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  • 28Nov

    DEF FROM BELOW – Madlib Medicine Show – Sydney, Australia – The Metro Theatre – 10/26/12

    Andy Brewer is a hip-hop fanatic from Melbourne, Australia. Thus, he is def from below.

    Arriving just in time for Egon felt a little apt. Just down the street at Good God where we pre-matched there was a guy playing mad sixties anglo-psychedelia, a tribute to the variety of Sydenay (sic) on a Friday night. However, at Good God, and at the Metro during Egon, the crowd were so intent on jabber and seemed thoroughly anti his funky Hammond numbers, crazy salsa and Brazilian lunacy, and generally dance-able musicology being presented that it was slightly offensive. At least in Good God they were only paying for booze and there for company. People had paid for Egon. Did they know what they were coming to? Ironically I hadn’t listened to him as my show research only stretched as far as Madlib mixtape material – which involved near seven hours of material just from the Medicine Show series – incidentally, not even half of the material released. But enough for a couple weeks. I was dancing every which way in every which place that I could. We had come to fucking dance, had a suitcase packed full o’ boogie. And to Egon, dance we did. We just had to tune out the constant chattering drone.

    Unfortunately I’m not a beat encyclopaedia. I realised this mishap very shortly after J Rocc started. I think a lot of Egon’s set consisted of fairly anonymous artists who could be quite interchangeable with many others. J Rocc had the drop on some very unique and individual records. Starting by rockin’ some David Axelrod like stuff early on, before leading into BDP – the “wa da da dang” of 9mm Goes Bang. By the time the needle fell on Black Star jammed up against Woo Ha we really did feel that we were “ruling hip hop” (Definition by Black Star). This was something I hadn’t expected, we were seeing a real hip hop DJ and they were rolling just a little old school. He was even throwing in some trickery, some behind the back moments and the like, but we were so busy with hands in air that I expect we missed most. While waving em around like we just don’t care came the high point of the show, a far better tribute to Dilla than the traditional stop the show moment – J Rocc simply dropped The Healer / Hip Hop by Badu: “This one is for Dilla – hip hop” provoked cheers and suddenly you realised the inattentives had shut the hell up. This break with the cliched tributes was part of a sequence that included Snoop, a trip back to my teens when I busted my Paw’s stereo with Find A Way (Tribe), MJ, and the crowd burst into ecstasy when the beat

    droooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooopped

    for Intergalactic and things were gaining a definite Avalanches’ style vibe. The Beasties actually grabbed a deserved rewind and by the time J Rocc wound down the tempo with records like the seminal Stem (DJ Shadow) we had experienced something real, and I don’t think anyone was prepared at 2am for the mellow snoozeberry that Madlib thought he could dunk on us. We had boogied our way into oblivion, and there was no way we could make it past the hazy beatophile ambience that was suddenly thrust upon us. I had felt sure he was going somewhere, but you have to draw the line somewhere. After a half hour of really snoring numbers and some extravagantly lazy DJing (many would be more imaginative with the EQ knobs on their first turntable lesson) we stepped out into the balmy Sydney evening noting that if J Rocc hits town again, we would know where to find the party. I did try to get some tickets for the Melbourne show so I could attempt to forage through Madlib’s entire set and work out if it was wheat or chaff, but I missed out – perhaps I will never know. But what we saw was arrogant and lazy.

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