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Downsyde To Lend A Helping Hand

Downsyde To Lend A Helping Hand

Who: Downsyde
Where: University - Bar on the Hill
When: Thursday July 28, 2005

SINCE emerging in 2003 with its debut album Land of the Giants, Perth's Downsyde has found itself branded as an Aussie hip-hop crew.

While there is no doubt hip-hop is one of the group's major influences, Scotty aka MC Optamus still holds hope Downsyde could avoid being pigeonholed.

``We're quite a diverse band in terms of the sound we put out on a record. We don't really have a cornered sound,'' Scotty said.

``Whether we write dark stuff or funky stuff, we just write how we feel and I think that's how it comes across anyway.

``We've always taken the flag of what we do just as an Australian band and not necessarily genre specific but we like to push the boundaries a little bit and challenge people's perceptions of what this music should be about.

``Whether it's subject matter or different genres that we like to fuse into the beats, we just try to bring something new to the fold.'' Collaboration is the latest challenge undertaken, with the group teaming with legendary New York MC Guru of Gangstarr fame.

Guru was approached by the group to record a track and after hearing some of the Aussie outfit's work, he signed himself up.

``He's an icon in hip-hop terms and that was a really, really good experience to get in the studio and do a track with him,'' Scotty said.

``We were just stoked that he wanted to do the track because we approached him. We sent our last album and then a CD with new beats we'd been writing and he got back to us and said he was really keen on doing it.'' Titled Whatcha Came Here For? the track will be released as a 12 inch single before being released on the band's next album that should be out early next year.

It will follow the band's sophomore album When the Dust Settles. In the meantime, the boys from Downsyde have embarked on a national tour that will bring the group to Newcastle tomorrow night to play at a fundraiser auction at the Bar on the Hill. Tickets are available onine at www.bigtix.com.au or at the door on the night.

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