Started in Year
“1992 saw the vinyl release of one of Sydney`s most hardcore truestyle B-Boy crew DEF WISH CAST and their “Mad As A Hatter” EP. Consisting of four songs and of course a graff cover, this cemented their cult status to wax forever. They then became the only Australian underground act to tour all across Australia without the aid of anybody but themselves. Then they released a 3-track tape, which then turned up on their explosive album and medieval inspired “Knights of the Underground Table”. Unfortunately it came out on CD and cassette only. Much to the dismay of the European audience who heard them via Norwegian Hip Hop DJ and magazine publishing freak (Fatcap), Tommy Tee. He became an ardent fan and played their music on his radio show which was broadcast into several northern European countries. The Germans also went apeshit over them and they sold a few hundred copies there as well. They also managed to make a videoclip for the anthemic track “A.U.S.T.” which mangaged to get played on a few nationally broadcast music video shows. They have now changed their style from a somewhat British style to a more East coast flavour. Currently without a label they are working on new material for release next year.” – http://www.bombhiphop.com/kangasty.htm
As Sydney-based editor of hip-hop fanzine Stealth , hip-hop promoter and 2SER radio DJ Mark Pollard Pollard notes ‘[Sound Unlimited] were mocked to
some degree by the more underground crews’. Pollard regards Def Wish Cast, on the other hand, as ‘the quintessential Sydney hip-hop crew … few crews have been as well-rounded and have made such a large impact … Knights of the Underground Table became a manual for Australian hip-hop. … The clip for ‘A.U.S.T.’ gave a face to Australian hip-hop and was pivotal in shaping generations to come’ (2002: 124). Underground status here becomes equated with authenticity and establishing an historical precedent for a national formation. -Tony Mitchell
Since the initial days when hip hop culture first arrived in Australia, there are many who’ve become obsessed with the traditional four elements; B-boying, Emceeing, Deejaying and Graffiti. Def Wish Cast epitomise the whole package, with extreme dedication to the many vocations. They symbolise Hiphop in its purest form. They created something localised that was revered and is now mythologised: they are Def Wish Cast; they are Australian; they are Hiphop.
In 1990 Def Wish Cast originally Def Wish Posse began taking their skills to the stage. Every show was an experience. Already at this early period in their career, they were perfecting stage techniques and crowd interactions that hadn’t been witnessed previously by local crowds. Def Wish Cast championed the importance of representing the country of their birth, by having a very identifiable style and sounding distinctly Australian.
In late 1991 the 500 limited edition four track vinyl “Mad as a Hatter” EP with help by the Original DJ A.S.K from the legendary West Side Posse and DJ S.I.N.G became available and was eagerly snapped up. The cover was co-designed by Sereck and Def Wish and became an instant collector’s item. Recently an original pressing went on eBay to a German bidder for more than AU$430, proving that even years later their importance is still recognised by many fans.
DWC quickly became known amongst the underground scenes of many overseas countries. DefWish’s lightning speed double-time delivery and dextrous wordplay impressed many, as the track Proppa Ragga Style became popular here and abroad. Coming in at number 2 on Norway’s Rainbow FM HipHop show with Tommy Tee, it was the first Australian Hiphop track to break into the international radio charts.
Come 1992, DWC released one of the hallmarks by which all Australian Hiphop would be judged. The 15 track Knights of the Underground Table was finally unleashed, featuring the turntable and production skills of DJ Vame. The unrelenting music contained within this release encapsulated everything that they had displayed on stage It was intense, layered and dense. It was an instant classic, and the first real album from an Australian Hiphop crew. With this album under their belt, DWC started getting support acts for international artists such as the Beastie Boys, Helmet, Young Black Teenagers, Wrecks n’ Effect, and many more.
DWC ventured into a new realm, by recording the first Australian underground Hiphop film clip for A.U.S.T with the help of some film students. The clip clearly cemented the track’s position as the official song to express patriotism wrapped in a blanket of fortitude.
It was 1995 when DWC recorded for the prolific San Francisco label, Bomb Records, for the international compilation Bomb Worldwide. The track Hear My Raw indicated a different style, yet not long after, the crew disbanded amicably to pursue other ventures.
