Mon 19 Nov 2012 to Sun 25 Nov 2012

by Airileke

Leading-edge producer and innovator behind DRUM DRUM and Grrilla Step, Melbourne’s Airileke (irie-leck–eh ) will release his debut album ‘Weapon of Choice’ at the Australian World Music Expo this November. The album takes an exciting plunge into new territory by mixing beats with the unique sounds of Melanesia. The effect is a truly groundbreaking cultural crossover that thrusts the current politics of our country’s closest neighbour into the Australian music scene. MC Dadiigii and Markham Galut join Airileke from Papua New Guinea to perform ‘Weapon of Choice’ live at AWME on Sunday 18th November, 2012 at Hifi Bar.

The Melbourne-based producer draws on both PNG and Oz roots, creating a new sound with futuristic ideas and beats that hark back to ancient Melanesian culture. Sample based hip-hop production, fierce log drumming, PNG chants, atmospheric sound scapes and samples of West Papua's Free Papua Movement (OPM) delve into one of the region’s darkest stories—the oppression and illegal occupation of West Papua. This is the new sound of urban Papua New Guinea in Australia.

The album title ‘Weapon of Choice’ takes its name from Airileke’s ancestral village Gabagaba, which in English means Drum Drum, because the village was the central ‘sing sing’ grounds for ceremony, drumming and dance. Interestingly enough, in the Torres Strait islands north of Australia, the land of Eddie Mabo, Gabagaba has a different meaning—the name of the club used in warfare.

One cannot become the beast to defeat the beast so choose wisely your Weapon of Choice.

Souped in traditional drumming motifs from the Pacific this brilliantly produced album features heavy Electronics, MPCs, Log Drums and vocals from artists including Port Moresby based MC Dadiigii, Wanchef, Telek, West Papua's The Rumwaropen Sisters, Will Hatch, master log drummers from Port Moresby-based group Paluai Sook Sook, and co-producers Voodoo Dred and Diz1. Stand out tracks include Jump Outa Babylon, Sook Sook, Full Freedom, Maintain the Guerilla Struggle and 7 Mile Dub.

The album taps into Airileke’s deep involvement with the music communities throughout Oceania, expressing his cultural and physical journey through its track chronology. The songs have been played or recorded in different parts of PNG, West Papua and Oz over the past 15 years. Baluan Island in the Manus province, Markham Valley in Morobe, Chambri Lakes in Sepik, Airileke’s village Gabagaba, Port Moresby, Melbourne Factory 7, Olrait Street in Darwin, and the jungles of West Papua.

When you fly into PNG you arrive at 7 Mile. Wanchef will meet you there, but if the ‘politrics’ of this city make you wanna Fly Outa Babylon, go see the Paluai Sook Sook. Bulanbiri will escort you to their island where you can hear the illusive sound of Full Freedom— the Masalai (a spirit) of the Garamut (type of log drum) staking their claim to their land and people. But across the border the OPM maintain the Geurilla Struggle. In the Death Metal Jungle, the Jungle Birdz await, Willing and ready. From Boys Town Teleke to the malaria-stricken jungles and Munum village, knowing the Fa'a Tau Pati aka FTP (a traditional men’s slap dance) comes in handy. Whether its tradition handed down, or ‘File Transfer Protocol’ through the internet...we maintain the roots. When you leave the Dolphin will take you back, back to where it all began...the roots...Airileke’s village Gabagaba...Bubu Billy.

Expect energy, expect fierce log drumming techniques with a here and now relevance, expect political passion. Check him out at AMWE on Sunday the 18th of November to hear a fresh musical hybrid that mirrors today’s Australia.

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