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Astronomy Class

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Astronomy Class are unique in Australian hip-hop, and possibly globally. Science-fiction-referencing reggae-themed hip-hop is not something you come across every day. The group got their start when producers Sir Robbo (a crate-digging addict and also drummer with dub bands) and Chasm (formerly a guitarist with instrumental rock band Ukiyo-E) came up with the idea of doing an album together using a variety of different guest singers and rappers on each track. After crafting a set of Jamaican-influenced beats they took them to their first-pick vocalist, the Herd's MC Ozi Batla. When asked which one he liked, he replied, "All of them." The group was a trio from that moment on. They still found room for several guests on their debut album, 2006's Exit Strategy, however. The Herd's other MC, Urthboy, featured alongside Jane Tyrrell, Hau from Koolism, Lotek, and others. When the first few tracks were given lyrics inspired by Ozi Batla's love of science fiction, they settled on the name Astronomy Class -- or the tongue-in-cheek "Ass Class" for short. When the group discovered that 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy they timed the release of their second album, Pursuit of Happiness, to coincide with it. Ozi Batla cited the computer game Fallout 3 as an influence on its post-apocalyptic themes. That album also featured several guests, including Ash Grunwald, Kween G from Killa Queenz, Vida-Sunshyne, and the Tongue, who became a fixture of their live incarnation along with bassist John Maddox. ~ Jody Macgregor

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