Sereck formed his own label in 97 called Basic Equipment, releasing a documentary and compilation that included his former crew members in their new guises. DefWish and Die C returned, with DJ Vame on production, as the crew Kilawattz (they later released the EP Kila Kombo in 1999), while Sereck teamed up with youngster Brass to create Celsius for a 2000 release and then a 2nd in 2004 “Kickin it to hell n Back”.
In 2003 DWC reformed then leading up to create their comeback album in 2006 “The Legacy Continues”, now with local legend DJ Murda-1 holding down the decks and filing the gap left by DJ Vame. The album was extremely well received and from it spawned a new generation of Oz Hip Hop anthems, including “Allstars” and “AUS Down”.
Now in 2011, Def Wish Cast are currently finishing off their 20th Anniversary album, which is shaping up to be their biggest album to date. DWC’s ability to outlast most of their peers, constantly push musical boundaries, and continuously set the standards for Australian Hip Hop, has led to the name of their upcoming album being so fittingly entitled, The Evolution Machine. Keep your ears to the ground for more info headed your way soon.
Def Wish Cast – ‘A.U.S.T.’
From Celcius to Killawattz everything these guys have ever touched screams of intensity. Def Wish were one of the first live shows we walked away from going ‘ahhh fuck’. These dudes were not only producing their own beats but all monsters on the mic AND threw the fuck down on the floor. Watching the whole squad pause for a couple of bars and start breaking doing headspins and shit made us reassess the whole live thing. – Funkoars
Learn your history. Knowledge is power. Also, don’t do this if you want to get rich. Because the chances of that happening are minimal. Do this because it’s all that you know and all that you love.
The quintessential, possibly never-to-be-eclipsed Australian hip-hop group was Def Wish Cast. Members Die-C, Defwish and Sereck, along with DJ Vame, were the most dynamic group to come out of western Sydney’s stomping grounds. They released the “Mad As A Hatter” vinyl EP in 1992, then went on to be the first local group to tour nationally. Their album, “Knights of the Underground Table”, became the Australian hip-hop manual and even saw them make a video clip for the song “A.U.S.T.” which was aired on Rage and Video Hits. – Mike Pollard
1992 saw the vinyl release of one of Sydney`s most hardcore truestyle B-Boy crew DEF WISH CAST and their “Mad As A Hatter” EP. Consisting of four songs and of course a graff cover, this cemented their cult status to wax forever. They then became the only Australian underground act to tour all across Australia without the aid of anybody but themselves. Then they released a 3-track tape, which then turned up on their explosive album and medieval inspired “Knights of the Underground Table”. Unfortunately it came out on CD and cassette only. Much to the dismay of the European audience who heard them via Norwegian Hip Hop DJ and magazine publishing freak (Fatcap), Tommy Tee. He became an ardent fan and played their music on his radio show which was broadcast into several northern European countries. The Germans also went apeshit over them and they sold a few hundred copies there as well. They also managed to make a videoclip for the anthemic track “A.U.S.T.” which mangaged to get played on a few nationally broadcast music video shows. They have now changed their style from a somewhat British style to a more East coast flavour. – Blaze
Performed at Home Grown 2 - Horrorshow, Def Wish Cast, The Tongue, Mantra, Delta & Staen1, Dialect, Despair, Grifters Inc, Dj Sanchez, Dj Dyems
Def Wish Cast are the quintessential Sydney hip hop crew. A lot of groups have made very valuable contributions to the culture but few crews have been as well-rounded and have made such a large impact as Die-C, Sereck and Def Wish. They released the “Mad As a Hatter” vinyl EP in 1992. Subsequently, they were the first group to tour nationally. They then released their album “Knights of the Underground Table” (CD and cassette), which became a manual for Australian hip hop. It was released through Western Sydney-based Random records, who, despite selling in the vicinity of six to eight thousand units, never paid the group. The clip for “A.U.S.T.” gave a face to Australian hip hop and was pivotal in shaping generations to come. Many can still remember seeing it for the first time on Video Hits or Rage. - Mark Pollard
Tuff Crew, Black Rock and Ron, T LA Rock, Ice-T, LL Cool J, Miami Bass, Sir Mix Alot, Egyptian Lover, Arabian Prince, Public Enemy, Afrika Bambaata and the Soul Sonic Force, Cold Crush Brothers, Hijack (UK), Demon Boyz
Sydney NSW, Australia