Making tracks: Audego, Shehab and Carolyn Tariq, fit hip-hop around home life.
The husband and wife team comprising Melbourne beats duo Audego (pronounced Au-dah-go) make their music in adaptive, makeshift circumstances, juggling the demands of parenthood with having to squish into a small home studio during household quiet times and pursuing other musical endeavours.
Vocalist Big Fella (New Zealand-born, Cairns-raised Carolyn Tariq) and producer Paso Bionic (Preston-raised Shehab Tariq) met eight years ago, married in 2009 and formed Audego in 2010. Paso Bionic has been a familiar part of Melbourne's hip-hop landscape for over 15 years in culturally conscious outfit Curse ov Dialect and the currently-on-ice TZU.
Many would opine that it's dangerous to work with your loved ones, however Carolyn and Shehab's collaboration has come easily.
"We realised quickly that we worked really well together, which was exciting," says Carolyn. "We bust each other's balls a lot and we pressure each other to make it as good as possible. It's surprising that it works, because we have such polar opposite backgrounds, and musically we both come from really different backgrounds.
''Mine's classical and I was into singer-songwriters and he's really about hip-hop and then electronic.
''But we really just agree with each other's choices. We're both open-minded but kind of particular."
Their individual influences are indeed disparate, with Carolyn citing Disney soundtracks, Fiona Apple, Nirvana and Dolly Parton as her heroes, while Shehab worships at the altar of Public Enemy and John Coltrane.
Both of them had previously made solo albums, Shehab's Empty Beats for Lonely Rappers being released in 2005 on premier Sydney hip-hop label Elefant Traks (Hermitude, Urthboy) and Carolyn's The Longest Winter issued in 2009.
The debut Audego album, Abominable Galaxy, was released in April last year, however they also seem to be quite the music competition experts. Audego were selected as finalists for the 2011 International Songwriting Competition (for their song Borrowed Time) and then semi-finalists in 2012 (for From My Blue), while Carolyn was also shortlisted for this year's APRA Professional Development Award for emerging songwriters.
This year's Beneath the Static and the Low album came quickly, Carolyn and Shehab laying down sessions when their young daughter slept and Carolyn's vocals recorded while being "mushed in with the vacuum cleaner" in a small cupboard which doubled as a vocal booth.
The polyrhythms and chaotic beat structures employed by Shehab seem designed to mess with the sweetness of Carolyn's torch-song melodies, but there are also some sweet moments. Bolt Head has a heavier hip-hop groove and marching band horns, while Liar is a spacious lullaby laced with a snarling, crackling funk synth riff, and Fight has a foreboding sci-fi flavour.
There's just one thing that isn't quite clear. How on earth did Carolyn get stuck with the alias of ''Big Fella''?
"It was a joke, but I've noticed lots of girls in the electronic scene or the hip-hop scene have to posture to fit in with the boys and not be objectified," she explains. "We tend to have to act like we're a bit more boyish than we really are. It's such a boys' club, the beats scene, so it's hard to sometimes be a girl.
''There's a sense of just wanting to fit in with the boys."
Audego launch Beneath the Static and the Low at the Toff in Town, city, on Thursday, October 10.