( AUSTRALIA / UK )
Bullets Over Babylon, Soom T & Monkey Marc (Renegade Masters 2015).
Lizard's Revenge protests against Roxby Downs uranium mine, 2013.
Monkey Marc is a producer’s producer; staunchly independent and probably Australian electronic music’s best-kept secret. His music channels the spirit of punk, original dubstep, Public Enemy, modern beats and electronic culture, and the heaviest of Jamaican riddims all at once. - VICE, 2015.
Classified as digital reggae, Soom T & Monkey Marc’s collaborative Bullets Over Babylon is much more apocalyptic bass manifesto than celebratory ragga dancehall. Soom T nods to plenty yet has a voice all her own; Monkey Marc nods to plenty yet crafts beats all his own. Both partners bring swagger and style to sustain such an ambitious dystopian statement. - NiceUp, 2015.
Bullets over Babylon sneaks up on you and demands a few listens before it can be fully appreciated. It’s refreshingly original and will keep your head nodding and thinking for almost an hour. - Reggaemani, 2015.
La première écoute est déconcertante, riche, et émouvante à la fois ... Un vrai album : travaillé, riche, influencé mais avec son identité. (The first listen is in turn disconcerting, rich and moving ... A true album: well-produced, rich, with a lot of influences but its own identity.) - TheWebTape, 2015.
( Combat Wombat and Lab Rats )
Growing up in the years of Howard liberal government in power, Combat Wombat were the antidote, and arguably the myriad artists and activists they connected with their music encapsulated a whole protest movement.
- Moses Iten on musical influences, Cyclic Defrost, 2013.
Spurred by ecological imperatives and responding to the plight of Indigenous custodians, “Monkey” Marc Peckham co-founded alternative energy and multimedia sound system Labrats. The Labrats intervention possessed the hallmarks of the directed anger and productive independence characteristic of post-punk anarchism. Yet, here, the motivation was less class war than ecology and justice for Aboriginal people.
With a solar powered PA and a wind-powered cinema hauled by a van with an engine converted to run on vegetable oil, Labrats were an innovative sound system presence. Adopting a direct dance-activism and jacking into sustainable power sources, they would constitute the soundest system yet seen... The solar powered sound system pulled "the party scene back to its roots as a revolutionary force of beats and breaks, bleeps and squeaks in the face of an authority that is destroying our environment and the people that depend on it for their survival".
- Graham St John, Making a Noise – Making a Difference: Techno-Punk and Terra-ism in Dancecult Vol 1, No 2 (2010) (download pdf here).
The chapter explores the initiatives of tactical dance formations promoting indigenous justice and ecological causes within the context of national efforts to achieve reconciliation in Australia, including the Australian sound initiatives the Labrats. ... In the late 1990s, sounding out the growing desire for post-settler legitimacy, responding to a "calling" to country, these new sonic mobs were gravity machines for the critical ecological, and revisionist sensitivities prevailing within an alternative youth population.
- Chapter Seven: Outback Vibes: Dancing up Country, Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures. 2009. London: Equinox.
Local Noise met with Combat Wombat producer and Lab Rats member Monkey Marc after he had finished running a workshop on altering engines from petrol to vegetable oil at TINA (This is Not Art) festival in Newcastle 2005. Marc spoke about the beginnings of Lab Rats at the Jabiluka protests in 1998, ... a traveling sound system that went to the front of protests and blockades, running huge parties with solar- and wind-powered sound system and cinema. ... Marc spoke about the idea of cultural preservation and continuation of Indigenous languages, recording songs all across the desert and the issues of mimicking American hip-hop. Marc also talked about the recently released album Unsound $ystem, hip-hop as a form ripe for political expression and being written off as a left-wing extremist hip-hop group by the hip-hop ‘mainstream’.
Solar Studio at night, Melbourne, Australia, 2015. Photo: Francesco Vicenzi. Download here.
Adrians Wall, Monkey Marc, Rogue Magnetic and YT, Gorilla Solar Studio, Melbourne, Australia, 2015. Photo: Francesco Vicenzi. Download here.
Solar and wind-powered trailer. Photo: Francesco Vicenzi. Download here.