13 September 201213 September 2012 Culture Subversive beats Aamer Rahman Subversive Pataphysics Pataphysics album Subversive is exactly that: this record fits into many categories while bucking the trend in all of them. It is locally produced – by default, ‘Australian hip-hop’ – but without the cringe-worthy posturing and nationalism that make a lot of the genre difficult to listen to. The production, lyricism and instrumentation are completely unique. Pataphysics has recorded, produced, and mixed the entire album himself from start to finish – and the end product is brilliant. Australian hip-hop, for the most part, is an angry teenager trying to rebel against its parents. In a subculture that owes everything to American pioneers and artists, the local scene still seems to be tying itself in knots to prove how un-American it is, with limited success. In reality, the result is a lot of angry, very white, middle-class young men with microphones producing music and rap of dubious quality. It is naturally difficult to repackage black and brown music when you have spent a lifetime in white suburbia. Pataphysics deftly sidesteps these issues with a cool, focused record – comfortable with its roots and sure about its message. As the title implies, the record is unapologetically political, yet unlike any of the political hip-hop we are used to. This is not the classic lecturing of KRS-One, not Chuck D booming over the whistling production of the Bomb Squad, nor is it the newer, battle-rap onslaught of Immortal Technique. Pataphysics’ style and delivery are completely unique: a cool, contemplative conversation over jazzy and melodic backgrounds. That’s not to say that the message is toned down in any way – the issues and politics on the album are still razor-sharp and uncompromising. But this record isn’t just good rap music. Beatmakers and musicians should envy the live instrumentation used to generate the unique soundscapes behind the lyrics. The features are a mix of local and international elite: stic.man of Dead Prez (on the standout track ‘Jungle’), turntablist Rob Swift of the legendary X-Ecutioners, and Raashan Ahmad (Crown City Rockers) all provide tight collaborations that are testament to the quality and global appeal of the album. Closer to home, N’fa (1200 Techniques), the soulful Vida Sunshine, Paso Bionic (TZU) and Monkey Marc (Combat Wombat) also contribute to the recording, rounding out what seems to be Pataphysics’ dream team of collaborators. Already known for his brilliant live performances, the diversity of the features on this album further highlight Pataphysics’ versatility as an MC, producer and musician. The result is a smooth cocktail of jazz, roots, classic hip-hop and completely original sounds that are creating a brand-new space in local and global hip-hop. Pataphysics is launching Subversive tomorrow night (Friday 14 September) at Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood. $15/10 at the door. Aamer Rahman Aamer Rahman is one half of cult comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet. As well as doing stand-up comedy, he has also written for television, including for Balls of Steel Australia. In 2009 he was one of 10 writers selected to attend an exclusive scriptwriting workshop in the UK. Besides touring his standup in sold-out shows at home and overseas (most recently at Edinburgh), he has also appeared on Comedy Channel’s You Have Been Watching, and Channel 10’s Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala. He is a regular contributor to Political Asylum, Melbourne’s topical stand-up comedy night. More by Aamer Rahman Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 27 March 202328 March 2023 Culture Before ChatGPT, there was Rekognition: How Amazon’s algorithms control which books you see Claire Parnell almost fifteen years after approximately 57,000 books by and about LGBTQIA+ folks disappeared from Amazon’s search results, bestseller lists and sales ranks, the company’s algorithms are still unfairly targeting books by historically marginalised authors, including queer folks and people of colour, and controlling how readers can discover them. 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 16 March 202317 March 2023 Culture Lydia Tár is dead Fred Pryce To paraphrase a quote, I am less interested in Lydia Tár’s dreams than in the near certainty that the Társ of the real world don’t make it out of Staten Island. Art is the opposite of rent. Artists need money to live and time to create, as do audiences in order to attend.