Way back in 1988 in Western Australia, two bored creative teenagers and an Amiga 500 computer were the ingredients that combined to form Damkev & Comp, the first hip hop group from Perth that they knew of.
The name was soon changed to Def DK, evolving into Def Decay and then Def Dekay, comprised of Def Rebel and Treble Klev. Def Rebel created the music while Treble Klev handled the lyrics and vocals.
They recorded their first album in 1991, which wasn’t released but circulated around their respective year groups at Greenwood High School and Sacred Heart College, to mixed reviews. The mocking of the lack of expression on the vocals was taken on board.The beats and music were initially being formulated from the limited sounds available to Def Rebel on his Soundtracker program, but it wasn’t long before he started to incorporate some of his own samples. It was also around this time that the vocals began to be shared. The most notable recording from this era was In Your Face, a song which was submitted to Triple J for a competition and received a couple of nationwide plays.Heading into 1992, the music was progressing hand in hand with Def Rebel’s sampling capabilities. With the ability to now sample and edit full drum loops, and with the vast record collection of his music-loving parents at his disposal, he was honing his craft, and the computer drums and sounds were a thing of the past. He set a new benchmark with Triple Intervention, the standout track from this time that remains one of their best songs to this day.
His music was going to the next level, and he now also started writing his own lyrics, so it was time for new material.The duo had an issue, which was their lack of life experience. They wanted to make music that sounded like that of their idols, but two white boys from Perth simply haven’t been through that stuff. So they decided to create an alias, GAT (Goin After Trouble), comprised of Hoodlum and Manine. The plan was to release an EP anonymously, as if it was a new American hip hop group, freeing them up to write about whatever they wanted, and to see how it was received. The release didn’t end up happening, but the songs they recorded as GAT were a step up from their previous efforts.
Realising that the GAT experiment couldn’t last, and wanting to move on from Def Dekay, they decided to stick to what they new best, which at that time was smoking weed and getting wasted with their mates. Def Rebel had become Sleuth, Treble Klev became Weird One, and for a short time Def Dekay became 4 Red Eyes. A few months and weed-themed songs later, in early 1994, they changed their name for the final time. From that point onwards, they were thu Rubbishmen, comprised of Sloof Da Mental Engrava and The Weird One.
In 1994, thu Rubbishmen produced their first and only release, a cassingle called RIP (Rip In Progress). A grand total of 15 copies were made and sold out of Dada’s and 78’s, Perth’s best-known independent record stores. There was a plan to make more copies of RIP and later release an album, but sadly this was as far as they were to go.
Sloof was always a true lover of hip hop, while Weird One had his favourites but mostly just loved whatever Sloof came up with. During 1995, Weird One fell in love with Nirvana and grunge, and decided that he wanted to start playing guitar and writing his own music. This effectively pulled the plug on thu Rubbishmen. Sloof continued to make music for some time afterwards, until the spark and enthusiasm eventually began to fade. Weird One went on to play in several bands and release a couple of solo albums under his real name, and the formerly inseparable pair remained best of friends.
In late 2016, over 20 years since the end of the first Rubbishmen era, a small chain of events had given Weird One a fresh burst of inspiration and a hint of long-overdue momentum. He had come to realise what a great shame it was that due to his own doing, they had never released an album or played a gig. He floated the idea to Sloof that playing a Rubbishmen gig was something that should now be on their bucket list, even if only for old times sake, and that the music deserved to be out there. Sloof came to the party with his hoard of old cassette tapes from back in the day, over a hundred of them, to be listened to and sorted through in search of their best old recordings and samples of music. The process began, and thu Rubbishmen were officially reborn…
it is done! the first stage is finally complete. 130 tapes in total, and this magical shoebox of gold represents the 75 of them that contain Rubbishmen/Sloof recordings. there’s a lot of good stuff here, and next we’ll start transferring it to digital. good times ahead…