogue thing seems quite heartless for all involved .To me its like….heres a link- pick what you think is dope- pay the dude money- try make a hit! Thats how the internet collab seems to me. Working with Pluto made me feel like I was 15 again, watching him make beats getting heaps pumped on what he was doing then he would get pumped on how excited I was getting then I would write and just be penning out bars while he was adding more samples to the beat. It was really cohesive and most of all a lot of fun. There was no ego working with that dude, same with 2buck we all respect and trust each others input. I can count on one hand the people I have that relationship with.
aahh: Cycles Of Survival propelled you into the spotlight as a solo artist and now with Audio Projectile. But we’ve seen you play integral parts in the now split DUB Crew and more recently Gully Platoon. What’s it like crossing between writing for solo tracks, to that with one, two or more emcess?
D-Trix: Writing as a solo rapper is a completely different ball game compared to writing in a group. As a solo artist you have a wider range of content to cover cause you’re not dependent on others relating to it, plus you have to write double/ three times the amount of material. Writing solo gives you more time to define what you’re talking about, in a group your limited to one maybe two verses per track so all the writing is more to the point and usually more dense.
aahh: What does the live side of things mean to you as an artist?
D-Trix: The live element of emceeing is crucial! I grew up watching Def Wish Cast performances and that right there shaped how I would perform live to this day. They showed me how to rap live with power and energy as a group. I think that ‘DUB Crew’ had a great live show from this influence and I also think that ‘Gully Platoon’ has in turn taken from the style Joe New and I created in ‘DUB’. My solo shows don’t get as much power because I might lose my voice or be short of breath but I still try to keep that energy, it’s just a lot harder to maintain.
aahh: For you personally, what were some of the most enjoyable tracks on the album for you to write and record?
D-Trix: ‘Holding The Lantern’ was one of those tracks that just came together, in a jam session at Pluto’s. I have good memories from that one. ‘Dead Set’ was just too much fun to make. I really enjoyed getting Maundz and Fluent Form around to record ‘Comin to Getcha’. They were both so sick with the flu but they still made the effort to come round and smash that track out and yell on some of the other hooks, what legends!
aahh: How much do you scrutinize over your rhymes, do you have any strict objectives your rhymes must achieve?
D-Trix: I always have strict objectives of what I want to achieve, sometimes they are a bit over the top and I get crushed under my own pressure. But in the end all I really want to do is compliment the beat if you’re not doing that then it’s not worth it.
aahh: The lead single ‘Pieces of a Puzzle’ has been described as a salute to the great notion of a plan coming together, are you a bit of an optimist when it comes to life?
D-Trix: Not really I’m definitely more a pessimist. ‘Pieces of a Puzzle’ is about not caring about fucked up things in life and just dealing with it by getting drunk on the weekend and that being some sort of “plan” to get by. Its kind of a sad song in the way that it highlights the only real freedom I think we have and that is to get wasted to forget your troubles, to me thats a kind of depressive theme.
aahh: You approach many of the tracks on Audio Projectile from a creative angle, with Fly On The Wall you rap from the perspective of a fly. Do you find this is a way of keeping content fresh and new?
D-Trix: I’ve released 5 LP’s in 6 years I’m still hungary to rap, but your subject matter starts to become limited with that amount of writing. I like coming up with new ways to explain things, this definitely keeps my mind fresh when approaching the beat, it keeps it challenging and pushes me to do things differently.
aahh: Will we see a tour?
I will be hitting the road to tour my new album Audio Projectile and can be seen live on the following dates. Don’t miss out. Friday Nov 26th @ Hotel Gearin w/ Plutonic Lab, Daily Meds & more- Friday Nov 19th @ Tempo Hotel (Brisbane)- Thursday Dec 2nd @ The Gov (Adelaide)- Friday Dec 3rd @ The Prince Bandroom (Melbourne)- Saturday Dec 4th @ The Gaelic (Sydney)
aahh: Final thoughts and comments?
Look out for cameo’s on my people’s albums ‘Bigfoot- Giant Steps’ (Out Now), ‘Binge Thinkers’ debut LP, ‘Lotek – International Rude Boy’ plus more as of next year.