New South Wales, Australia
Metabass`n`Breath – group from Sydney, formed by members; Morganics, Baba, and Elf Tranzporter. First release in 1996. Other members included DJs Neicha and Nick Toth, keyboardist/trumpeter Adam ‘Sloth’ Burrell, bassist Jay Bondy, drummer Rory ‘Brother Love’ Toomey, MC/dancer Physical Linguistics and guitarist Haydn Walker. They toured USA in 1997/1998 and was the first time Australian Hip Hop was ever mentioned in Billboard Magazine in 1999. The group is managed by Trent Roden of Slingshot Touring. https://www.discogs.com/artist/117979-Metabass-n-Breath
Members of Metabass N Breath were involved in a play called ‘The Bridge’ that celebrated Hip Hop in Australia and also a play titled Hip Hopera.
Metabss N Breath are well known for their community work.
One of the most important fulcrums of Australian hip hop was Metabass ‘n’ Breath, a Sydney crew made up of three prominent MCs and beatboxers – Morganics, Baba and Elf Transporter (the latter two are both expatriate Americans) – and Austrian-Australian DJ Nick Toth. The group’s beats incorporated traditional music from Australia, Asia and South America, and they released a notable album of globally-inflected hip hop called Seek in 1997. Their line-up also included a drummer, a keyboardist and a bass player, and the album contained two tracks in Spanish – evidence that they were looking at global influences rather than exclusively US ones. The group toured the US twice and released their album The life and times of a beatboxer on the San Francisco label Bomb Hip-Hop Records in 2000 before breaking up later that year. Metabass ‘n’ Breath have the dubious distinction of being the only Australian hip hop group to be included in the international All music guide to hip hop (Bogdanov et al. 2003) where Keith Farley, after mistakenly identifying beatboxing as “turntable sparring” rather than a vocal form of largely non-verbal sonic freestyling (or vocal percussion, hence the “Breath” in the group’s name), describes them rather homogenously as: … very similar to their comrades in the Northern hemisphere, possessing a similar style to the Roots but with more emphasis on raggae [sic] and turntablist skills. Highlighted by the single “Possession,” The Life and Times of a Beatboxer is a solid album of left-field hip hop and a positive departure for the increasingly turntablist Bomb Hip Hop label
(Bogdanov et al. 2003, p.323).
Following the breakup of Metabass ‘n’ Breath, Elf Transporter joined the Melbournebased hip hop activist collective Combat Wombat (formed by Monkey Mark and femcee Izzy), who released albums in 2003 and 2005 and who, under the name Lab Rats, tour australian hip hop’s multicultural literacies extensively through central Australia, running hip hop workshops with disadvantaged young people and espousing an ecological lifestyle (St John 2005). Meanwhile, Morganics has become one of the key figures in the formation of an Australian hip hop identity, as well as a hip hop pedagogue who has taught MCing, DJing and breakdancing skills to young people throughout Australia.
In January 2005 Metabass ‘n’ Breath took advantage of brief Sydney sojourns by Baba and Elf Transporter to stage a reunion performance at the Hopetoun Hotel, which consisted of an improvised performance of the group’s history interspersed with their most well-known tracks. They also reformed to play a number of Sydney reunion shows, including the Spirit of Soul Festival, in January 2008. – Tony Mitchell
Featured on The Formula released in 1999 on Wild Child Productions - cassette only.
Featured on Home Brewz Volume 2 released in 1997
New South Wales, Australia