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Album Review

Why? – “Oaklandazulasylum ” – [Anticon]

Rococo   7/5/2005   A Library, CD

With only the most tenuous connections to hip hop, this solo album from Anticon’s Jonathan Wolf (aka Why?) further expands the stylistic palette of that adventurous Bay Area collective. It’s a bedroom production that sounds a lot like the softer side of Shimmy Disc in their glory days. Quirky melodies, constipated and otherwise processed vocals, acoustic guitar strumming and oddball samples all mix together to keep things varied and interesting throughout. Programmed beats surface here and there, but mostly the album has a folky tripout vibe, flowing seamlessly through a variety of half-baked and fully-baked ideas.

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