Dialectrix has watched his profile in Oz hip hop grow steadily over the last five years, and the release of his third album The Cold Light Of Day proves he’s one of the scene’s true stars.
“The response has been much greater than I expected,” says the Blue Mountains MC, whose new record arrived late last month. “As usual I get nervous about how a release will be taken by the public, mainly because this album has by far been the most eclectic sounding, and in some ways pushed out of what I think people expected.”
The album reflects a particularly dark period in the MC’s life – in many ways, The Cold Light Of Day represents a cathartic experience, an opportunity to work through and reassess certain major milestones.
“I was mourning the loss of loved ones, while being over-worked and being flooded with stress, and learning to raise a child,” he says. “It was a chaotic time, and I see it far more clearly now than back then.”
In retrospect, though the times were rough, they proved inspiring, and the album encapsulates his response to those tough life experiences.
The Cold Light Of Day fuses beats and warm organic instrumentation, a sound that Dialectrix honed with the help of producer Plutonic. “Plutonic has been my favourite producer since I was young,” he says of the collaboration. “I was honoured to have the chance firstly to know him, and then to work with him. We’re close mates and we share very similar ideals about music. I could choose other producers but working with Plutonic has helped my sound become unique.”
Of all the tracks on The Cold Light Of Day, ‘Fire In The Blood’ is perhaps the most personal for Dialectrix, a product of the dark times he mentioned. The song is particularly candid in the way it deals with his family relationships.
“I was analysing whether I was continuing my family history of violence and alcohol abuse and passing it onto my son,” he says. “The song is about not being happy about the person I was becoming, and feeling like trying to exist in a way that challenges the norm is futile and rage-inducing, and is aiding the aforementioned. I was in a life rut and this track is an accurate snap shot of that time.”
It seems to me that Dialectrix is unafraid to get political in his lyrics – ‘What Is The World Coming To?’ from his Satellite EP being just one example – but when I put this to him, he disputes it.
“I really don’t like to think that my lyrics are political,” he says, “simply because I know bugger all about the finer points of politics. I am however heavily opinionated, and consider my content socially aware. My songs are like social critiques put forth with the knowledge that these critiques won’t change the situations I’m talking about.
“If I was politically-minded and genuinely cared about those things I wouldn’t make music, I would study and try to get into parliament to make an actual difference in the world,” he continues. “I think there’s a certain smugness that comes from musicians who claim to make political music with this notion that they’re making a difference. That’s not me, I just tell it as I see it and hope it has some people relating to certain life issues.”
BY ALASDAIR DUNCAN
Dialectrix plays Come Together at the Big Top, Luna Park on Saturday June 8.