1200 Techniques is an Australian Hip Hop group that formed in 1997, consisting of the old school 80s aerosol artist and founder DJ Peril (producer/percussionist/dj), N’fa on mic duties and Kemstar (Guitarist / Keys).
The group has widely been credited as an important player in transitioning Hip Hop to more commercial acceptance in Australia, through their old school sound and drawing influences from other genres including funk, soul, rock and breakbeat. The 1200 Techniques sound was quite different to most other Hip Hop being made in Australia at the time, focusing more so on beats and breaks that had more of a b-boy 1980s / 1990s feel. Brothers DJ Peril and Kemstar were involved in Hip Hop since the early 1980s as pre-teens, with Peril a member of one of Melbourne’s first Hip Hop crews, The Island Boys, and has DJ’d in a number of different bands.
Their debut single, “Hard as Hell,” released in 1998 was well received and followed up in 2001 with their EP Infinite Styles. Their debut album, Choose One (2002), was a landmark crossover success which debuted at #20 in the Australian music charts, leading to an ARIA award nomination for “Breakthrough Artist” and winning “Best Debut Artist” and “Best Hip Hop Act” awards at the Dance Music Awards. The album included the single “Karma,” which also charted in the Australian top 40 and won ARIA awards for “Best Independent Release” and “Best Video.” Following the release of their second album, Consistency Theory (2004), which itself and associated singles also charted and subsequent touring, the group went on hiatus in 2005 to allow the individual members to pursue solo work.
DJ Peril released a solo album, King of the Beats, which includes the singles It’s About to Blow and Rock Ya Baby. DJ Peril remained a very accomplished name in the Aerosol Art and street Art scene since 1983 as well as running many club institutions over the years. His brother Kemstar has continued to play in various bands throughout Australia, and is a successful fashion designer when away from the stage.
MC N’fa released Cause N Effect in 2006 (both of the album’s video clips directed by his late friend, actor Heath Ledger), numerous EP’s and most recently in 2014 his Black + White Noise album on Drapht’s label The Ayems. The microphone prowess of N’fa is perhaps best displayed on the lead single “Eye of The Storm” on 1200 Techniques’ second album.
In late 2014, after a near nine-year hiatus, the group announced the release of the new Time Has Come EP after a successful fundraising campaign on PledgeMusic. They most recently released the 7-inch single “Flow is Trouble” featuring Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan. 1200 Techniques importance to wider acceptance and embracing of Hip Hop in Australia cannot be understated, breaking down many preconceived barriers to locally made Hip Hop that would allow many artists that came after them an insight into radio play, festival billing and increased recognition.