Astronomy Class is a trio made up of producers Chasm, Sir Robbo and vocalist Ozi Batla. John Maddox undertakes bass duties live and on record, while The Tongue adds vocal backing to the live ensemble.
Their 2006 debut Exit Strategy announced a refreshingly reggae influenced hip hop sound, building on the diverse musical backgrounds of the trio. Two singles received lengthy airplay on triple j, A Bright Tomorrow and Done the Sums, while two impressive national tours consolidated their presence in the Australian music scene.
Sir Robbo is the heart of the crate-diggin’ side of the group: a collector for 25 years and also a drummer for reggae, dub and hip hop groups such as The Latenotes (1987-91); Herman Jasper Situation (91-93) and Atomic Hifi (94-96). He co-founded legendary Sydney event Frigid (96-07) and formed Tooth, the last of whose albums dropped in 2006.
Chasm, formerly an indie guitarist with Ukiyo-e, is now one of the leading hip hop producers in Australia, signed to Obese Records for the solo album (Beyond The Beat Tape), an EP and a stack of production credits (Dialectrix, Skryptcha) and remixes to his name.
Ozi Batla is one of the most revered MCs in Australia, with years of experience on stage, taking in solo gigs; numerous band tours; MC battle championships; festivals; you name it – the man is equipped for life on the road. His other band The Herd is a pioneering new skool hip hop act, four albums deep selling tens of thousands of albums as well as sold-out concerts nation-wide for years.
In 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, Astronomy Class released their second album, Pursuit of Happiness, moving deeper into hip hop territory, though seen through the resinous lens of a passion for reggae.
Once again Mike Burnham (The Heliocentrics) plays a key role, colouring the Astronomy Class sound with his unique analogue recording and mixing techniques.
Astronomy Class head out on an Australian National tour in May/June 09.
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