Rippers is the first EP release for Bong YZA, and is available in digital formats through the Brisbane, Australia label Vexed Axis.
Bong YZA is the pseudonym for Sydney artist Chris Yates, who began performing under the name whilst on a two year sabbatical in Cambodia. The name borrows the familiar term for which Cambodians refer to each other ‘Bong’ and a stylization of Yates’ last name based on that of the production icon, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.
Bong YZA’s first gig was in the Battambang marketplace, overlooking the Ton Le Sap river during a Cambodian cultural festival, performing alongside Khmer DJ Mojo. YZA and Mojo went head to head mashing Wu-Tang jams, Cambodian pop music and traditional Khmer sounds in an experimental, danceable soundclash to the delight and bewilderment of the Battambang locals at the location known as the birthplace of art and culture in Cambodia, long before its decimation at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.
Returning to Australia in 2012, Yates started collaborating with Sydney artists and has been involved in soundscape work for installation art, the Vexed Axis compilation series, remixing prominent sound artists and bands such as Heinz Riegler, Andrew Tuttle and Spirit Bunny as well as contributing beats to the Sydney Hip Hop group Crash Hot for their 2013 debut album High In The Friendly Sky and forthcoming follow up Descendent.
Rippers is an experiment in deconstructing typical hip hop, bass and electronic sounds and reassembling them in an arid, science fiction soundscape. The four tracks are dark but not without elements of humour, whether in the juxtaposition of Mortal Kombat samples over ice cold synthesizers on Faded Samurai, or in the video that accompanies the title track Rippers, featuring YZA in his white Lamborghini disrupting the radio waves emanating from Hobart’s Mt Wellington to broadcast his apocalyptic sounds to an island state all too familiar with the bleakness of winter.