Although Australia had an underground hip-hop scene starting in the late '80s, it wasn't until 2001 that it began to be recognized by the mainstream of Australian music. 1200 Techniques were an important part of that moment, with charting singles, appearances on TV shows like John Safran's Music Jamboree, and a sound that contained an eclectic blend of rock, dance, and funk influences to win over those Australians unconvinced their country had a place as a producer of quality hip-hop music.
Founder DJ Peril had been a part of Melbourne's hip-hop scene for years when, in 1997, he first saw MC Kabba performing in a local pub and was inspired to form a crew. Kabba brought along his brother and songwriting partner Nfamas, mostly famous for his role in a series of biscuit commercials. The group was rounded out with another brother, this time Peril's. Up until then Kemstar had been playing rock guitar with the band Quarter2Nine. It was his hard-hitting riff that became the focus for their first song, "Hard as Hell." They named themselves after the Technics SL-1200 turntables Peril was a master of and released it as a single, with an accompanying film clip that cast them as a gang straight out of The Warriors.
While working on the songs that would eventually form their first album, Kabba decided to leave the country and move to the U.K., leaving Nfamas as the group's lead MC. Now a trio, they recorded a 2001 EP called Infinite Styles and followed it a year later with the album Choose One. The crossover success of Choose One was unprecedented, winning ARIA awards for the album in the Best Independent Release category and for the video of its first single, "Karma," which made it into the chart Top 40. In 2002 they were awarded the Best Hip-Hop Act award at the national Dance Music Awards, humbly stating that they felt they didn't deserve it when there were so many other talented acts in the scene who hadn't achieved a similar level of success.
In 2004 they released their second album, Consistency Theory, and proved themselves worthy of their widespread acclaim. Again they managed to make the charts and tour the festival circuit. A year later they put the group on hiatus to pursue solo work. DJ Peril and Nfamas (renamed N'fa) released their own albums, and Kemstar joined the Jack to record songs for the soundtrack to Thunderstruck, an AC/DC tribute film. ~ Jody Macgregor