slum village, gangstarr, Little Brother
Syntax - rapper, Mules - rapper / beat maker / dj
gangstarr, Little Brother, slum village
Death Starrs is a throwback to colourful video stores, puffy VHS jackets, and pays homage to cinema's greatest movie composers with slick samples, inventive pop culture infused lyrics, and a masterful overtone of well crafted production. Both artists are no strangers to the aura of success; Syntax's 2010 debut 'The Musical' was credited with a whole swag of four and five star reviews, and branded the Gold Coast turned Melbourne rapper with a positive stigma as one of Australia's most notable rap vocalists. As a music man, Mules is well versed in the trade of effortless production. As one half of the duo Choose Mics, his music has earned him production credits among Australia's most prolific artists, and critical acclaim as the producer for the international collaboration project Raw with US artist Quite Nyce. Every song on Death Stars features a prominent sample from a Hollywood film score, effortlessly looped and pushed through the Death Stars razzle dazzle filter; the ultimate synthesis of rap and nerdish fixations for the local video store.
Gold Coast, QLD
Death Starrs are Syntax and Mules, the Gold Coast/Melbourne duo who are the winners of our Hilltop Hoods remix competition. They’re also our Feature stars all this week on triple j Unearthed and digital radio.
Death Starrs is Syntax (rapper) and Mules (producer/rapper). How did the two of you start working together?
Our eyes met across the room at a crowded Kebab shop. Actually we went to school together, but we never really knew each other until years later when we were introduced by a mutual friend. We both love the same artists, my voice (Syntax) and his beats (Mules) just mesh together so well, and we both have an insatiable thirst for 80’s movies and celluloid violence. As a result, I don’t feed my pets after midnight or get them wet, just to be sure.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
It’s been such a long progression. I remember when we first started out we imitated the artists we really liked; Mules loved the Ruff Ryder’s DMX-esque sound, but I was into the West Coast Death Row Records movement. As a result our first foray into music was, interesting, to say the least. But to be honest, after a while we just got comfortable with who we are, something I think is important in the music making process. When you don’t have to wear a mask and pretend to be someone else your music is far more believable and has far more impact.
You’re the winners of our HILLTOP HOODS REMIX COMPETITION. What was the remix process like for you guys?
To be honest I started writing to a different beat entirely. We were late-comers to the competition, we heard what everyone else was dishing up and thought, “Oh hell no”. When Mules heard what I was working on he flipped the sample and made it a double time beat to match the track I was writing. To quote the greatest thinker of our age, Ace Ventura….“Like a glooooooove”. Mules was the real winner here though. He took that beat to places it never thought it would go.
Who are some lesser known producers and MCs in the Australian hip hop scene that people should be checking out?
Maundz is one of our collective favourite Australian rap dudes. The Born Fresh crew from Brisbane, Tommy Ill, Mr Hill, Seven, DJ Butcher, Prophet Rayza, plus my other musical group In Good Company. Personally my favourite artist right now is Ta-Ku, someone needs to make this dude famous.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
We’re working on a full length LP as we speak. Well, not literally as we speak, because that would be weird. Death Starrs also has some fingers in other pies, album placements etc, plus we pump out a pretty awesome live show so we’re about to see a lot of sleepless nights and hoarse throats soon enough. Good bless 3am drive through fast food.
Australian music is…?
About a 9.4 on the excitability scale at the moment. Somewhere beyond Rambo: First Blood, but just a little back from Rambo 3.View Profile Hide Interview
01 Mar 2012
Great upbeat tak...
Great upbeat take on the Hoods track. The vocal style is pretty similar to Perth MC Drapht - but that's def not a bad comparison. Good production, good flow, great work.