Astronomy Class are a ‘unique hybrid of the Australian musical landscape’ (The Music).
The trio is made up of producers Chasm, Sir Robbo and vocalist Ozi Batla.
Their 2006 debut Exit Strategy announced a refreshingly reggae influenced hip hop sound, building on the diverse musical backgrounds of the trio. Two singles received lengthy airplay on triple j, A Bright Tomorrow and Done the Sums, while two impressive national tours consolidated their presence in the Australian music scene.
Sir Robbo is the heart of the crate-digging side of the group: a collector for 25 years and also a drummer for reggae, dub and hip hop groups such as The Latenotes (1987-91); Herman Jasper Situation (1991-93) and Atomic Hifi (1994-96). He co-founded legendary Sydney event Frigid (1996-07) and formed Tooth.
Chasm, formerly an indie guitarist with Ukiyo-e, is now one of the leading hip hop producers in Australia, signed to Obese Records for two solo albums (Beyond The Beat Tape, This is How We Never Die), multiple EPs and a stack of production credits (Dialectrix, Skryptcha) and remixes to his name. More recently his dance project Dr. Don Don has also taken flight with solid radio play across the country and several festival slots.
Ozi Batla is one of the most revered MCs in Australia, fronting award winning hip hop act The Herd and releasing solo album Wild Colonial. He has had years of experience on stage, taking in solo gigs; numerous band tours; MC battle championships; festivals; you name it – the man is equipped for life on the road.
In 2009, the International Year of Astronomy, Astronomy Class released their second album, Pursuit of Happiness, moving deeper into hip hop territory, though seen through the resinous lens of a passion for reggae. Mike Burnham (The Heliocentrics) has played a key role in colouring the Astronomy Class sound with his unique analogue recording and mixing techniques.
Astronomy Class were invited to Cambodia in early 2012 for Tiger Translate Cambodia a collaborative project which transformed the historic Phnom Penh Railway Station for a one-off celebration of culture and music. The group collaborated with Cambodia’s best-loved pop star Preap Sovath to remix a 1960s Khmer rock ‘n’ roll track. The experience saw the band to delve further into the back catalogue of the obscure Khmer rock & psych scene from the 60s.
Their new album Mekong Delta Sunrise is a journey through Cambodian history and a tribute to the ecstatic music of golden age Phnom Penh feat. Srey Channthy (Cambodian Space Project). The Australian said Mekong Delta Sunrise is “An album overflowing with original ideas that again separates Sydney-based Astronomy Class from the usual suspects. Mekong Delta Sunrise makes clear that Astronomy Class has a deep respect for the country that has inspired its third — and best — album.”