Sunday, August 17, 2008

Liow Gigs

My man Liow has a whole bunch of gigs coming up in the coming weeks, make sure you get down there and check out some quality music. I checked out his quartet about a month ago and they were straight dope.

27 August 2008 - 8:00 PM
The Paris Cat, Melbourne CBD

1 October 2008 - 9:00 PM
Gertrudes, Fitzroy

26 October 2008 - 8:00 PM
Bar Open, Brunswick St Fitzroy

28 October 2008 - 7:30 PM
Bennett's Lane, Melbourne CBD

Check out his myspace here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Good China

These guys are fantasitc. Check out their myspace here.

Horrorshow Album Online

_I hate to be a fanboy, but sometimes I just can't help it. Sydney duo Horrorshow are releasing their debut album in a couple of days and the whole thing is available for your listening pleasure on their myspace page. I've been playing it non-stop for the past few days and I can't get enough of it. In my opinion this is one of the best hip-hop albums to come out of Australia. Great subtle production throughout, and the sort of lyrics I wish I could write myself. This is not your everyday beers bitches & barbecues Australian hip-hop. This is music with soul & intelligence. Enough said, have a listen and if you like what you hear go and buy the album next week!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Illzilla - Cut Feet

I dig this. I'd say it's one of the better Australian hip-hop videos I've seen recently. (Sort of reminds me of this.)

Link: Illzilla MySpace

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Rhymes of Vast Aire

I finally picked up Cannibal Ox's "The Cold Vein" about six months ago (too late I know). Originally I picked it up to hear some more vintage El-P production, but what really struck me was Vast Aire's rhymes. I'd heard him before on some guest spots and I'd really enjoyed his slow, lazy style, but what I heard on The Cold Vein just blew me away.

In their best moments, his lyrics are arresting and evocative. Listening to Vast came me the confidence that rap doesn't have to be ultra-rhythmically-complex to sound good and be effective.

One of my favourite Vast verses is his one on A B-Boy's Alpha. When I first heard this I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. The authenticity in his words, the sheer bluntness and honesty. It's simply astounding.


My mother said:
"You sucked my pussy when you came out
Don't ever talk back
I handed you life, and I'll snatch it back"
I'm just a latch key kid with a snotty nose
High school drop out
Space, I'm around me whiteout
And I ain't dealin with no minimum wage
I'd rather construct rhymes on a minimum page
Cynical ways, cats sin for nickels these days
Pulling the chrome out
And you actin like pullin the chrome out
Hated the sound of grandma's cryin the crooked letter
You could hear it from the ground or when the sky thunders
Made you wonder 'bout early
Sunday morning
Relatives dressed in black and they all mourning
Flows be bangin in the paint, throwin elbows
My first fight was me against five boroughs
I lost my first wish
But remembered every detail of my first kiss
That's that Bronx Tale bliss
The holiest of holies
Hip hop, it was '88
Even at the age of 10, phrases levitate
Drinkin Lil' Hug quarter waters
Dodgin stray slugs on the corner in that exact order
Why you playin, death is what happens?
I found the passion in aerosol cans and hands clappin
Backspins, microphones and cats rappin
Linoleum and up rockers, the show shockers
Who rip knee patches off of imposters
You ain't the Real McCoy, you a wind up toy
And it's gonna cost ya
And that's my B-Boy Alpha

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Free Music

Downloaded a couple of good mixes over the last couple of days. Dig it:

El-P - WeAreAllGoingToBurnInHellMegaMixx2

This is half of the limited 2CD tour only CD El-P recently released. Only listened to it once so far, but the beats are sounding dope. You have to sign up to the Def Jux website to get this one but it doesn't take long. Dig it.

Ratatat - Remixes Volume II

The raps can get a little boring on this one, but the beats are solid all the way through. If only there was more like the Beans & Despot freestyles (I never expected to have so many songs featuring T.I and Young Buck on my iTunes). But still, it's worth a download. Dig it.

I can't wait to hear the Ratatat production on the Depot album (which I can't wait for in general).

Friday, July 11, 2008

Erykah Badu - The Healer

This is dope.

