"Vertical Ascension into the Clouds, Horizontal Journey Across the Sky..."

Raceless is a costume clad space traveler, coming straight outta Sunshine. He crosses continents and cultures in pursuit of understanding and harmony. He comes in peace to talk about felafel rappers and space music.

Former homeboy, Raceless, still slings to his roots by wearing Snoop Dogg pants, but I don't think he's serious. He's not rocking the gold chains or any other bling bloody bling shit, nor is he wearing mink. Not that it matters as Raceless is the master of disguise, in both clothing and vocal styling. I guess you could say that Curse ov Dialect are a little different to what you may expect from hip hop.

For the unenlightened, Curse ov Dialect are an ethnically diverse Aussie hip hop experience. Their membership numbers are hitting the thousands, but on stage, you usually see five guys, microphones, turntables and a whole lot of bizarre equipment. "We're just a bunch of kids who rolled into hip hop together."

Oh, yeah and then there's the costumes and the theatrics, the "sampling from other cultures", as Raceless calls it. And the sound is, um, well, it bounces around and floats like a honey-drunk bumblebee.

Some may say that Curse ov Dialect make Space Rap - a term initially coined by Doctor Octagon. "It's anything that is weird/progressive/intellectual/abstract," offers Raceless. "Not straight down the line; more reflective, devoid of ego." Others may say they are 'felafel rappers'. This doesn't refer to their day jobs, this is a slightly derogatory reference to avant rap or hippie hop. From what I gather, the mortal enemy of the felafel rapper is the kebab rapper, someone spouting 'barbecue raps', an ocker bloke making sexist jokes. Aussie felafel rappers include; The Herd (new album, excellent), TZU (also have a release, just saw it at Northside) and Aussie Battler - legendary for his battle rhymes.

Curse ov Dialect are currently promoting their release, 'Lost in the Real Sky', which was recorded and constructed during 2001-2002, mostly in a bedroom using a relatively simple but effective program called Fruity Loops. The cd is released on Mush Records, a US label well known for promoting unique sounds. Most musicians (and other artists) struggle for years before getting any overseas recognition. I ponder the secret of their success. "We sent them the demo and they wanted to release itÉafter emailing them a lot," reveals Raceless. 'More people should aim high. Use your knowledge of already existing stuff and then push the Australian uniqueness overseas." Well, if it worked for Nicole Kidman, it can work for Aussie hip hop. Hopefully Raceless won't have to marry Tom Cruise to ensure further success.


Nicola : If aliens landed here, how do you think Australians would treat them?

Raceless: Put 'em on boats and send them back to their own country or alternatively they would make sure they assimilate so every trace of their alien heritage can be erased.

Why would they want to come here?

'Cos there are many positives in a country where so many cultures and subcultures co-exist so it would be very interesting experience to solidify all these ideas into one.

Would Philip Ruddock be nice to them?

On the surface he'd be fine but underground he would be calling them 'green bastards that are altering the colour of our racial make up'.

Do you think that your music speaks to people from other cultures or just those in hip hop culture?

I think our music appeals to everyone from hip hop heads to indie rock kids to goths to old men in garbage bags to young men in suits.

What about other planets?

No. It has a real earthly vibe about it but alternatively it could sound like what mars music would sound like.

Curse ov Dialect are pretty popular in Melbourne. Are you popular anywhere else i.e. interstate, overseas, intergalactically?

I think people like us in Sydney, we're just breaking through to the rest of the states. I think New York is feeling us right now. That was a really hip hop thing to say wasn't it?

Your new album has a lot of stuff going on at once, sounds, beats, words, chants. Does the recorded evidence reflect the live experience?

The cd is much more clear and precise 'cos the lyrics are in the book and you can hear the words properly. The live show features us running around acting crazy which is seen as a very non-hip hop thing to do.

Can you recommend a good method of space travel?

Meditation to escape the world that we live in. That's a cheap way to do it without cash. Not with drugs, though!

It has been rumoured that there are hundreds, if not thousands of members in Curse ov Dialect. Can you confirm this?

There is the Curse ov Dialect, which is 5 members, then there is the shelter for Curse ov Dialect friends who feel they want to jump up on stage now and then.

Where do they live?

They live everywhere and nowhere.

Are looking for any new members and how can we join?

We are looking for people who see things the way we do so we can talk to them and have good conversations. But anyone can join by having a mentality that is open minded to culture and sub culture alike.

Name your top 3 alien/space tv shows from your childhood.

Tomorrow People

Star Wars

Worzel Gummidge (space scarecrow)

Is 'Fear of a Black Planet' a good album?

One of my favourite albums ever.

What do you think of people who try and out-old skool each other...?

I'll tell them that I am so old skool that I have been bombing trains and doing graffiti since I was inside my mother, using the umbilical cord as a spray can.

Is there anything else you would like to add? If so put it down hereÉ

Next time you walk out your door with you Snoop Doggy Dogg pants on make sure you take your gothic friend to an avant garde gallery before you go to the Greek dinner dance.


Mush Records