Def Wish Cast
|Def Wish Cast|
|Genres||Hip hop, Ragga|
|Years active||1989–1995, 2002–present|
|Associated acts||Sleek the Elite
DJ Murda One
|Past members||DJ Vame|
Def Wish Cast are an Australian hip hop group that asserts itself as founders of Australian hip hop, "having created something localized that was revered and is now mythologized." The group also states its hip hop credentials through its lyrics, rapping that they are "always hardcore/ ‘cos hardcore means true to the music" DJ Vame stated that being "true to the music" is shown by Def Wish Cast’s faithfulness to the "original instruments" of hip-hop: two turntables and a microphone. Originally, Def Wish Cast was composed of MCs Simon Bottle (aka Def Wish), Pablo Chiacchio (aka Die C), Paul Westgate (aka Sereck)  and featured turntablism by [DJ Vame (Shane Duggan).
DWC promote Australian culture by not only explicitly naming local suburbs of Sydney, but also by rapping in an exaggerated Australian accent with "broad, bent, nasal Aussie syllables." Their distinct Australian sound helped gain the crew notoriety both locally and, to an extent, internationally. Def Wish Cast embrace not only the music, but other elements of the hip hop culture including graffiti art and bboying. Def Wish and Sereck are shown bboying a lot in the Def Wish Cast. Def Wish is well known for his signature moves the Spaghetti Legs and the Wish Spin. He is shown doing the Spaghetti Legs in the film clips of A.U.S.T by the Def Wish Cast and Saturday Night by the Sound Unlimited Posse.  Although characterized by the main elements of hip hop, Def Wish Cast have in their own way redefined the commonly perceived African American culture. They see hip hop as not a black thing, but as Sereck says "it's our thing". In their recordings this group takes the elements of hip hop and applies them to the local Australian scene. Moreover, Sereck "reveres [African American originators] but has constructed the identity and authenticity he craves on a model learned from hip-hop". For this, Def Wish Cast represents Aussie hip hop in a global market.
In 1990 the group begun performing onstage, and in 1991 they signed a record deal with Random Records. In 1992, Def Wish Cast released a run of 500 four track vinyl EPs, Mad As A Hatter, which featured MC Def Wish's Australianised ragga style on the track "Proppa Ragga" (which later appeared on the compilation album 15.Oz Vinyl in 2004). "Proppa Ragga" was the first Australian hip hop track to receive international recognition, albeit at Norway, coming in at number 2 on its NRK's Hip Hop show (hosted by Tommy Tee). In 2012, a copy of Mad As A Hatter sold on eBay for A$540.
Def Wish Cast then went on to release one of the first full length Australian hip hop albums, Knights of the Underground Table in 1993. Only the Sound Unlimited LP A Postcard From The Edge Of The Under-Side came before it, which was released on a major label, CBS Records. Def Wish Cast then independently toured Australia, becoming the first Australian hip hop group to tour nationally.
After limited commercial success, in 1995 DJ Vame moved to Melbourne, leaving the group in hiatus for almost a decade. During this period, Def Wish, Die C and Sereck pursued other interests. MC Def Wish concentrated on his band "The Quickness".
In 1996, Sereck examined the Sydney hip hop culture in the first Australian hip hop documentary, Basic Equipment. The documentary was made by Paul Fenech (creator of SBS' Pizza series) and narrated by Sereck. It featured MC Trey, Def Wish Cast, DJ Bonez, DJ A.S.K, Mistery and Wizdm from Brethren and more. The 28 minute program wasn't aired until the following year. Sereck founded a record label of the same name following the airing of the documentary, and also united artists from Sydney's hip hop scene to form the Basic Equipment Crew. The collective includes DJ Sing, Frequency Unknown, Sleek the Elite and DJ Vame, among others.
Def Wish Cast reunited briefly in 1997 to record and contribute the track "Hear My Raw" for the international compilation Bomb Worldwide. The album was released through the San Francisco label, Bomb Records.
Due to a very small market for Australian urban music at that time, limited commercial response to their first album and the absence of DJ Vame, Def Wish Cast did not record again as a group for almost decade. Since officially re-uniting in 2002, DJ Vame has been replaced by DJ Murda One.
The following year, the group released their comeback LP The Legacy Continues..., 14 years after their debut. The lead single, Allstars was additionally featured in the soundtrack of the film Bra Boys.
In 2011, Def Wish Cast released a digital single and video clip for "Dun Proppa" (view here) a song from their upcoming album, Evolution Machine. Additionally in 2011, Knights Of The Underground Table placed 91st on Triple J's "Industry List" as part of the Triple J Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time, 2011 poll. The "Industry List" included some of the country's top musicians and industry experts.
Albums and EPs
- Mad as a Hatter - Random (1992)
- Knights of the Underground Table - Random (1993)
- The Legacy Continues... - Hydrofunk (2006)
- Evolution Machine - Forthcoming 2012
- "A.U.S.T." - Random (1993)
- "Allstars" - Hydrofunk (2006)
- "DunProppa" - MGM&Creative Vibes (2011)
- "Hear My Roar", Bomb Worldwide - Bomb Records (1997)
- "Proppa Ragga", 15.Oz Vinyl: 15 Years Of Australian Hip Hop On Vinyl - Crookneck Records (2004)
- "Allstars", Bra Boys: Music From The Film - Sony BMG (2007)
Guest Appearances & Contributions
- "Boogie Boy", Def Wish & DJ Sing (Feat. Tom Thum) - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)
- "It's Only Right", 13th Son (Feat. Sereck on backing vocals) - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)
- "Too Damn Long", Sereck - Airheads Two - Australian Beats And Rhymes (2005)
- "Wattz A Kila?", Kilawattz (DJ Vame, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "The Last One", Dope Runner (DJ Vame, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "Flow", Brethren (Sereck, production) - Basic Equipment (1998)
- "Nothins gonna stop me" - 13th Son (Sereck Production) (2001)
- "By The Wayside", 13th Son (Sereck, production) - Culture Of Kings Volume 2 (2002)
- DEF WISH CAST INTERVIEW: THE EVOLUTION CONTINUES | onion.com.au
- MySpace.com - Def Wish Cast - Sin City/Sydney - Hip Hop / Hip Hop / Indie - www.myspace.com/defwishcast
- Maxwell, Ian. "Sydney Stlee: Hip-Hop Down Under Comin’ Up." In Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA, ed. Tony Mitchell, 259-279. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
- Maley, Jacqueline (14 April 2003). "A break with tradition". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- village voice > music > Rock&Roll&: Planet Rock by Robert Christgau
- rage guest programmers profile (25 November 2006)
- Details of the said auction on popsike.com
- Local Noise: Indigensing hip-hop: an Australian migrant youth culture by Tony Mitchell
- Cyclic Defrost Issue #15 (November, 2006)
- Oz Hip Hop Forums Interview with Def Wish Cast
- Screen Australia Film Database
- Basic Equipment Crew on Myspace
- Basic Equipment at Discogs
- Def Wish Cast Music Profile on IMEEM
- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0951318/soundtrack IMDb | Soundtrack for Bra Boys
- THE GODFATHERS OF AUSTRALIAN HIP HOP DEF WISH CAST RETURN | BY MARK HEBBLEWHITE
- Triple J Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time - Industry List, 2011