It’s rare for the scene to be blessed with the release of a 7” in these often cynical times. Making music is an expensive habit, and there are a lot of broke artists languishing out there with stillborn plans. Melbourne based producer/MC Dazed has said fuck all that and gone ahead with a limited release, collectors edition vinyl featuring two tracks from Sydney based artists and his own inimitable production.
Rest in Syn is a record by a man who still values the memories of flipping through magazines and freaking out on seeing new track produced by a favourite artist; as Dazed puts it, “it’s all about remembering where we came from in this digital age.” The solid, dependable feel of a slice of vinyl, slightly warm in your hands – so much more precious than an mp3 ever could be. But this record isn’t about unchecked nostalgia and pissing on where local hip hop has taken us. It’s all one, big, unknowable, inexpressible ride we’re on – and looking back with gratitude to the past and sheer amazement at where our travels have taken us is the theme of the A side to Rest in Syn, No Regrets featuring Sydney’s powerful Bingethinker, Rinse.
“No one gets to hide from their fate,” as he says – and the choices make the man. “What if I’d’ve never smoked weed? What if Hoods had never had the Nosebleed? What if Kingsmill was a fan of real hip hop?” – how different life could be if things had taken a different turn! The ribboning Trem vocal sample combined with yearning strings folding throughout this track create an impressively mature sound that lingers long after the needle has found the end of its groove. Flipping over the record we’re treated to another taste of Sydney, this time in the form of the Grand Arkiteks crew. Dazed has chosen a more sinister sound for the B side, layering unsettling synths over the tics of insolent strings and ominous dragging bass for the track King Killaz. The contrast between the two sides could not be more pronounced, but it shows off the malleability of Dazed’s production – this is not a man to get stuck in a rut – or one to happily choke on the easy lies of the powers that be. King Killaz is a healthy, alert companion to the dazzled wonder of No Regrets.
Rest in Syn is a rare collectable gem in this modern throwaway world, and a fitting tribute to the places we’ve been.
aahh: You have a new solo project that your working on at the moment which has resulted in a 7″ vinyl pressing titled ‘Rest In Syn’, tell us a little about the title behind this release?
Dazed: It’s a name I’ve been toying around for a while actually. The 2 artists on the record are both from Sydney, so it’s play on the Syn-City thing and the overall theme of the 7″ is fairly sombre. It fits and works pretty well, I think. If you want to get deep and go on about how we all have a dark side and a past you could but let’s just leave it at that haha. It sounds dope.
aahh: Why did you want to release a 7″ at this point in time, we know your busy working on numerous other projects including an LP release for Dazed & Flawlezz?
Dazed: Yeah the Dazed & Flawlezz album is on the way. I just heard the first mix and it sounds pretty crazy. It’ll be nice to finally put out an LP after all these years and EPs; it’s something we’ve been working really hard on and we hope to turn a few heads with it. I’ve always had respect and a passion for the DJ and vinyl culture. I mean, if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here. In this day and age kids are growing up not knowing what vinyl is cos they have their mp3s and CDs to a lesser extent. My boy JD runs a studio and he had these kids come for a session, looked at the usual Expedit (shout outs to Ikea) full of wax and didn’t know what it was. They thought they were big arse CDs and these are hip-hop heads. That’s pretty sad, right? There’s only been a handful of local independent cats releasing wax in the past year or so, so we can’t let this shit die. It (vinyl) sounds better, you get to appreciate the cover art more and shit, what hip-hop artist doesn’t want their own wax?! I found myself in a situation where I think (as an artist) I’m finally happy to put my name and product out. None of this rushed bullshit. Now or never, you know?
aahh: Let’s talk a little about the tracks that will feature on this 7″. The first is an absolute cracker titled King Killers and features Grand Arkiteks. Firstly tell us a little about how you hooked up with Grand Arkiteks for this one?
Dazed: Grand Arkiteks are Dazed & Flawlezz family. A few years back the lookUP boys held a comp with the winner getting CDs pressed, etc. We were both in the same heat that got through to the finals (we both lost), but we both had mutual respect for each other’s music, similar ideas and started building. There’s not many groups with 3-4 emcees out dropping raw underground shit as dope as those boys… easily one of Sydney’s best and underrated. We’ve done a few tracks together (plus some more to come) but when I made the beat it screamed for them to murder it. I sent it through and they came through. They seem to dig my production so it makes it a lot easier too haha… none of this back and forth shit.
aahh: King Killers is a fierce track addressing the state of government and those in control. Are you passionate about this issue and how did you guys develop this idea into the track we’ll see on the record?
Dazed: To be honest when I made the beat it sounded like some regal “watch the throne” type shit and I named it “KingMPC” or something. I guess they either rolled with the name or picked up the same vibe haha. I’m not really into politics. I mean, I understand what’s happening in the world and have a view but it’s far from passionate. I have too many other things to worry about! We’re all fucked at the end of the day anyway.
aahh: The second track featured on the Rest In Syn 7″ features Mc Rinse from the Bingethinkers tilted No Regrets. Now this track is a little more chilled. Did you set out to make that contrast between the two tracks featured?
Dazed: Subconsciously I probably did. I wanted to show a bit of diversity in my production as well as two completely different artists. When I made the track I had Rinse in mind the whole time. He rapped over one of my beats in the Undertow album, I think it’s probably the best verse on there, and he sounds dope over something real chill.
aahh: No Regrets is a great track questioning peoples past choices and also raises the issues of fate. Do you yourself believe in fate?
Dazed: I wouldn’t say that our lives are already pre-determined and that there’s a fixed natural order in the universe which is unchangeable, but I think that free will and fate can coincide in some sort of harmony. At every moment of our life we make an unchangeable choice, so since a choice will inevitably be made at some point doesn’t mean that we don’t make our own decisions. I do believe that a lot of things happen for a reason, but it’s up to the individual how they handle it.
aahh: Why a 7′?
Dazed: I think it’s the best way to highlight two dope tracks on a classic medium without any of the bells and whistles, It’s a mini record too, you can’t fuck with that.
aahh: Final comments?
Dazed: Massive thanks to everyone involved in this record… Rinse, Grand Arkiteks, Cam, Talz, Geko and Jack The Bear. Keep and eye out for DFTC Records (G-Force, Sparts, Sinks, Mol1, Dazed) as there’s a gang of dope releases coming in the near future. Dazed & Flawlezz LP coming soon with production from Vanderslice (Black Poet, Roc Marci, Vinny Paz, Maundz), WIK, Must and more. Big ups Flawlezz, props to Jim for the Q’s, Big ups to all my friends and crew. Cop the 7′!
All copies include the digital album and pre-orders receive a DFTC Records compilation CD featuring new tracks from G-Force, Sparts, Sinks, Mol1 and Dazed.