Welcome to the world of lost souls... defined by Liow (otherwise known as MySpace). I've finally gotten my myspace groove on, and uploaded the newly completed "Terrorism" on there.

I have to say I hate myspace. I don't like these types of websites in general, but myspace is really terrible. So hard to use, really un-userfriendly. And I'm not just struggling with it because I can't ues a computer. I work as a web designer, so if it's hard for me then I'm really unimpressed.

But there it is. If you want people to hear your music, then you get a myspace page. Or so they say.

So, check out my page at:

At the very least you will be able to hear Terrorism at long last. (I will try and post it on here sometime soon.)

Many thanks to Liow for his extreme patience and generosity. He is a true artist, and I am very grateful for all the time and effort he has spent working on this project with me. Look out for our next collaboration "Psychotherapy" coming up soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bleach Ideas

Needs some work...

Take a bottle full of bleach
Pour some in your cup then drink it
Such a lot of fuss
For such a small amount of liquid

Vomit in disgust
But you can't erase the image
Ease your heaving gut
And taste the rush through the blisters

Take a bottle full of bleach
Pour some in your cup then drink it
Such a lot of fuss
For such a small amount of liquid

Choke down your hope
It's the end don't get it twisted
The angel or the gimmick?
A stranger to the physics

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chasm - Beyond the Beat Tape

I finally picked up Chasm's album yesterday. I've been really busy & broke lately so unfortunately I haven't been able to buy many CDs.

I've only listened to it a couple of times so far, but already I can say it's a very impressive release. Chasm has really come a long way since his Awakenings EP a few years ago. Great professional production, pretty consistent all the way through, and excellent work by the contributing MCs.

The standout track so far for me is "Vicious Circle" featuring Ivens & Muph (who sound great together, as they did on Muph & Plutonic's "What You See"). This track isn't what I expected at all. Very different from what I've heard Ivens on before, and I think he really kills it. I really hope I have the privillidge of collaborating with this dude one day down the track.

In other news, sorry for the lack of updates. I'll be laying down some vocals with Liow next week so hopefully I'll be able to share some music in the near future.

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Portishead

The new portishead is dope. I highly recommend it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Terrorism - Draft Lyrics

This is part of what I've been working on with Liow. The story here is continuing one from another song (the two songs might actually end up being combined for a short film).

Could probably use a little more tweaking, but on the whole I'm pretty happy with how it's sounding so far.

It’s like codeine, cocaine
Nosebleeds and pain pills
Slow weed brain chills
Expose the inane thrills
Blows from the cane
Chained to the train still
I’m just trying to live
Yet they call it terrorism

I’ll use my Dictaphone to spit
Take out the tape
Then I’ll hold it in my fist
While I smack you in the face
It ain’t quite exact
My facts lack some grace
But I’ll sacrifice tact
To impact with such weight

I’ll do a drive by
To avoid being pedestrian:
To never rest again
Employed but not content
Instead I take my words to the streets
Forever questioning:
So how you living friend?
Blood stains the bitchuman

I’ll break my prescription
Perceive with clarity
Visions in the mind
And bro, that’s where the battle be
But if you please
Don’t consider me a casualty
I’d rather die emphatically
Than live automatic

Set fire to the class room
Bask in harsh fumes
Scorch and ruin
The spoon with which you feed ‘em
From text books to ashes
Vexed looks from slackers
Suspect that I’m stressed
My quest: to cook fascists

I’ll read your bibles
Make reticent the preacher
Bleach through the speeches
Impeach the speaker
What of my faith?
Am I another mind slave?
When I reach for the gate
Will I quiver and quake?

I’ll be a sex slave
Escape the nine to five
Grinding daily
Just to avoid the daily grind
I lack the patience
Bondage that’s blatant
Break these fuckers off
Or suffer self-asphyxiation

It’s like codeine, cocaine
Nosebleeds and pain pills
Slow weed brain chills
Expose the inane thrills
Blows from the cane
Chained to the train still
I’m just trying to live
Yet they call it terrorism

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Atmosphere

I'm digging the sound of this track. The video is probably better not watched at work/school etc.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Machinist - Draft Lyrics

I've been working on a whole bunch of songs lately, and I've decided to share a little bit of the material as it develops.

