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DJ Peril interview: Last of the B-boy's

Author: Erica Dobson
Thursday, August 17, 2006
If DJ Peril was required to officially apply for the status of 'Australian Hip Hop icon' it would make for very interesting and varied reading. BBoy graffiti artist, radio presenter, ARIA award-winning band member (1200 Techniques), promoter, respected record label head honcho (Street Elite Records), MC, solo producer and talented turntablist are just some of the roles he has played since his invovement in the hip hop scene began in 1983. Of course, Peril's iconic status is already assured due both to his own achievements and the guidance, inspiration and/or influence he's had on an entire generation of Australian Hip Hop artists. On the eve of an Australian tour promoting his debut album, 'King of the Beats', TranZFusion caught up with the passionate Peril.

Considering you've been part of the hip hop scene for over two decades, why is it only now that you've decided to put out your debut album-
Well I was always part of a team, in a band, and I was happy being a team player while being the producer and the dj in the background. I think that it's not just a compilation album I've put out. It's actually an original, solo album with collaborations from a lot of different people, mostly Australian and a few from overseas.

I've also stepped up as an artist, on my own album. I suppose that's what's changed a lot, and that takes time. It takes a lot of balls. I've had to step up to the plate and go from the back, to the middle, to the front. That's a progression that takes time, and its just starting to happen for me now, I'm just starting to feel comfortable in my shoes. I never wanted to be the star of the show. It sort of worked out that way because I had to step up. Because I had no choice. It was just part of the show. I was doing it live that way and I'm just starting to feel comfortable.

Talk us through the recording of 'King of the Beats'. What were some highlights-
It was fun. Always fun. Getting a phone call from Rahsaan Patterson one Sunday afternoon, and having him sound like a beat off my MPC drum machine and just going for it; four hours later coming up with Rock Ya Baby. Things like that were magic. And it was just as fun working with Daniel Merriweather and my boys Suburban Intellect as well as everybody else on the album. The whole album was the highlight. Some songs worked out a little easier than others, but I enjoyed them all equally. I was working for almost two years on the album.

It has a very eclectic sound. What sort of vibe were you going for when you put it together-
Yep, that's my sound. I am getting the same sort of comments about 'King of the Beats' that I used to get when people interviewed me about 1200 Techniques. I used to produce all their stuff. The eclectic side hasn't changed. What has changed is that I'm solo, and I get to pick and choose who I want to work with. I suppose also, I stepped up on a couple of tracks and did a bit more rapping and a little bit of singing, of course my cutting and scratching, and a bit of live drum playing.

I've mixed it up a bit more this time but while it's eclectic I feel it has a better sense of direction then things I've been part of in the past. Rather then every song being four different styles rolled into one like on the 1200 Techniques albums, it's more four or five different styles into the entire album. 1200 fans will sink their teeth into this project also. They will find something they can really relate to on this album.

As you mentioned, the album features a lot of collaborations with some of Australia's top hip hop artists. Did you have a favourite artist to work with-
I really enjoyed working with my boys, Suburban Intellect, Nate B and Surreal. It's their first big recording project, and they came through with flying colours. They really stepped up to the plate and took control of their destiny. Working with N'fa was good, because he's a pro. I got to work with Daz from W.A.'s Downsyde.<