Do The Right Thing.

Melbourne artist, Pataphysics, was a pleasure to watch and listen to at Green Ant Cantina at Two Deep, Penlan Street Co’s second birthday, hosted by Beatlab Cairns.

It was refreshing witnessing strong political and social conscious exuded through music, and I was lucky enough to yarn with him.

Pat Marks (aka Pataphysics) is as dexterous with his lyrics as he is with his music production, and yarning with him on life, music and philosophy was inspiring.

Pataphysics latest release album, Tip of the Spear, hurdles the mind into cognition, and the senses into excitement.

Elemental constituents of funk, hip-hop, soul, rap, roots and even jazz flank the album.

Bombastic instrumental eruptions create a precipitous feel – the body and mind are expropriated of inhibitions.

Warning: this album will invoke your inner groove.

Pat was kind enough to share some insight into the narrative and formation of Tip of the Spear.

Firstly, to understand from whence Pat Marks forms his world-view, he tells us how he got the name.

“I was really into eastern philosophy and other ways of viewing the world,” Pat says of his interest in philosophy.

“With the concept of pataphysics/imaginary science, you can take whatever ideas/concepts are important to you and form your own way of viewing the world. Kinda just a way of seeing and navigating the world, which is uniquely yours,” Pat said.

Working at Collarts in Melbourne teaching music, Pat is involved in various groups including an organisation called RISE.

RISE are an organisation in Australia campaigning for refugees and asylum seekers, and run by refugees, survivors and ex-detainees.

“I’m always a big fan of people advocating for themselves. People need proper representation. They don’t need someone else speaking and making decisions on their behalf. Like it doesn’t make sense when you have a minister for women’s affairs who is a man,” says Pat.

“I think rise is like the epitome of that, and they also make space for lots of people to be there feel comfortable and learn”.

In Pat’s journey through the music industry, various collabs and shows, one particular collab stands out.

“I was working with a band called the FLYBZ (fly bee-z), I had recorded them and made some music for them, “ tells Pat.

“I was helping organise it and produce it and make it all happen and then somehow, someone said Paul Kelly was on the track!”.

“The song was a really cool song, and the artists were expressing really personal things, talking about stuff in their lives and what they’ve seen and witnessed, and also, f**king Paul Kelly! I f**kin love Paul Kelly. It was like multiple levels of fulfilling work,” he says ecstatically.

Tip of the Spear was meant to be released in 2013, but personal circumstances forced Pat to reassess and he prioritised his family needs.

“For peace of mind and just being, I dunno, doing what you gotta do for you, your life, your family, your people around you,” Pat reflected.

Five years later, he released Tip of the Spear.

“As a result of that, it changed some of the music and art I decided to write and release”.

Pat released the album without a publicist or prior expectations as he’d done in the past – he found it liberating.

To the enth degree, from album cover to title, to lyrics and composure, Tip of The Spear is powerful, political, and empathetic.

“It’s the tip of the spear in terms of an army or military force where the first groups to go past enemy lines. So I guess the tip of the spear’s like, here’s a bunch of ideas,” says Pat.

“Born yesterday, but I stayed up all night,” begins his song Today, a tribute to Spike Lee’s film Mo’ Better Blues.



Born yesterday but stayed up all night,

Lay siege to the day, things will be alright,

Today, (aye)

I think I'll try something different...

Born yesterday but stayed up all night,

Lay siege to the day, things will be alright,

Today, (aye)

It's gonna be a bit different.

Verse One.

-It ain't all doom and gloom,

No zombie apocalypse yet and I doubt very soon,

No nuclear fall out, blackout or ice age just yet,

No meteors colliding with earth, just another terror threat,

-Everything I see tells me different, trust,

Bombard with images, that unconsciously shapes us,

The Mirror's cracked Divisions reflect a stranger,

The sum this life, simplify, no remainder,

-No point being scared and livin' in fear,

No point saving resolutions for the new year,

-What ever ya waiting for, you should just do it today,

Even if yesterday, didn't go your way,

(Keeping the wolves at bay)

-When you jump in the deep end you don't hit head your head on the bottom,

-Old jewels easily forgotten, gotta work out what's stoppin', ya,

-Memories of yesterday, they're easy to cling,

But you never really know what tomorrow will bring.

“Sometimes I’m just crystalising my thoughts, trying to articulate feelings that I have,” Pat explains of songwriting.

“So I guess things I’m passionate about is kind of like humans and like the right thing. I’m kind of like a big fan of talking control of your own shit”.

“Things like, the way you use language or supporting issues you are passionate about. So for me, standing here on solid ground, the first thing which comes to my mind is we don’t have a treaty. Our proper relations with our first owners, with the First Nations Peoples”.

Pataphysics song Frames, begins with the opening lyrics; “decentralised autonomous communities”.

“Communities are in charge of the local policies of that area. So if they don’t want fracking, they don’t have to have fracking. It’s not the Federal Government coming in and imposing laws. That community is governed by that community,” Pat explains the concept behind the lyrics.

“It is looking at alternatives for how our world is going. I’m not saying consumer capitalism isn’t the best thing. But I’m saying it isn’t paying the results for what we are expecting as a group of people".

“There’s obviously something wrong, if you look at a lot of the problems it seems to be stemming from our lifestyle, the way we are living within this current culture. A big part of it is theindividualistic nature, we are just meant to get a job, make money, do this thing and then we die”.

Further in Frames, lyrics, “media hysteria, put fear in ya. The grip getting tighter on domestic populations”.

“For me, that line, fear has come in so many ways,” Pat divulges.

“There was this fear in the nineties when there was going to be real land rights for the orignal

owners of this land, then the mining industry lead this fear campaign, that “they’re gonna take

your house”.

“This current fear and hysteria around African gangs. Before that was Lebanese gangs, before that it was Vietnamese gangs. You know, it’s just a constant cycle repeating itself”.

“Its an easy scapegoat as opposed to dealing with real problems”.

Gravity of Tip of the Spear aside, Pat is a chilled, happy dude who generally wishes to be a good human.

Happy is if his thoughts, as exhibited in his music, resonate with others or spark conversation.

Pataphysics just wants to do the right thing.

#musicnews #music #hiphop #Melbourne #cairns

38 views0 comments