Anonymous Sydney MC Bad Math hits hard on debut beat tape Celestial

Bad Math is the beat-wielding, mask-wearing moniker of an unnamed Sydney hip hop artist, choosing to remain anonymous under this project.

A month back they dropped their debut beat tape Celestial, a collection of lo-fi, orbiting rhythms that will absolutely send you to space. It’s a killer intro from the mysterious MC, one that hits way harder than any debut should.

bad math beat tape sp-404 sx celestial

Armed by a Roland SP-404 SX and an identity-concealing mask, Sydney’s Bad Math has us floored with debut beat tape Celestial. 

Composing and performing mainly on Roland’s beastly SP-404 SX sampler, Bad Math’s beats instantly echo the wonky, floaty, and imperfect hip-hop popularised by J Dilla or Mos Def. It’s perfectly sloppy, falling from one rhythm to the next but never quite tripping up.

Second track Friend of a Time Traveler took me to my happy place, intertwining 8-bit samples with the heavier beats that colour the tape. Yellow Feel is another favourite, one of the more laid-back tracks for sure.

It seems the beat tape format is catching on, both as a debut release to stake your claim or as an interim release to flaunt some backup material. Far from a new idea, beat tapes have been around since DOOM’s back catalogue started being drip-fed into our consciousness, but in a scene bursting with Soundcloud rappers and Youtube producers, the idea is finding new relevance.

For Bad Math, it’s a momentous introduction to what he’s capable of.

Where most beatmakers seeking to replicate or emulate golden age hip hop sound distinctly urban, like the kind of music you’d strut through NYC listening to, Bad Math instead looks to the cosmos. In finding inspiration from the clouds above rather than the streets below, the producer distinguishes himself from the competition in a remarkable way.

We’re definitely looking forward to the spacey beats Bad Math brings our way in future, and colour us very interested in the man behind the mask.


Celestial is out now via a ‘pay what you want’ donation on Bandcamp.