I've got some pretty mixed feelings about this.

Most times, it takes me months to write a song. Unfortunately, I'm not blessed with the ability to sit down and write sixteen bars in an hour like some MCs. For me, going from the basic idea to a finished song is a long and grueling process. The material I finish with may bear little resemblance to the original ideas and lyrics I began with. I usually start with some really rough ideas and gradually develop them.

So, when I post draft lyrics or ideas, they are most likely going to be raw and unfinished.

It can be a bit daunting to let someone else see your work in its most raw state. But, on the other hand, reading blogs like Ivens' makes me wish I could find out more about the process other musicians and artists go through in creating their work.

So, here it is... I'm documenting my process... If you can be bothered reading this blog, I hope you find it an interesting insight into the way I create music.

Anyways, here's something I scribbled down the other day for a track I'm working on called "The Machist". All or part of this may or may not make it into the final track.

I'm the machinist
The dragon of this thunderous cavern
Of lust, smoke, and dust
I sit staunch over my mountain

Of gold and gems
Trinkets of fallen men
With withered souls
I turn riches to coal

Monday, March 31, 2008

A Pocketful of MCs

General Elektriks (RV Salters from Quannum Projects) is releasing one free track a month in anticipation of his new album "Good City For Dreamers". I posted about it on the D.I.Y blog a few days ago, and I've listened to the three available tracks a few times since then.

Overall, the quality is pretty good. If you're into General Elektriks you will probably enjoy the beats. The raps are of a great quality on their own, but they also work very well as an accompaniment to the music.

Here's a little break down of my impressions of the first three tracks

'Requiem For A Neo-Con' (Featuring Mr Lif)

Mr. Lif kills it. What more do I need to say? He sounds great over the funky Serge Gainsbourg sample.

'Death Of An 80s Limo' (Featuring Beans)

Beans' off kilter rhythms and rhyme schemes fit perfectly with the beat on "Death of an 80s Limo". Whats more, Beans uses the title of the original track ("The Chauffer" by Duran Duran) as inspiration for the narrative of his rap. Really quality stuff. I haven't heard a lot of Beans but I'm very interested to check out more of his stuff. RV also provides some very nice moody synth work, particularly at the end of the track. This isn't necessarily a track to groove to, but it's definately an interesting listen.

"Coming Up For Air" (featuring Lateef The Truthspeaker)

It actually took me a few years to really appreciate just how good an MC Lateef is. It wasn't that he started out whack and then drastically improved, or anything like that. Rather, back when I first heard him, my understanding of the technical and musical sides of MCing just wasn't developed enough to see just how skilled he really was.

Lateef is a beast on the mic, and this track serves as a great example of the musical dexterity he has. The first section of the song features him (sort of) singing and his delivery suits the music perfectly. An excellent performance that is very appropriate to the atmosphere of the beat.

So whether or not you like the GE production, all three MCs deliver some quality material!

Check it out at the GE website. Free tracks are good tracks! (Click on the "GE tracks for free" link at the top of the news page.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Liow Collaboration

From the D.I.Y Art blog:

Today Chris hit up the (makeshift) studio with jazz pianist/producer Nathan Liow and trumpeter Oscar O'Bryan. Nathan and Oscar laid down some great jazz improv for an experimental film / music video that D.I.Y Art Films is set to release in the second half of the year.

Nathan Liow is in his final year at the VCE school of jazz and has performed in clubs around Melbourne. In addition to his work as a jazz performer, Nathan also works as an electronic producer and has gained a great deal of success and recognition over the last few years. Most recently he won the Triple J Bloc Party remix competition. (Check him out on myspace, and on the Triple J unearthed site.)

Nathan rockin out

Long-time D.I.Y Art collaborator, Oscar O'Bryan, has performed extensively around Melbourne as both a trumpeter and DJ. He has played in venues including the Hi-Fi Bar, the Corner Hotel, Manchester Ln, and the Crown Palladium. He is one sixth of the funk/fusion outfit King Armadillo and also performs in various jazz outfits. (Check out the King Armadillo website, designed by D.I.Y Art’s Chris.)

