CROSS CULTURAL CURSE
MELBOURNE SUBURBAN EXTREME HIP-HOP TERROR CREW CURSE OV DIALECT ARE BEYOND ADDIDAS.
"I wear the outfit of a 16th century Maltese duke," explains Curse ov Dialect MC, Raceless, when attempting to explain the completely off-the-wall cultural diversity happening within the ranks of this very bizarre Melbourne crew. "Every single member of the band is completely different to the next," he says. "August is all about jingles, Vulk Makedonski is right into the political stuff, Paso Bionic is our DJ and he brings extra phat beats, while Atarungi is a completely different story. He doesn't care for cultural identity, he's more into spirituality, into challenging perception, into not even being here."
Curse ov Dialect is an insane mixture of Maltese, Australian, Macedonian, Maori and Pakistani guys who share the desire to present their views on the world and politics, and to present these views in a musical style that combines the new with the old. It all adds up to an eclectic, energetic album and confronting, unrivalled live show.
They got together in Melbourne in 1994 and with the recent release of their fifth album, 'Lost in the Real Sky'; the band has cemented their position as cross-cultural forerunners in Australian hip-hop.
Raceless explains that they are as hip-hop as any of the fashionable [mainly American] poseurs that try to adopt the street-cred that comes with the label 'hip-hop'.
"People say wearing a traditional Macedonian outfit onstage isn't hip-hop, to me it's the most hip-hop you can possibly be. To wear the traditional costume is so hip-hop it's fucking beyond Adidas, because it's representing who you are to the absolute fullest, not promoting some corporate logo."
With their debut album (Lost in the Real Sky), Curse ov Dialect have created one wild landscape punctuated by dramatic beats and classical samples, a landscape in which political, poetic raps coexist alongside melodic versus spoken in various thick accents.
"As well as Public Enemy being a big influence, the Dead Kennedy's and Crass are too. It might seem like punk politics, but really we got that from hip-hop sources. The thing is, being into hip-hop means you've gotta be open minded to all forms of music otherwise you won't grow, how can you?"
So the band uses every and any form of musical inspiration they come across, from traditional world music to contemporary hip-hand they regularly take themselves to various ethnic communities around Melbourne in their search for the newest, most unusual sounds and subjects.
"Our aims are two-fold and they almost contradict each other," admit Raceless happily. "We want to actually push you out of this world, take you to another planet, but at the same time we want to keep you grounded so that you know what's really going on."
What began as a group to combat small-scale racism has evolved into a full force effort to provide an entertaining and thought-provoking forum for the band and it's audience.
"I want to broaden people's minds with culture and diversity. If people hear that message then that's the most important thing."