In the ’90s N’Fa Jones made a splash on the Australian music scene fronting 1200 Techniques, a unique act that effortlessly blended hip hop and soul. Their breakthrough smash single “Karma” saw the band earn a place on the top 40 charts and a swag of ARIAs. A second album, Consistency Theory, followed in 2004. However, in 2005 the band parted ways. Now in 2014, this pioneering act looks set to do it all again. I caught up with N’Fa to chat about this exciting new chapter for 1200 Techniques.
It’s been 10 years since you last took the Aussie music scene by storm. Why did you decide it was time for a comeback?
What’s interesting is that we don’t really see it as a comeback. Just unfinished business. We never intended it to be a 10 year break. It’s cray how time flies really. We’ve wanted to write more music, and it’s good to be doing so.
You’re about to release a brand new EP, Time Has Come. What can you tell me about it?
It’s got plenty of chug-a-lug to it, and a lot if musical experimentation, which is a major part of the 1200 Techniques sound and ethic. Everythng has a connected pulse to it, but every song is an individual sound and feel.
How did it feel making music together again after so much time had passed?
It felt good. Making music should always feel good, hopefully. We’ve all developed in our own ways over the years, and to see what we could from now has been an awesome thing. The music we are making is more musical than sample based, and I think this is due to our own musical maturation over the years.
Before that you’re playing a show to support the 25th anniversary of Rubber Records. How important has the label been to your career?
Rubber Records gave us our first shot at anything and believed in us. They’ve always been there for us and are working with us once again to make this EP a reality. So, I’d say they are very important, and we are excited to be part of their journey and 25th anniversary,
What can music lovers expect from the show?
Energy, noise, sweat, and good times! We will be bringing the funk, and the stomp like we always did. We will rock old classics along with our new material. It’s been dope jamming and finding our way around the older and new material. Looking forward to it.
You’re one of the latest bands to turn to crowdfunding to support your music. What made you decide to do that?
We though it would be cool to give our audience a chance to get involved early, and grab some vintage stock as well as other cool options. It just made sense to us to get the vibe out there in a person to person way as a lead up, rather than just dropping the EP in stores Jan 23.
Have you been surprised by the support of the fans so many years after your last release?
Of course. We’ve been surprised over the years with peeps coming up and telling us how they loved our music and miss us. A big part of doing this EP is for those supporters who encouraged us to write more music together.
Australian hip hop has really exploded since last time you released your music. What’s your opinion of the current scene?
It’s good to see people up on it, doing well and surviving. Music is a hard game, and the scene has had to develop and change in order to grow. I remember playing venues where hip hop had never been allowed in the doors, and we were like the test dummies for the sound. A lot of hip hop venues today were strictly no hip hop back then, and we had to work hard to change that. So yeah the scene, and industry has changed in many ways.
Which of the current Australian hip hop crop are really impressing you?
Ah, now your trying to get us in trouble with who we do, and don’t mention … ha ha. Look, we are happy to be making music, being a part of the music, having been a part of the early steps. To see peeps survivng off hip hop, and to see some cats pushing the boundaries in so many way, is dope to us. We defo prefer boundary pushing music to safe music.
After this EP drops, what’s next for 1200 Techniques?
I guess we’ll see. Hopefully a few awesome tours though 2015, and maybe an LP. Step by step!
1200 Techniques’ Time has Come EP hits stores on January 23. They’ll launch the title track at Howler on December 17.
Image used with permission from Paris is Patient