Downsyde

The founding members of Downsyde, Scott Griffiths and Shahbaz Rind -- better known by their MC names Optamus and Dyna-mikes -- got their start young. At age 16 they were throwing suburban hip-hop parties in their home of Perth and in 1996 they entered a local talent quest. Their hometown fans were dedicated, so much so that their first recording, a demo on cassette called Behind the Bucket, managed to sell all of the 200 copies they made within weeks. Realizing that they were onto a good thing, they gathered together some likeminded hip-hop fans to help them record their danceable party raps. First were D. Reutens (who MCed as Dazastah) and Damien Allia (who DJed as Armee). They released their first album, Epinonimous, independently in 2000. Then came even more new members: Matt Cheetham, aka Cheeky, on keyboard as well as loops and samples and Salvatore Pizzata on drums and miscellaneous percussion. After signing to Hydrofunk, the Resin Dogs' label, they released the Gifted Life EP in 2002 and the Land of the Giants album a year after that. Following that, they switched over to the Obese label run by Pegz for another EP, Les Fortunate, and another album, When the Dust Settles, both released in 2004. ~ Jody Macgregor

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