Producers and beat lovers alike would be aware of the increasing popularity of beat maker battles in Australia over the last few years. 2013 marked the inaugural Australian Beatmaker Invitational, and it proved to be a huge success with guest judge American hip hop producer Kev Brown accompanied by Australian heavy weights Katalyst and Chasm. Inspired by the display of last year’s talent, the Australian Beatmaker Invitational is now bigger and better, with heats held in most Australian capitals and also in New Zealand.
Despite the wealth of producer talent here in Western Australia, Perth was originally not included in the invitational. However thanks to the handiwork of some – namely Mr Rob Shaker – Perth was added to the bill last minute.
The Rosemount Hotel was Perth’s choice of battleground and proved to be the perfect setting for what was an interesting Sunday evening. All around the Rosemount producers carrying equipment larger than themselves could be seen, either mingling in the mist from the overhead sprinklers at the beer garden or getting a feel for the atmosphere at the main stage.
Entering at around 6pm, local rapper, genius with words & the night’s host, Adam Crook, introduced the judges: Rae (Speekeasy/ Beat Down/ Beat Lounge), Rob Shaker (Shake Down Studio / Winner of Beat Down 5 2012) and Zeke (Qbert Skratch University Valedictorian 2008 / Former Australian DMC Champion / Lab Six). These guys had it tough; sorting through the amazing talent would not be an easy feat. The artists present included Creed Birch, Dazastah, Rubba Band Beatmakers, Paulie P, Mat Rafle, Demilo, Walla C, Kritical and Phries.
Adding to the achievement of winning such a competition, the producers were also competing for a prize pack that consisted of an Akai Pro MPC Studio and MPC Renaissance T-Shirt, Crooks & Castles clothing pack, a pair of Feit Shoes, Monster Black N-Pulse headphones and a year’s subscription to Acclaim Magazine.
Three minutes to qualify didn’t leave much time for the producers to take control of the floor, but the group that night made it seem easy. It was obvious why each participant deserved to be there. Despite the short time given, each producer displayed diverse styles and sounds.
Paulie P’s Asian influences and boom bap was a hit among the crowd. Mat Rafle was on some alien-horror movie tip, playing with bass levels throughout his set. Phries had the 70’s mash-on lock with an array of James Brown samples adding to his funk. Dazastah was his usual self; with his ability to change tempo’s and style, he could appeal to all of our ears. Walla C was one of the most passionate on the night, getting down to his LA-inspired synths and rapid BPM’s. Creed Birch donned his moustache well, and the explosiveness of his beats was only met by his dancing … obviously a crowd favourite. Demilo got onto that world music vibe as well as a soulful use of what sounded like Sadé samples. And finally, Rami Barz of Rubba Band Beatmakers came with the intensity and explosiveness that generally propels him to the finals at major competitions.
Eventually, the semi-finals came down to Creed Birch vs. Rubba Band Beatmakers. The intensity could be felt in the room, especially from the judges that were in deadlock deciding who would be the deserving winner. Having to go into overtime, the night resembled a classic moment of sporting history. After an extra 15 minutes, they finally got to the decision that would see Dazastah and Creed Birch fight for the title.
There may have well as been pyrotechnics with the energy being displayed on the stage, it was such a close competition. The title went to Creed Birch who had all realms of beat making and entertaining down pat. He’ll represent our state well at the Australian Beatmaker Invitational later this year.
For host Adam Crook the event was like shopping at a beat market, stressing that “there’s so much talent in Perth and it’s growing”. This new talent was just as enjoyable as the well-knowns that frequent such events, and the competition will surely form into extra motivation for those who take their music seriously.
Shout out to Rob Shaker and the Rosemount Hotel, the night was a successful mix of good music, hustle and talent and next year’s should be even bigger.
By Matt Geagea