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Filthy Forum - Always Fresh

Having formed just over two years ago, the group of musicians that make up Filthy Forum are still growing, but these boys already have their legs firmly planted on the ground and aren't afraid to have a bit of fun along the way.

28 Oct 2002

Having formed just over two years ago, the group of musicians that make up Filthy Forum are still growing, but these boys already have their legs firmly planted on the ground and aren't afraid to have a bit of fun along the way.

Dave (DJ Subtrak) and CJ (MC Unknown) first got together at one of Auckland's only drum n bass venues; The Factory, where they laid the foundations for Filthy Forum. CJ, fresh out of Canada, used his hip hop influences to rhyme away, while Dave, a keen drum n bass head since the tender age of 14, spun the records.

After relocating to the capital, the dynamic duo acquired the talent of Aaron (MC Mana) and Kuru from Christchurch forming the core of Filthy Forum, all living together in an Aro Valley pad.

"Working and living together is a daily process," said CJ, "we're like siblings, just one big old family pie."

At this point Dave admits to having a fight with CJ an hour before the interview.

"We worked through it, and the thing is we all compliment each others personalities."

With such a huge range of musical influences and talent, the boys hope to make diversity a large part of their own music.

"We want to bring something new to the music scene," said Dave, "We don't want to set ourselves down one road and say this is what we're going to sound like, we're going to be all over the place. It's sort of like opening a whole bunch of doors, putting a finger in every pie."

Dave and CJ say their album, due for release next year will be just as assorted with the likes of drum n bass over punk and not something a lot of people would expect.

"People will be confused by our antics. We want to be as abstract as possible."

"I think not limiting ourselves to one sort of music is the key," said Dave, "I got caught up in drum n bass when I was young, but then I realised there's so much more out there. That's the good thing about us."

After two years of gigs up and down the country, the guys are quick to admit the road has not been an easy one.

"To try and break into the house scene, or any scene, everybody's like this big stone wall so it's a really big struggle. But no matter what sort of problems we have, we do it for the love of music."

"Of course making money would be great, the cream on the cake, but to have people know who we are and enjoy listening to us is more important."

Dave and CJ agree playing the 12-1:30am slot on the first night of The Gathering this year was the turning point of Filthy Forum's success.

"After watching King Kapisi jam before us, we decided to just freestyle it," said Dave, "I'd got a few tunes together, but thought nah, let's wing it. I'd put my head down for a bit, look up and there'd be a few people there, put my head down again, pop it up and there were a few more and thought it's time to start stomping it. I think it was the first time I was one with the crowd."

"Everyone was looking at this Canadian cat rhyming, and this possum drum n bass kid going 'whoa I've never seen that before.' Since then we've just been pushing the boundaries. We said if we can get a set like this we should be able to get main slots from now on."

From The Gathering, Filthy Forum competed in a Wellington drum n bass DJ battle where Dave took out first place after a stint on three decks blowing the crowd, and judges Mu, Sean and Otis away.

"When CJ said bring out three decks I was like there's no way I can do that, but I practised all day, nearly threw a turntable out the window and smacked CJ in the head, but I went out and pulled it off, so that was great."

Dave said after eight years of watching stagnant, static DJ's who looked as though they weren't happy to be playing he decided he never wanted to be like that, he wanted to jump around.

And jump around they did, earlier this year in Auckland where they organised the Wellington vs. Auckland gig 'Versus'. CJ; kitted out in a bear suit admits he must have lost three pounds that night. Filthy Forum featured alongside CXL (Ill Semantics), Kerb, B-line and P-Money, but the highlight Dave says, was performing back to back with his mentor 48 Sonic.

"To grow up listening to this guy and then going off right next to him was definitely a highlight, to know that now I can stand up and do as good as he can."

"It was great getting the enthusiasm of an international act when we're just local cats," said Dave.

The gig was so successful, the team hopes to organise a Christchurch vs. Auckland gig in the future. In the future also, fans can see Filthy Forum go off this New Years at Alpine Unity, outside Christchurch.

"We're looking forward to showing them what we're made of."

In the meantime the group are keeping a low profile in Wellington. While keeping up appearances with Breaks Deluxe at Curve bar, and their regular Saturday night show on Wellington's Radio Active, the boys are busy compiling their music, converting to dub plates and hoping to be working with all their own music by next year. They are also promising to have a 'big one' in the capital when it's ready to happen.

Some may have spotted Filthy Forum t-shirts that sport the catchy slogan 'Always Fresh'. It featured in the Rhombus video and on the likes of King Kapisi - among others - as a means of getting their name out there.

"Always Fresh - that's the attitude we want to bring," said CJ. "We're capable of bringing life to a party, we've proved that. But we wouldn't have got this far if it wasn't for each other. No matter what we'll always stand together."