Melbourne-based duo Audego are producer Paso Bionic and female vocalist Big Fella. Having just released their debut record Abominable Galaxy through MGM, 100% chats with Big Fella, aka Carolyn Tariq, about polishing a turd, having a smoker’s cough and why she’s such a “shit” teacher.
“Paso and I were in the same friend circles for a while and I’d known him for years but [he then] did a remix for one of my tracks Wonder which he did a really good job [on] and we ended up getting married after that,” Carolyn Tariq says casually down the line from Melbourne.
Tariq and her husband Paso Bionic, aka Shehab Tariq, have had a pretty hectic last year, although Carolyn is modest and softly spoken when she recalls the last year which her and Paso spent creating their debut record Abominable Galaxy.
“We had a kid born in December last year so most of it was recorded while I was pregnant,” she says. “It was really good because I used to smoke a lot - like a pack a day, so all my previous musical work has been recorded with me having horrible smoker’s voice and then this one I had to clean up a lot. I think it helped the music and I think I did a better job.”
Although she says they didn’t anticipate taking a year to complete the record, it’s a grand effort considering Paso works full time at a printing store and she’s handling her new life as a mother. But, the husband and wife duo aren’t about to dwell on that. “It’s really fun for us, we always make it happen,” she says of the family/music balance. “We’ve already got a few new tracks cooking for another release. We’re very into it.”
Although Tariq says collaborating with her husband on Abominable Galaxy was “really easy”, much of the work on the record was created individually. “We didn’t work together in the studio a lot, it was kind of like I’d do it and then he’d come home from work and then do the rest so it was just like piecing it together which was why we named ourselves Audego – like Lego; it just felt like we were building and adding little bits as we went,” she says.
Mixed by hip hop heavy hitter and producer Danielsan of hip hop duo Koolism, Abominable Galaxy is a taste of silky vocals, edgy percussion and blurred synths, the result of an unusual musical collaboration which could have post-dubstep, indie, instrumental hip hop and folk fans’ ears pricked. Although classy in its delivery, the record’s song titles are questionable. Should listeners take Polish A Turd literally?
“It’s obviously not literally about polishing a turd; there’s actually a deeper meaning behind it,” she explains. “Paso is such a peaceful person and I felt a bit guilty for being a mole. So it’s really about being a piece of white trash and feeling out of it in a classy situation. I had a moment of being agro and I wrote that song.”
Banging track Burning Bridge is, however, literally about burning bridges – letting go and moving forward. “For me, that track was about ending a relationship that you’re really happy to end,” she says. “It’s kind of literally about burning bridges and not feeling bad about that because what you’re moving forward to is so much better.”
Tariq used to organise and teach songwriting to disadvantaged youth in Victoria and Queensland but it’s something she’s since moved on from. “I’m such a shit teacher,” she says, laughing half-heartedly. “You’ve got to have that commanding presence; it’s a tricky thing to be a good teacher.”
For now, it’s all about being a mum for Tariq and bringing her little girl into the world of music. “She dances and I think she’s singing all the time but she’s probably just clearing her throat,” she says. “She’s always in the [home] studio… when Paso is doing turntable stuff, she’s mesmerised, it’s like her favourite thing ever.”
BY ANNABEL MACLEAN
Audego's [AUS] Abominable Galaxy is out now. They play play The Workers Club on Sunday June 10.