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on 20 October 2005
I recently had the good sense to pick this EP up at the merchandise stand after seeing Why? play a tiny show in Norwich (at the Marquee if you know your Norfolk). I bought the EP because I couldn't afford the pre-release copies of 'Elephant Eyelash' that Why? had brought along, and he assured me that the EP gives a good flavour for what to expect off his sophomore set.
What's contained within the 'Sanddollars EP' is a solid twenty minutes of tweaked, horror-bliss tunes that are intricately composed but lushly recorded. The instrumentation sounds live, rich and warm for the most part, and sits commendably next to Why?'s deadpan vocal delivery. Whether you judge his tone as laconic, sarcastic, ersatz, or all of the above, there's no doubt that the Anticon MC's lyrics are still pitching from the surreal left field of his group project Clouddead. Which is sure to please a lot of his existing fans.
Musically, Why?'s (and indeed Anticon's roster's) current direction is pushing the boundaries of hip-hop to strange new vistas, that are, in reality, already stepping outside of the genre's best humoured limitations; it's far, far easier to liken this record to Boards of Canada or Fog than it is hip-hop pioneers like Kool Keith or the mighty MF Doom for example.
Nevertheless, this fact is the EP's crowning achievment.
As other reviewers of Cloudead have said on Amazon, this music is becoming increasingly hard to pidgeon-hole or affix genre labels to, and this can only mean good things for music fans, hip hop heads and Why?. And managing to cover all these bases in an EP and still leave it emminently listenable and (more importantly) loveable is even more amazing.
Roll on Elephant 'Eyelash'...
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