Oscar doing some pro toolin'

Today’s session took place in the music centre of Melbourne High School (Oscar & Chris’ old school). D.I.Y Art associate, and King Armadillo keyboardist, Peter Dumsday did us a big favour and hooked us up with some free space. As you can see it wasn’t quite a professional studio, but it was perfect for what we needed.

The studio setup

D.I.Y Art associate Peter Dumsday

Nathan & Oscar doing some quality sound proofing, D.I.Y style…

The finished product

At this stage the project’s official name is still undecided so for now we’re calling it “Robots” (which will definitely not be the final release name!). The score features three different parts - including jazz, hip-hop, and electronic influences. Each section of the score will be accompanied by a different style of animation. At this stage the visuals are set to include painted animation, animation based on a photomontage environment, and silhouette animation. Chris & Nathan have already been collaborating for a few months, and have made good progress with the second and third sections of the score.

Recordings from today’s session will be used for the first section of the score/film. The accompanying animation is set to look a bit like this:

More pics:

Chris trying to get pro tools working and Nathan having a rest. Yeah, we were all pretty tired.

Oscar amused himself between takes by taking photos like these.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Welcome to my blog. Check back for updates on the new material I'm working on.

Here's my bio (self-indulgent?):

Gaijin is an MC and producer based in Melbourne, Australia. His lyrics feature an emphasis on structure, storytelling & imagery. Major influences include El-P, Aesop Rock, Atmosphere, Talib Kweli, Common, Gil Scott-Heron, Raymond Carver, Ernest Hemingway, Awakenings Crew, & Mantra.

Inspired by artists like Blackalicious, Jurassic 5, & The Hiero Crew, Chris Pahlow started rapping in late high school. His first public performance was at a school social in 2003. His mic was cut off only a few minutes into his performance after bottles and glow sticks were thrown at him and his beatbox accompaniment.

In 2004 Chris began performing with Melbourne funk band, King Armadillo. He guested with the band until early 2006, using the name “EOC”, and later “Axis”. Chris added vocal elements to jazz and funk classics like Footprints (Wayne Shorter), Well You Needn’t (Thelonius Monk), & Pick Up The Pieces (Average White Band), and performed in a variety of Melbourne venues including The Hi-Fi Bar, Corner Hotel, Crown Palladium, Kitten Club, & The Purple Emerald.

During the same period, Chris was a regular at Elf Tranzporter’s weekly open-mic night at Babel on Brunswick St (previously The Original Cape Lounge). In these sessions, Chris honed his skills, learning from Elf and the other MCs taking up the mic.

Inspired both by freestyle legends like Supernat, and jazz improvisation, Chris focused on freestyle MCing for the majority of his early career. He frequently traded fours with the members of King Armadillo and other MCs. He also brought a new degree of audience interaction to King A performances, often rapping about topics, words and objects selected by audience members.

In early 2006 Chris began collaborating with what would later become the Nat Bartsch Trio. Chris began working on written material while Nat Bartsch, Josh Holt & Jeremy Hopkins crafted dark, jazz-influenced beats.

Unfortunately, the band was short lived. In March 2006 Chris contracted glandular fever, preventing him from performing and working on new material. Soon after, he decided to quit MCing. He stopped writing, freestyling, and recording. He has not performed since.

Later that year, Chris shifted his artistic focus from music to filmmaking. He combined with filmmakers Steph Brotchie & Maia Tarrel to form the production house D.I.Y Art Films. Together they produced the animated short “Fraught”, which won Best Australian Film at the 2007 Melbourne Inernational Animation Festival and has been shown at festivals around the world. At the same time, Chris continued his studies in creative writing, visual media, & philosophy.

In early 2008 Chris began working on new material using the name “Gaijin”. He is currently collaborating with award winning producer, Liow, and looks forward to working again with old friends. He hopes to return to performing in the second half of 2008.