Legendary Australian record label based out of inner Brisbane, Queensland Hydrofunk Records turns 21 this year and coincides with a string of new releases from various artists on their impressive roster – including the highly anticipated upcoming album from Resin Dogs titled ‘Notorious D.O.G.’.
Before forming as a record label, the Hydrofunk name was prominent in putting on a series of Hip-Hop events around Brisbane and it is here where DJ Katch and Dave Atkins met initially in the mid-90’s. They would go on to solidify their working relationship that would eventually develop into one of Australia’s most iconic and important Hip-Hop record labels to date in Hydrofunk and hugely influential Hip-Hop funk-infused band in Resin Dogs.
Formed in 1997 as a record label, Hydrofunk first released Blunted Stylus’s self-titled LP before dropping in 1998 Resin Dogs’ From The Volkanic Lab and Grinnin’ Eps, with the latter garnering significant radio play nationally. This relatively early success helped the label lock in a major distribution deal the following year with Virgin/EMI, something incredibly significant for the time for the quietly emerging local Hip-Hop landscape in Australia.
In 2002, Hydrofunk Records licensed its first overseas label in London’s influential underground Hip-Hop label Low Life Records. Low Life Records boasted artists including Braintax (label owner) Jehst, Task Force, Skinnyman, Verb T, Harry Love, Mystro, Dubbledge, Asaviour, Micall Parknsun and Rodney P (London Posse) – with many of these artists having or subsequently developing significant musical relationships with Australia. In 2007, Hydrofunk created a new label in Hydropunk Records. The first release on this new label was from Brisbane 4-piece metalcore band Godnose. Two years later Dave Atkins would join multi-platinum selling rock band Wolfmother on drums and toured the world as both their and Azealia Banks’ drummer, highlighting his talented diversity in music. Hyrdofunk has also recently expanded into Japan, showcasing their vibrant sound to an even further audience.
At the forefront of Hydrofunk Records, the multiple award-winning group Resin Dogs since 1996 have themselves sold 10,000’s of albums, toured the world, had their music featured in a major video game and collaborated or toured nationally with the likes of Black Eyed Peas, The Pharcyde, Aceyalone and Mikah 9 from Freestyle Fellowship, Abstract Rude, The Nextmen, Kenny Dope and the Jungle Brothers amongst many others. Having released four albums and eight EPs to date as the Resin Dogs alone, the prolific members would go on to numerous and varied other musical endeavors.
While the Hydrofunk Records name is synonymous in its association with Resin Dogs, offshoots 2 Dogs and Blunted Stylus, it has proved to be much more than a one-trick dog. It has served as a platform to release classic material from Australian Hip-Hop groups including Downsyde, Koolism, Sydney legend’s Def Wish Cast and most recently Pegz & Silent Titan.
In recent years the release output has increased, with notable impressive releases from Calski, Benjamin Walsh, Uhnellys, Tigermoth, and Indigenoise. With recent news breaking of a brand new Resin Dogs album being announced titled Notorious D.O.G dropping shortly featuring Mantra, Plutonic Lab, Essa, Hau, Dialectrix, SiFixion, Abstract Rude and more, now is as good as time as any to get familiar with Hydrofunk Records if you have not been fortunate enough to come across the sound makers from Australia. History continues to be written by them as they appear to be now embracing the next generation of talented musicians, giving hope that the tried, tested and trusted Hydrofunk name will remain for years to come as a quality stamp of approval. They may have come a long way since their graffiti and breakin’ days, buy Hydrofunk Records have retained a name synonymous with quality and anything released internationally with their stamp on it is something to check.