zaterdag 16 april 2011

DIVORZE; all hip hop elements on lock!

A big thanx goes out to SPEEDONE, CHARM and SCT for info and photos!

1980....10 year old Chris catches his first raptrack on radio airwaves, the track being "Rapper's delight" by the SUGARHILL GANG. Totally blown away by the specific new sound of this music, Chris gets fascinated or even even obsessed with it. His surroundings being a medium sized town in the south of Holland (Helmond), there was totally no information around regarding this new phenomanon called hip hop. Therefore in the beginning he refers to this new sound as "talking music". Still...acquiring information piece by piece over the following years, Chris' love for hip hop grows and grows and he starts picking up graffiti and breakdancing (1983/84).

No this isn't OZONE at Venice Beach,
It's Chris rockin' it in Helmond City.

At secondary school Chris finds likeminded guys and together with MC LEE and DEF Y his first group BEATBUSTERS was a fact. Chris takes on the name KING CREWL as rapper and graffiti writer. MC LEE is a guy with an extensive rap collection (especially for that time) which turns out as a big source of inspiration. Meeting other b-boys also adds up to more information and therefore motivation. The first performances at schoolparties as hip hop collective became reality. JAY DEE also joined the group at one point.

1986 flyer for a BEATBUSTERS
performance at a schoolparty

From his various encounters with other writers within the graffitiscene he knew SCT (Da Spray Can Thug) and DJ CHARM (at that time known as FOX) from graffiticrew G.A.S. (Graffiti Art Suppliers). Together with especially SCT, Chris (who now changed his name to SPEEDONE) started to expand his graffiti skills. Also, rap lyrics got written, mostly on their favourite subject graffiti. As the SONIC DIVORZE POSSE they join the "WAPS rap- en humanbeatboxbattles" held in Amstelveen and Amsterdam but they don't get passed the elimination rounds. At these battles another group called SONIC was present so the decision got made to shorten the name to DIVORZE POSSE. The name DIVORZE was based on the fact that the group was kinda looseknit with members coming and going.
In 1987 Chris obtains his first drumcomputer as a graduationpresent from his parents, which was put to good use immediately.

1987 "Orgasm" piece done by SPEEDONE and SCT

JAY DEE at one point left the group. Together with DJ CHARM, SCT and SPEEDONE participate in the 1988 "Cheers open rap battle" (Cheers being the name of the discotheque venue) where they became the runners up. Other participating crews were BEAT BOYS, DONNA ME, FUCK POSSE, DEVASTATING 2 and X-TREME TEAM.
DJ CHARM would slowly become the steady DJ and producer for DIVORZE. Beats got layed down with the Roland TR-808, TR-909, a Boss DR-220A Dr. Rhythm and a samplepedall with 2,4 sec. sampletime.
CHARM's and SPEED's production skills took a flight after DIVORZE became friends with rapgroup BUGAS that consisted of rapper GHANDI and G.V. the DJ/beatcreator. G.V. was already skilled with sampling with the Amiga 500 and shared this knowledge with the DIVORZE members. BUGAS and DIVORZE started collabarating and doing shows together all over the country.

f.l.t.r. back: SOKE, EAS, DJ CHARM, SCT
f.l.t.r. front: D-MANAGER, SPEEDONE, MC LEE

SCT takes a bigger interest in graffiti and, alltough staying involved with DIVORZE as a dancer, stops rapping for the group. Other graffitiwriters SOKE and EAS join the crew as rapper and dancer. The posse broadens even further as D-MANAGER and ROLLS ROY also join (dancers). D-MANAGER is responsible for managing the group (hence the name I guess...) untill SOKE's cousin PADDY-T takes over this role. PADDY-T plays bass gitar, a musical element that would soon be integrated in the live shows of the group.

SOKE piece (1990)

PADDY-T's succesfull managing gets the group shows all over Holland, Germany and Belgium, but also the chance to record the long overdue album. Recordcompany "Runn" was specialized in recording reggae music, not rap. The recordingproces of the DIVORZE album turned out slow and full of setbacks. It seemed impossible to syncronize the drumcomputers with the other musiclayers. In the end all tracks were recorded without the drumcomputer sounds, only using the 8 bit Amiga 500 samples. This, the fact that nobody was really experienced and the late night mixing (cheap studiotime) made that the album "Remove the chains" did not live up to expectations.

cd cover "Remove the chains" album (1990)

Nevertheless the dissapointing sound of the cd (Runn records didn't want to release it as vinyl), DIVORZE still earned a lot of publicity and credibilty (not too many Dutch rapgroups had albums out at this time). They did opening shows for RUN DMC, DE LA SOUL and PARIS (word has it the DIVORZE show was much more appreciated by the crowd than the PARIS performance). The group was also asked to support PUBLIC ENEMY's "Fear of a black planet"-tour through Europe. Unfortunately a few members needed to graduate from school at that point in time and the tough decision was made not to go on tour.
The group keeps playing in Holland, Germany and Belgium untill the demand for rapshows slowly died as a result of the upcomming house music. Eventually the group split up.

Footage of a 1991 DIVORZE show, done at the
albumpresentation of DTF's "From a smooth point of view".

SPEEDONE keeps on recording occasional demotracks over the years, many with his friends from the also dissolved D.O.P.E. POSSE. He features as guest on albums by FAMILY JEWELS, ARE MC and two compilation cd's on the 4XM label.
After witnessing an event called "Return of the b-boy" in Eindhoven 1998, SPEED was shocked by the lack of "real" oldschool b-boy music. Together with old BEATBUSTERS member DEF Y he organizes an event called "Return of the real b-boyz". Especially for this show, DIVORZE reunites for a performance with beats and lyrics made on the theme of oldschool b-boy music. Check one of these reunion tracks with SPEEDONE, SCT and even DJ CHARM on the mic here:

Latest word on DIVORZE is that DJ CHARM is scratchin' that hip hop itch again and is droppin' new beats by the second. SPEEDONE and ARE MC of former D.O.P.E. POSSE are laying down some on the lookout for......FIRST CLASS !

Get 3 SPEEDONE collaboration tracks right here:

DIVORZE 1988....good times..

1 opmerking: