Thursday, January 31, 2013

Quick, reverse the polarity in the defibrillator!

Me: Kathy, the engine is overheating, the breaks won't work, we're spinning out of control and heading straight for the river!
Kathy: oh and also we just ran out of vodka...
Me: If we don't make it back to the Hordern Pavilion in time Hillary Duff will take the stage and ruin hip hop forever. We have to get back and stop her!
Kathy: what the fuck?
Me: I know it's crazy.
Kathy: If only we had a way out of this mess that was simple yet sounded scientific enough that no one would question our authority on it.
Together: Reverse the polarity!!
(Far away shot of a car exploding as it spins off a bridge. Two girls walk slowly towards the camera wearing blue sparkly spandex [superhero outfits] while fireworks go off behind them as the car hits the river. The taller one sips from a bottle.)
cue music: “Slider”
Me: well I didn't know that would happen. Good thing for those eject buttons.
Kathy: Good thing for more vodka
Together: Cheers!
Kathy: now what?
Me: train?  

Reverse Polarities: shaking up our ear holes and turning nonsense into magic since 2005
Also, making train rides less boring.

Although the name may make it sound like a bunch of scientific mumbo jumbo, what Reverse Polarities actually says is a lot more real than 99.99% of anything you've ever heard on the radio. Their philosophy is simple, do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Flip the game over on it's head and just deliver the raw truth. They want to uncover the political issues, give the facts, and focus on life as they know it here in Australia. In essence just make their mark by challenging everyone and changing how they think.

Mute and Mikoen at Oxford Arts Factory
You could say that Reverse Polarities as a hip hop group, grew out of the western suburbs of Sydney. It started off simply as couple of guys getting together for drinks, who recorded poetry onto tape using half a headphone as a mic. Back in the early 90's decent recording equipment was scarce, at least for a group of youngsters. Rappers, Mikoen and Mute MC, who met at school way the hell out in the middle of no where (ie western suburbs of Sydney) may have originally worked on raps together out of boredom back in their school days, but the work that they put into it back then has really paid off.

The two of them didn't officially form the group until much later, choosing to work on several other hip hop related projects. It wasn't until Mute moved to Newtown in 2005 that things started to kick into gear for RP. Mute met beat maker Kit Complete and the two became inseparable, working with another friend Ludz on beats and rhymes, building their skills. Their youngest member, Psmurf was still finishing school at the time they had their first official gig at the Cat and Fiddle, which packed out the place. Hip hop in Australia was only just starting to get some credibility at that time thanks to groups like Hilltop Hoods, Muph and Plutonic, and Bliss n Eso. Reverse Polarities was proud to represent where they were from with all they had, focusing on issues relative to life in Australia, rather than trying to mimic American emcees.

Although the group has juggled around and swapped members in and out since it's inception, it is known now for its four permanent members: Mute MC, Mikoen, and Psmurf as rappers and Kit Complete on the beats. They rep the inner west and the western suburbs of Sydney and have been active in one form or another since 2005, minus a two year hiatus between 2009 and 2011.

Watching Reverse Polarities perform now, it's obvious that they all really respect and appreciate each other. And although your attention might first be drawn to the barefoot one bouncing around with the expressive face, you will soon see that there is no front-man to this group. Each member equally takes his turn in the spot light. They are all supportive of each other without the pretension of having to “be something” or project a certain image. I feel like when I see an RP set it's four artists coming together and just relaxing into themselves and letting each other do their own thing but with the backing that they need to help one another other shine. Everyone takes their turn in the spot light, they cover each other's mistakes and play to each other's strengths.

So where does Reverse Polarities end and Daily Meds begin? The whole thing can be a bit of head spin to figure out. Some members are shared between groups, and of course other members make “guest” appearances on each other's tracks. The beats and production are done differently in the two, with Roleo in Daily Meds and Kit Complete on Reverse Polarities. Daily Meds came into being at the time when RP was on hiatus.

Since they share members anyway, a Reverse Polarities and Daily Meds supergroup sounds like a terrific idea, but the reality of it is there are so many different projects going on simultaneously, it would be hard to coordinate, although they always have and will continue to swap members around like spit at a make out party... that's fam right there.


The way I look at it is Reverse Polarities gave them a taste, let them find the way onto the scene, and helped them define and develop who they are as artists, so that then when Daily Meds came along, they weren't starting from scratch anymore. They had a recipe that worked and this time there wouldn't be any burnt batches of brownies. Daily Meds was serious business and they have exploded onto the scene in the last few years and become a raging success with fans all over the country. RP now has taken a back step to this, but with the group back together and going strong again, what I see it as, is an outlet for the boys to relax again. They don't have to prove anything to anyone, and they are humbled by being reminded of where they have come from. It's a treat for old and new fans alike to see the comfortableness and refreshing attitude that comes out of a Reverse Polarities show. And this is no soft la-de-da party music either, it's in your face and tackling political issues head on, something that this scene needs desperately.
Drank, dance, rap...

It will be a busy year for RP as a group as well as all the members individually. You can look forward to an official Reverse Polarities album this year released through Big Village. Also Psmurf will be dropping his solo release VERY soon. Mick's mixtape will be out to offend young and old come April. Mute is working on a little something special with Daily Meds DJ, Roleo. But that's not all, he's also got a project called Mute Oblivion with a release in the near future. Kit Complete won't be outdone either, with his second solo release coming out this year as well.

Despite so many other projects happening, the RP group is back in full force. Their latest video project, “Invasion Day,” released in time for Australia Day this year perfectly demonstrates the hard political stance on an issue that's still very sensitive in Australian society. And true to their name they will flip the situation on its head. They won't just give you the watered down version of events, they aren't just some white kids from the suburbs rapping about how they hate their parents. They will serve you up the real issues in a way that won't be ignored, and you can make up your own mind but at least the facts are all there to be digested.
Check out the clip below:

“Reverse Polarities, you wouldn't want to challenge these emcee's mentalities...”

Peace out people, stay cool.